Anchorage bike swap helps ease bike shortage burden

Anchorage bike swap helps lessen the bike shortage burden
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 9:42 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage residents looking for some summer cycling were finally able to get outdoors and go riding, thanks to a yearly bike swap Sunday in Anchorage.

At the ABC Bike Swap event, hosted by the Arctic Bicycle Club, people perused items to buy, sell or trade anything bicycle related, and this year, it was a seller’s market. The JL Tower parking lot on Sunday afternoon looked like one giant bicycle store, as people were selling everything from bikes and parts to shirts. Chair of the Arctic Bicycle Club mountain bike division Natasha Graham said people come to the event to sell items for a variety of reasons.

”We got folks who are leaving the country and are liquidating. We’ve got kids items that parents need to get rid of after the kids have grown out of it,” Graham said.

Will Ross, an avid cyclist who showed up with two used bikes that were cluttering up his house, said this year’s event was a seller’s market due to a bicycle shortage that various bike shops around town are dealing with.

“Some of the models, you’ll go into a bike store to check out, the ETA is two or three years out,” Ross said.

Jayson Owens, who attended the event with his son, Brazos, said he has heard similar stories.

“When I find what I want, I go to the shop and look for it, and its just not in. It’s going to be six, eight, 12 months,” Owens said. “I had a friend just buy ... a gravel bike, and he had to wait 14 months for it.”

He added that he and his son are currently in the market for a gravel and mountain bike.

“My goal is always like show up at these things, look around, and see if there is somebody that is trying to get rid of a bike that is worth $4,000 and give it to me for ($2,000), right?” Owens said.

However, this year, it might be tough to find a bargain like that because used bikes are selling for higher prices than normal. Owens knows from experience.

”Five years ago, you couldn’t get half of what you can get for used bikes as what you can get today,” Owens said. “Last year we sold a bunch of old bikes that nobody would have bought before COVID, and we sold them for twice what we thought we could get for them.”

Before the end of the two-hour event, Steve Lindbeck and Patty Ginsburg were thrilled they were able to sell the most expensive bike they brought to the swap, a fat tire bike sold for $799.

”The young woman that wants it is just going off to get her money, “ Ginsburg said. “It’s a pretty successful day, even though it is just one out of four (bikes).”

“This is the one I wanted to sell the most,” Lindbeck said. “It’s great.”

With some bicycle shops only having high-end bicycles in stock, worth upwards of $7,000, many people at the event were pleased to see bikes selling well below that, and they were able to ride away with a bike and some money in their pocket.

The ABC Bike Swap is a free event hosted by the Artic Bicycle Club, a nonprofit that also hosts different races around Southcentral Alaska.

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