Our 10-step plan to survive the world’s largest consumer bike expo.
When 10,000 cyclophiles are let loose at the annual Subaru Denver VeloSwap, gearheaded pandemonium ensues. The consumer trade show and flea market offers 400-plus vendors selling gear, pros wandering through the crowd, and cycling companies dishing out schwag galore. If you’ve never been to the event—October 25 marks VeloSwap’s 20th anniversary—here are your training wheels. —Ron Doyle
1. Park your steed in the free Valet Bicycle Parking just outside the entrance, near the corner of Humboldt Street and 46th Avenue.
2. Bring your old tires and tubes to the EcoVillage, where AcuGreen Industries will recycle the tires into playground turf and Seattle-based Alchemy Goods will transform the tubes into messenger bags.
3. Head to the VeloNews raffle headquarters to enter drawings: T-shirts, autographed books, racing jerseys, and even bikes have been raffled in years past.
4. Watch fretful mothers swoon when the fearless youngsters from Yellow Designs BMX & MTB Stunt Team put away their cell phones long enough to hit the street ramp and grind the rails.
5. Bring a canvas tote and fill up on freebies from vendors: bumper stickers, pens, socks, water bottles, taillights, vitamins, and performance-enhancing…just kidding. Larabar, Naked Juice, ZYM electrolyte drinks, and Vitamin Cottage have all made past appearances.
6. Swing by Fort Collins–based Black Sheep Bike’s booth for a chance to see the Eon, the award-winning, hand-built titanium mountain bike, or the Stellar, one of Black Sheep’s newest 29-inch cruiser models.
7. Give the dusty 10-speed haunting your garage to the folks at Boulder’s Community Cycles or Denver metro area’s Recycle Bicycles Program. Both nonprofits refurbish and distribute bikes to charitable causes.
8. Grab a map, calibrate your GPS, and wander into the Individual Vendors area. From greasy-handed mechanics hawking used tools to compulsive bike collectors trying to save their marriages, you can find just about any bike gear here.
9. Sell your gear: It’s $20 to sell one bike at the Swappers Corner, or $75 for a vendor’s table.
10. Carry your bounty to the Indoor Bike Check—they’ll hold it until you’re ready to go. If your hands are full, Subaru provides a free shuttle service to the parking lot.
Go: October 25, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where: National Western Complex
Tickets: $6 advance, $8 same day