Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tucson GABA Bike Swap Fall 2010: Swaponomic Stimulus Package

Frame the frame, truing frame, the cycle of art, the art of cycling

A deal on wheels, plus tires tires tires

Park Tool Stool, inside the coffee van

A large crowd, sharing the common goal of swapping cash for bargain bike hardware

The Sonoran Hot Dog: I Have Seen the Promised Land, and It Tasted Delicious

Bike Basket

I wanted one of these bad in 1999. Good thing he didn't take plastic today. I will lose sleep tonight over this.

Another Bontrager. More sleep loss.

A small portion of today's booty.

Je t'adore toujours dans mon coeur

We drove down to Tucson from Phoenix at O-dark-30 for the fall GABA bike swap. I cycled past the cash machine last night on my ride home from work, and extracted as much cash from the machine as seemed prudent to spend at the swap. I spent every last dollar today. There were too many bargains today to list them all (let alone buy them all), but some of the best included a pair of Serfas Drifter tires (new) for $10 each (now mounted on Bip, ready for canal-o-cross), a Niterider taillight that shares the battery with a headlight I already own and is incredibly bright, an XTR rear derailleur, a Race Face System stem, a new Bontrager Race Lite front road wheel, a new 105 10sp chain, a new set of chain rings, and many other treasures. Some of which seemed to just fall into my hands.

For example, on Friday, I mentioned to someone that I was interested in trying out a helmet mirror for commuting. Poof, a nice helmet mirror showed up at the swap, and is now mine. I mentioned that I was looking for a derailleur, and was handed a cardboard box full of new ones to sort through.

I was also fortunate to meet Big Clyde from The Clydesdale Project blog for a cup of coffee at the Peddler on the Path van (see van photo, above). This marked the first time that either of us had met up with someone in person due to inter-blog communications, and it was very cool. He currently does not bear much resemblance to his profile avatar, at least in my opinion. We chatted about cycling, including his plans to ride in the upcoming Tour de Tucson. Good luck, Clyde, I really would like to ride it with you next year!

Dear 1999 Bontrager with SID fork: you will be in my dreams tonight, bombing down an endless singletrack desert trail, carving turns, and bringing joy. With the weather turning perfect in Arizona, I will head out to the trails soon on your older, less fork-blessed sibling, my own Bontrager, and think of what could have been SID heaven. Perhaps I shall take a packet of cash to the fall swap marked "BONTRAGER ONLY" just in case you are still there...and on the bright side, there were no 58cm Poprads there to make me collapse into a quivering mass of bike lust.

I had an awesome swap. I went with no specific list this time, and feel like I came away with a bunch of useful stuff to maintain or improve my bikes. If any of it turns out to be interesting to install or use (I bought some purple Odyssey Straddle Rods for cantilever brakes, for example), you know where to look in the near future for photos and text. And thank you, Tucson and your bicycle-friendly vibe. Your swaponomic stimulus package will help this blog go to the next level. Or at least the next GABA swap. Get up. Go ride.


  1. Wow - What a crowd and what a neat swap! I even saw my favourite old green Peugeot in one of your shots. I like that bike-part garbage can too, cool!

  2. Words cannot express, well they can, but I shall use discretion.
    I suppose because of the dry desert air, all the steel frames are in pristine condition.

  3. I just turned a nice shade of green with envy. I see I need to time my visit to Phoenix with this event.

  4. That's an amazing crowd for a bike swap!

  5. Now THAT is a big swap meet. Either that or you are really clever with Photoshop!

  6. That bike basket/trash bin is THE best! great photos.. beautiful bike goods.

  7. Ali and PaddyAnne, that basket is something I would like in my own front yard. It sends the right message.

    Steve and RTP I was surprised at the size of the crowd when I turned and looked down the street from that spot. Also, I am unclever with photoshop--usually I just use irfanview to crop, resize, and adjust the exposure of my photos.

    limom some of the steel frames that spent their lives in Tucson are as fresh as the day they came out of the factory. People still sometimes manage to get them to rust here, but nothing like what salt air does to them I'm sure.

    BigOak and Oldfool you guys should come out and go GA-GA at GABA sometime. A few of the people look like they just packed up their version of OldFool's shed and spread it out on a blanket for sale. I had no idea what some of that stuff was, except that it might have been bicycle-related at some point.

  8. so cool!! lOVE the bike basket +that little cafe mobile is awesome :D

  9. m e l i, just between you and me, I love Tucson. Not just for the bike swap, either. I may relocate there some day.


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