thanks for all your responses. in 05 we purchased two bikes from the hardware store just north of the power plant and sold them w/o much trouble. we did notice some people eyeing up our nice shiny bikes. it never occurred to us to check with the rental people to see if they had any for sale. for us buying and reselling was a better deal then long term renting.
also, donating the bikes to a local school is a thoughtful idea!