Bicycles are on display at the 2013 Great Maine Bike Swap, hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, in Portland. The bike swap returns in June 2021 after the pandemic canceled the event last year. Credit: Courtesy of Bill Skoolicas

PORTLAND, Maine — The Great Maine Bike Swap, a widely anticipated annual event where southern Mainers buy or sell affordable used bicycles, will return this Saturday after a pandemic-related hiatus. 

The pandemic had the effect of encouraging many Mainers onto bicycles, as people searched for activities and exercise while indoor gatherings were discouraged by health officials. Many bike shops sold out of their inventory in the spring of 2020, and some remain unable to meet demand more than a year later.

People relied on bicycles last year “whether it was for their physical health, mental health, a break from remote work, a way to stay busy on weekends or a safer way to socialize with family and friends,” said Jean Sideris, Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s executive director.

While popular interest in bicycles may be riding high, the annual bike swap is expected to be a bit pared down from years past, according to organizers from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. The coalition is still seeking volunteer bicycle experts to help with on-site maintenance and pricing, and attendees will still be able to test-ride their bikes at the location.

The organization is capping the number of bikes a vendor can sell to five, limiting bulk sellers and prioritizing independent vendors.

The Portland event will convene outdoors from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Kennedy Park in East Bayside, a break from its typical indoor location at the University of Southern Maine’s Sullivan Gym to encourage spacing as the coronavirus pandemic lingers. Admission is free, and there is a $5 fee per bike for vendors.

For more information, visit the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s event page.

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