First annual bike swap runs this Friday

  • May. 7, 2014 3:59 p.m.

The first annual Red Deer Bike Swap will be held at Bower-Kin Place, 85 Boyce St. on Friday.

The local event is part of a provincial non-profit, Alberta Bike Swap, which runs bike swaps in four cities throughout the province.

Founders and organizers of the Alberta Bike Swap, Laura and Chris Grant, explain that their goals for starting the swap stemmed from wanting to give used bike sellers a safe and convenient venue for access to thousands of buyers.

The swap also allows used bike buyers to access hundreds of safe bikes in one visit, while simultaneously generating funds to support local safe cycling initiatives in Alberta.

“We had over 4,000 attendees at our Calgary event and we hope to see similar support at the Red Deer swap,” said Laura, who along with her husband Chris founded the Alberta Bike Swap four years ago.

“We are really hoping to spread the word of safer cycling as well as to promote better relationships between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Bikes sold at the swap tend to be a safer purchase than those found online and at garage sales, as they are inspected by the swap’s volunteer Mechanahands, who perform a basic safety and mechanical check of each bike.

The swap is geared toward name brand, adult-oriented bikes that meet safety requirements and road safe regulations.

With all serial numbers of bikes being run through Bike To Consign and all serial numbers being recorded, a paper trail of ownership is ensured from buyer to seller.

Those wishing to drop off a bike may do so from 4-7 p.m. with the sale going from 7:15-8:45 p.m.

The sale will run on a first come, first serve basis and organizers state that bikes tend to fly off the racks once the sale begins. Organizers ask for sellers to bring their clean, ready to ride bike to the swap with a selling price in mind.

Those who drop by will sign an agreement to sell which tells organizers where to send the cheque for the sale of their bikes as well as what to do with the bike if it doesn’t sell.

If you do not pick up your bike after if it has not sold and you have been contacted by the swap a number of times, your bike may be relocated to Calgary if you have not picked it up as the swap only has access to the venue for one day.

A racking fee of $15 is charged in order to participate in the sale and sell a bike, or for Alberta Motorist Association (AMA) members a $10 fee will be charged.

AMA members receive $5 off of their racking fee to raise awareness for AMA’s bicycle roadside assistance program in which members may call for assistance if their bike breaks down while on the road.

The other 12% will go towards the sustainability of the swap and to support local bicyclers and local non-profits involved with the swap, such as the Optimist Club of Red Deer and the Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting.

“We like to pass a part of the profit from the swap back to the community to support safe cycling, because we are all in this together,” said Laura.