Orono bike swap set Sunday

Posted April 16, 2010, at 7:38 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — The town of Orono will sell its unclaimed bicycles at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Great Orono Bike Swap 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at the University of Maine’s Student Recreation and Fitness Center.

The Orono Police Department collects lost or stolen bicycles, and the town holds them for at least a year to give owners an opportunity to retrieve them.

Last year, the town sent 47 bicycles to the swap that had been collected over several years. This year, the swap will sell nine unclaimed bicycles from Orono and possibly more from other area police departments.

“It is a win-win-win,” said Fiona Sorensen Hamilton, a volunteer on the swap organizing committee. “There’s more bikes for the shoppers, the town clears out the backlog and bike sales make some money for both the town and the coalition.”

Norman Poirier, Orono’s parks and recreation director, said the town was glad to have an easy way to get the bikes back on the road.

“It gets more people out for recreational activities,” he said.

Hundreds of affordable, used bicycles of all types will be on sale at the swap, including mountain bikes, road bikes, classic cruisers, kids’ bikes and hybrids. A large test riding area will allow shoppers to try out bicycles. Volunteer advisers will be on hand to help with pricing and fit. A new video on the coalition’s Web site, www.bikemaine.org, explains how the swap works and shows last year’s event.

Attendees also will be able to bring their own bikes to sell at the swap for a fee of $3. In addition, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine retains 15 percent of the price of each bike sold, money used to fund its educational programs. Those who bring one or more bikes to sell will receive their portion of the sale within two weeks of the event.

The swap will feature displays by bike shops and community organizations, refreshments and information about Maine biking events. Sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine in partnership with the University of Maine, the Orono swap attracted nearly 600 people last year.

Admission is $3, with free admission for students from UMaine, the University of Southern Maine, the University of New England and Southern Maine Community College, as well as children age 12 and younger. The commission on bike sales will support the coalition’s work to improve bicycling in Maine.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has been working since 1992 to make Maine a better place to bicycle. The coalition advocates for Maine cyclists at the Legislature and in Congress, teaches bicycle safety to thousands of Maine schoolchildren each year, partners with state agencies on a Share the Road media campaign and serves as a resource on bicycling issues.

For information about the Great Orono Bike Swap, call the Bicycle Coalition of Maine at 623-4511, or visit www.bikemaine.org.

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