October 22, 2016
By Stephane Mortier
Although we like to say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather,” this was our first bike swap on a blustery, rainy day. Not only did the temperature drop (to a seasonally 48 degrees) with a light but steady rain, but the gusts of wind caused quite a challenge. Although we had 3 tents available, we were not sure they would stay in place.
Luckily, there were no objections for us to setup inside with the general swap folks this time.
The Bike Swap was part of the Hillside Community Swap, an event that both helps some clear out their closets and garages, and provides others with “new to you” items – for free! Bike&Walk Montclair has been partnering with the Hillside Swap’s organizer, Jane Marcus, for four years now and has redistributed hundreds of bikes to kids and adults!
It was a little tricky to organize the participant line at the entryway to the school. Our crowd management consisted of two announcements: “Bike swap on the left! Everything else swap on the right!”
Three adult volunteers and two kids picked up 15 bikes on Friday, which were stored in the cafeteria, as usual. Six more bikes were donated in the morning, for a total of 21 bikes. Mostly 16 & 20 inch wheels, 2 or 3 24 inch, and 1 beach cruiser (26 inch), in addition to a couple 12 inch units.
On Saturday, 4 adults and 6 kids volunteers
rode slowly pushed the bikes through the school’s hallways to the swap area. (There is no riding bikes in the halls!)
The turnout of participants in the swap (general and bikes) was lower than usual due to the weather, and the swap started a little earlier than usual: the general swap at 8:50, we followed suit at 8:55.
By 9:05 we had satisfied all participants who had been in line, and still had half of the bikes on hand. Participants trickled in little by little, and by 9:45 we closed shop for lack of participants and a low quality of left overs.
Debbie represented Bike&Walk Montclair at the entrance of the bike pick-up area, and sold Tour de Montclair overstock Goodie Bags in addition to talking about Bike&Walk Montclair’s mission to our public.
1 North Arlington
2 Jersey City
Thanks to volunteers Simon & 2 kids, Jason & 2 kids, Ken & 2 kids, and Debbie!