Clean out your shed: Great Portland Bike Swap is this weekend

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FREEPORT — As he has for many years, Fred Robie will use his personality and passion for bicycles to help people find their own ride at the Great Portland Bike Swap on Sunday, April 10, in Portland.

Robie, a Freeport resident and Bicycle Coalition of Maine board member, said it didn’t take him very long to graduate from a curious observer to an active member of the organization. He works at Gorham Bike & Ski in Portland and often commutes to work by bicycle.

“I’ve been committed for a longtime,” he said. “It’s been fun to try to make Maine a better place to bike. We have the chance to help shift the idea that bikes are toys to a serious mode of transportation.”

The bike swap from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Southern Maine Sullivan Gymnasium is an opportunity for people to buy and sell bicycles. There will be hundreds of bicycles for sale including mountain bikes, road bikes, bikes for children and hybrids. There will be a test riding area and many volunteers on hand to help answer questions.

“I know there are numerous bikes out there that Uncle John or Aunt Nelly have in their shed or garage or barn that sit unused,” Robie said. “Intentions are great, but maybe this is the year the bike comes out and is given to someone in the local community who will use it. A bike could make a difference in someone’s life.”

Admission to the swap is $3 and free for children under 12 and students at USM, the University of New England, Southern Maine Community College and the University of Maine. The event is sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition in partnership with USM’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and USM’s Office of Energy and Sustainability. A 15 percent commission on bike sales will support the coalition’s work to improve bicycling in Maine.

To sell a bike, drop off is at Sullivan Gym between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Call the coalition at 623-4511 to arrange an earlier drop-off if you have many bikes to sell.

To donate a bike for sale, bring it to Gorham Bike & Ski, 693 Congress St., Portland, during regular business hours anytime before April 10. Proceeds from donated bicycles will support the coalition.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson

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Freeport resident Fred Robie, a Bicycle Coalition of Maine board member, will be available to help people find a bike at the Great Portland Bicycle Swap on Saturday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at USM’s Sullivan Gymnasium.

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