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young riders set to stage annual swap

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

In just one week, the Young Riders will make a big impact on their team.

The Park City-based mountain biking program designed specifically for youth, with both a recreational and race team, will spend the first week in May raising money through their annual bike swap at White Pine Touring and spreading the word about team.

The bike swap, which will be held May 6-7, is designed to raise funds for the team, and at the same time share some of their cycling expertise.

"I like this, because its what we know," said Young Riders’ race team coach Tom Noaker.

The event is run and staffed by parents, riders and coaches involved with the team.

The idea behind the swap is simple. Local residents are invited to drop off their used bikes during the week leading up to the swap. With the help bike experts from the team, a price will be set for each bike, and the Young Riders will receive 20 percent of the sale. The funds will primarily be used for the race team.

The swap has been very lucrative in the past. Noaker says that it is the only fundraiser of the year for the young cyclists, so it has to be good. He estimates that the profits have grown incrementally by about 10 percent each year. Last year between 300 and 400 bikes were submitted for sale, and by the morning of the swap, a line was winding out the door.

"If we can show a 10 or 20 percent increase in gross sales, we’ll be really happy," Noaker said.

The money raised allows more kids to compete on the race team. Noaker likes to have a 5-1 coach-to-rider ratio and additional funds allow for that. There are also high costs with gas, services, registration and the insurance involved with the team’s rigorous racing schedule. Funding also allows the tuition for participation in the program to stay relatively low.

The action starts on Sunday, April 30 when the Young Riders open the doors at White Pine and begin accepting used bikes. Noaker says the rules are pretty simple.

"As long as it will roll you can jump on it and ride it out the door, we’ll take it," Noaker said.

He warns against bikes that are in ill repair, because they simply do not sell and neither the seller nor the Young Riders benefit. The bikes that don’t sell then they are usually donated to Salt Lake and Park City-based charities.

Coaches will be on hand throughout the drop-off period to help sellers determine the value of their bike. Noaker says that there are two price points at the swap. The price the seller would like to get and the price that they are willing to settle for when the swap is almost over. The process is very simple for sellers. They drop off their bikes and pick up the check at the end of the sale. He added that bikes are priced anywhere from about $300 to $4,000 and all different models and types show up every year, so buyers and sellers both go home happy.

"We actually move bikes. It works really well in that aspect," Noaker said.

On Wednesday, May 3, the Young Riders will also host an informational open house at the Jim Santy Auditorium. The night features a short bike film and coaches and riders are on hand to answer any and all questions about the recreational and race teams. It is also an opportunity to learn about camps and summer programs. Noaker says that there will be a chance for parents to signup their children for any program or the recreational team during the evening. He emphasized that all youth, regardless of skill or financial situation are welcome and encouraged to attend the open house.

"If they want to learn and be in a group of peers in the recreational or race program, they will get answers," Noaker said.

This year, the Young Riders have also been able to secure some funding for the recreational program through grant money targeting youth cycling, so disadvantaged youth have an even greater opportunity to take part.

The Young Riders began racing at the beginning of April, but will enter prime mountain bike race season in June with various racing series. For more information on the team, visit http://www.youngriders.com .

Drop-offs for the bike swap will be held on Sunday, April 30 from 2-5 p.m., Thursday, May 4 from 3-7 p.m. and Friday, May 5 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m at White Pine Touring. The informational Open House will be held May 3 at 6 p.m. at the Jim Santy Auditorium on Park Avenue. The bike swap will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at White Pine Touring, located at 1790 Bonanza Drive in the Rail Central eastside parking lot.


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