By Shaya Rogers, Features Reporter
Bicyclists looking to trade up or buy a new set of wheels will have a chance to do so while also doing some good for the community, Willie Smoker, office manager for TRiO Support Services on Main campus, said.
The 19th Annual Bike Swap, held at Sport Systems at 6915 Montgomery NE on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will donate 18 percent of all the sales to BikeABQ, a nonprofit bike advocacy and education group, he said.
“The event helps them financially because they get money off the sales, and within that it helps them get out there, and be more evident within the community and actually help with bike advocacy,” he said.
BikeABQ works to increase the number of cyclists in Albuquerque, and has worked on projects like the Bicycle Boulevard on Silver Avenue, where the speed limit was reduced to 18 MPH, he said.
“The more revenue that this thing produces directly affects the community and helps with cyclists,” he said.
Smoker has been volunteering for the event since 2005 and thinks it is a great way for people of all ages to save money on quality bikes and parts, he said.
“The Bike Swap is basically a flea market for bicycles and they have everything from bike components – helmets and things like that – to complete bikes,” he said.
Bike experts and volunteers are available to answer any questions about the actual bikes and safety, what fits personal needs, and additional things such as bike lights, he said.
Going on websites like Craig’s List can be a gamble, and buying brand new can be expensive, but the swap opens dialog with experts and is cost effective, providing a great alternative, he said.
“I recently had my bike stolen and that’s my mode of transportation. I live on my bike, so rather than go out and spend a high amount of money, I’m going to see if I can find something there,” he said.
The Bike Swap has a wide variety of bikes, and offers kids’ bikes as well, since kids grow out of bikes so fast, he said.
“It’s every kind of bike that you can imagine, and last year they had the recumbent bikes, trikes, all the way from your commuters to your high-end, downhill $3,000 bikes,” he said.
Getting into cycling can be intimidating for some, so the Bike Swap provides a way to gain knowledge, save some money, and help the Albuquerque community, he said.