GABA Bike Swap 2017

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It’s refreshing to move to a new city and set about trying to connect with people.

One thing is true about Tucson.  Even though there are one million, give or take, residents in this large and diverse part of the country, in some ways there is still a small town feel.  Being from another bike friendly city if I had to compare the two, I’d say Tucson extends a warmer welcome to newcomers.

Today I’m sporting a Tucson tan which matches the color of my $3.00 – yep just three buckaroos – new riding gloves: red.  Guess when it’s cloudy sunscreen does still matter.  Not so much in the Northwest, but I digress…

As with any swap meet, especially a GABA bike swap, I saw plenty of bikes, and bike parts, and people looking at bike parts.  If you’ve been around bikes for any amount of time, then you are bound to know the nerdy gear-heads.  Okay, so if you take offense to anything I said just now, sorry.  Just fill in your own blanks.  Here I’ll make it easy:  people who get giddy when tinkering – or building bikes from scratch (or that came in a box) are: ______________________.  You get my point.

Honestly, I am SO glad that you guys and some really excellent bad-ass girls, are there.  Because I’m still trying to wrap my brain around gearing ratios but find myself yawning and checking the time.  So here’s what I experienced and heard today:

  • Dogs – cute, fun, but not everyone takes their dogs with them on their bikes.  I wondered why?
  • LSA – selling beer and offering other goodies, but it seemed like a slow day. Too many clouds? Maybe.  Palm Sunday – shouldn’t have one? Dunno.
  • El Grupo’s Damion Alexander – talks fast, has a good sense of humor, is serious about bikes, safety AND real estate.  Has a camera AND a lense that have names that escape me at the moment.  See him for most excellent pictures of the event, even a passing train.
  • There is a bike polo group that meets at the UofA and they play on grass.  I thought they all played in the street but learned that this is the “real” bike polo.
  • Ordinary bike staff were having extraordinary fun, were helpful, and topped off my water bottle.
  • Talked to some out of town tourists who made a snarky comment about a mangled bike and I took the opportunity to advocate for no distracted driving because it has consequences – life changing and sometimes deadly.  They walked back their comments and I directed them to the vendor selling bike helmets so their son could get one.
  • Talked to a man sitting on a recumbent in the middle of the intersection who said that he wasn’t having much luck today but had sold bikes that way in the past.
  • Saw a Bacchetta bent bike and some awesome folding bikes – glad to know there are dealers in town.
  • Talked to several vendors who are in the bike rental business.  
  • Spoke with one rental outfit owner who wants to pass legislation to eliminate two-abreast riding and making it mandatory for single file only.  Now that is an interesting issue.  I found it fascinating that a person in the bike business would want to impose vehicle supremacy bias on the very customers who support the business.  Interesting paradox.

Here’s hoping that you found just what you were looking for at today’s event.  

It’s BikeFest all month long so log those miles, attend events, and ride on.

by Aleta Wright, editor.publisher  520-329-2022. Tips, story ideas.