Vail Bike Swap organizers hope to usher in new opportunity for cyclists with May 11 event
Vendors, individuals welcome to sell new and used bikes and biking gear
The Vail Bike Swap will feature new and used bikes in good working order from private sellers and vendors. “Department store bikes,” such as those sold at Walmart, may not be accepted at the swap. Other types of bike equipment will be accepted on a discretionary basis. No old bike shorts, please! Clean items and desirable pieces of equipment, such as bike parts, helmets and shoes, may be accepted.
Those looking to sell have two options:
Option A: Simply bring your new or used bike and equipment to Battle Mountain High School during one of two check-in periods. Early bird check-in will be available Friday, May 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. Sellers may also drop off their bikes from 7 to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning before sales open. Bikes will not be accepted after that time.
For successful sales, SSCV will take a 10% commission and mail sellers a check for the remaining 90%. Unsold items must be picked up from 5 to 7 p.m. the day of the swap. Any unsold, unclaimed items at that time will be immediately donated to charity.
Option B: Whether you are a private seller with an overflowing garage or a local bike shop looking to clear out some inventory, a limited number of 10x10 exhibitor spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a fee of $100. The aforementioned 10% commission does not apply to exhibitor sales. However, these spaces must be managed and attended to by the exhibitor him or herself. The Vail Bike Swap will not be processing payments for exhibitor sales and is not responsible for lost items.
For those looking to buy, there will be a $5 admission fee at the door. Children under the age of 12 will be admitted for free. Buyers will not be subject to any other fees. Bike sales will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Battle Mountain High School on Saturday, May 11.
EAGLE COUNTY — After 50 successful years of enjoying a ski swap, it’s probably about time we tried a bike swap.
That’s the thought that led Dan Weiland and Chris Anderson to collaborate on a project that will turn Battle Mountain High School into a giant used bike store on Saturday, May 11.
Weiland is the mountain biking program director at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, and Anderson is the owner of Kind Bikes in Edwards. Over the years, the thought occurred to each of them on multiple occasions, usually after visiting the famed VeloSwap on the Front Range.
“Seeing the value that VeloSwap brings to the community in Denver, to pass bicycles along,” Anderson said. “I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years, since before I bought the shop.”
Anderson purchased Kind Bikes two years ago, leaving behind a career in aviation to pursue his passion.
The idea of the bike swap started to loom large in his mind after getting into the business.
“It really showed its need to me when I took over the shop. So many people who were coming in buying new bikes were wondering where they could sell their old bike,” Anderson said. “I thought let’s make it an event, let’s find a great cycling nonprofit to partner with, and let’s work together to make it happen.”
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
High school level mountain bike racing is a relatively new concept in Colorado.
In 2010, the Colorado High School Cycling League ushered in a new style of competition. Operating outside of the confines of the Colorado High School Activities Association, the cycling league gathered teams from around the state to compete in cross-country mountain bike racing events in different high country locations around Colorado. With four different levels of competition — freshman, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity — athletes of different abilities contribute to the overall team standings.
Dan Weiland started coaching the local group when the program was in its infancy.
“Seven years ago we had seven kids,” he said.
This year, the program is expected to attract roughly 65 kids from all high schools in Eagle County.
“Now we have kids who have never ridden a bike before to elite level racers and everyone in between,” Weiland said. “It’s a daunting task as a program manager to run and make sure we can cover all our bases but, knock on wood, I think we can.”
The team receives help from local shops, including Kind Bikes, which is where Weiland and Anderson got to talking about something the community could get involved in, to help offset the cost burden of such a rapidly growing team and break down the sport’s major barrier of entry in the cost of equipment.
The bike swap was the obvious idea that came up.
Weiland now finds himself rewarded with a lot of work in getting ready for the swap, but with his team the beneficiary of the event, it will be well worth it, he said.
“Hopefully it becomes a good fundraiser that will help us continue to offer programs and scholarships and all those sorts of things to kids who otherwise can not participate,” Weiland said.
‘START HEALTHY HABITS’
Weiland said if his hunch is correct, moving into this summer there are many kids here who would like to learn to mountain bike who do not have bikes. Conversely, there are many mountain bikes here in storage that will probably not be used by their current owners again.
The bike owners aren’t likely going to take pictures, write up descriptions, take calls and put in the effort required to sell the bike on Craig’s List; and the kids aren’t likely to learn to mountain bike without a bike of their own.
“The ultimate goal is from the time they buy that bike until the time they leave our program, they can be successful in biking,” Weiland said. “Maybe they’ll race bikes in college, but in the end, we just want them to be enthusiasts of the bike world.”
Thinking back to his own introduction to the bike world, Anderson said he saw countless examples of bike riding laying the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle in general.
“Getting kids on bikes early will alter their life choices forever,” Anderson said. “They start healthy habits at a very young age, and they see the benefits of it, how great it makes them feel.”
Tourism and outdoor recreation employ a lot of people, but those workers’ wages are below county and regional averages.