In need of a new bike? Need to get rid of one of your many bikes? A bike swap is a great place to save or make a couple bucks.
On May 7, Shifting Gears is hosting a bike swap at Boundary Bay Brewery. Everyone is encouraged to sell and shop gear, as well as share the love for biking with the community.
Krysy Steckler is the executive director at Shifting Gears, a local nonprofit that creates outdoor recreational opportunities for women. The woman-led organization strives for all women to feel empowered in the outdoors and build their confidence, joy and connectedness.
Gear for recreational sports can be extremely expensive, especially when it comes to mountain biking.
Steckler said a new bike can cost upwards of several thousand dollars.
This can make it hard for someone who is still trying to figure out if the sport is for them. A bike swap can save the bank and can make shopping easier.
Ellie Price, who handles communications at Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, understands the role of bike swaps.
She said via email the ability to check out so many bikes at once and find one that fits your size and needs is invaluable.
“You can often ask the sellers for advice and help in a lower-pressure situation,” she said.
While most bikes will be on the older side, there could be some that are only a couple of years old.
Older bikes sometimes can’t handle the rough trails as well as new ones, said Samantha Cheek, a third-year student at Western who has been biking since she was five.
It can make the experience less enjoyable, said Cheek. A bike swap is a good way to see a variety of options for those in the market to buy.
The bike swap will also include biking clothing of all sizes. They will also help customers with their new purchases – they will provide simple maintenance, ensure parts fit your bike and help attach components.
Steckler said the event is one of Shifting Gears’ biggest fundraisers. A portion of the proceeds go to continuing free programs that get women outdoors.
Sellers should drop off gear on May 7 at Boundary Bay between 7 and 10 a.m. Buyers can shop the swap from 1 to 5 p.m. and buyers can then pick up a check or their unsold gear from 6 to 8 p.m.
While the bike is often the most prominent price tag in mountain biking, there are other expenses to consider as well.
“Most people do not live close enough to bike to the trails from their houses or do not have a safe path to bike to trailheads,” Price said. A car and an expensive bike rack are needed to get to the trail. It can also be challenging to store a bike safely when not riding.
While buying a car at the bike swap may not be an option, a bike rack isn’t out of the question.
“We sell everything bike related, from complete bikes to all the different components down to the pedals,” Steckler said.
Ben Delaney (he/him) is a city life reporter for The Front. He is a junior majoring in environmental studies journalism. In his free time, he enjoys skiing at Mt Baker, fishing on local rivers, and just spending time outdoors. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.