Chicago Bike Swap: Like ‘Wife Swap,’ Only Minus the Ick Factor

By Patty Wetli | Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Find deals on bikes, parts and gear at Chicago Bike Swap. Credit: Flickr/Bilbord99

Much as I love my bike–a reddish-orangeish Gary Fisher Wahoo! (purchased back when Gary Fisher was Gary Fisher)–I do, occasionally, have lust in my heart for a newer, sprightlier model. With a kickstand. Banana seat. Oh, and pink streamers flowing from the handlebars.

Clearly I’m not the only quasi-adulteress out there or this thing called the Chicago Bike Swap wouldn’t exist.

On March 3, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk St., more than 50 bike shops–including Heritage Bikes–nonprofits and individuals will be offering deals on bikes, parts and gear. Smaller vendors and individuals aren’t likely to accept credit cards, which is our way of saying “bring cash.” (Just don’t advertise you’ll be attending the Swap because clearly thieves will know you’re flush with Benjamins.)

Now here’s the “swap” part: Any attendee can bring as many three bikes to sell or swap. For $5 each, event staff will tag and monitor your bike(s) and buzz you on your cell phone if anyone shows interest in your Schwinn, Trek or Fuji while you scope out the rest of the show.

There’s plenty of programming at the Bike Swap to keep you busy while you wait for an offer. In addition to bike-themed games and activities, experts will present on topics like family biking and winter commuting. Members of Chicago Bike Winter–a grassroots, all-volunteer organization–will undoubtedly try to convince you that every day is a great day for riding…as long as you have a balaclava.

Entry to the Swap is free for kids under 12, $5 for members of the Active Transportation Alliance (ATA), and $10 for nonmembers. Proceeds benefit ATA, Chicago Bike Winter and Chainlink.org.

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