Young Riders hold yearly bike swap
In a year full of unknowns, Young Riders coach Tom Noaker is curious to see what this year’s Bike Swap fundraiser will bring.
Noaker is not sure if the economic downturn will keep people away, or if the push to "be green" will bring more people out.
These are the things that swirl in Noaker’s head as he and the other coaches and Young Riders athletes get ready for their one-and-only fundraiser of the year. Noaker said that every year has been better than the last, and he’s hoping that this year will be the same.
This weekend, the event will move to the old Anderson Lumber yard, a donation from Mark Fischer, giving the Young Riders plenty of space to spread out. Noaker expects there to be the usual array of bikes, from throw-aways to $4,000 race bikes. He is hoping to use the extra square footage at the yard to allow people to demo the bikes before purchasing.
Mountain bikes will be most likely be the most plentiful and most popular item, but there will also be road bikes, BMX bikes, cruisers and maybe even a few tricycles and unicycles.
Noaker says that there is usually a wide range of bikes to select from, but warns that people should probably arrive at the swap close to 8 a.m. on Saturday in order to get the best bikes. Traditionally, people line up long before 8 a.m. just to get the first look at the swap’s selection.
This year, the team used aggressive marketing, getting the bike swap on calendars around the community months ago. They also placed an ad in Cycling Utah magazine, a free publication that is distributed to all of the bike shops in the region.
Last year, a snowstorm coincided with the bike swap, but attendance still soared. This year might bring more of the same, but Noaker is more worried that the wet weather has already affected some people’s desire to ride.
"Weather is not helping enthusiasm," Noaker said.
He said, that so far this year, the Young Riders athletes have spent much of their own bike time indoors, training on spin bikes and he has definitely seen spirits dampened by the incessant snow.
With the economy being what it is, Noaker has no idea how that will affect the swap. He said on one hand, people might seek out a swap to get a good deal, or want a bike to save money on gas, but then again, financial woes could keep people away all together. He is hoping that most people look at cycling as a sport of passion and are willing to shell out money to get a good bike, even if it means cutting corners elsewhere.
"It’s hard to say," Noaker said.
All of the Young Riders coaches will be on hand at the swap to help people find the right bike. Parents and athletes are also volunteering their time all weekend to keep things running smoothly.
The Young Riders/White Pine Annual Bike Swap will be held at "The Yard" (Old Anderson Lumber Site) located at 1251 Kearns Blvd. The swap will be held Saturday, May 3, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Young Riders retain 20 percent of the sales to help support a variety of youth cycling program. No non-working or damaged bikes will be sold. Some sellers may reduce their prices on Sunday. All unsold bikes will be given to the Bicycle Collective in Salt Lake to be used for parts to fix old bikes. The charity provides refurbished bicycles and educational programs to the community. For more information about summer programs, visit http://www.youngriders.com.
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