Swapping Cycles in Sacramento

By Aimee Darville

There are few things that can get me out of the house before 9:00 am on a weekend.

A few Sundays ago, Sacramento’s Cycle Swapmeet was one of them… Ok, ok 9:30am.

I’ve been hunting for a good deal on a street bike since my bike was stolen from my patio last month. This was my second bike stolen in beach-cruiser-289x300as many years I might add. The first I chalked up to life experience and an overly visible bike rail at my old apartment. I have to admit, I wasn’t devastated to replace the pink coaster (with matching pink basket) that my dad picked out for me for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I was very grateful for a ride around midtown and the reminder that I will always be a 7 year old ballerina in my dad’s eyes, but it just wasn’t me.

This time is different, I was pissed. I scoured shops for a refurbished bicycle until I found the perfect vintage bicycle at College Cyclery. I fell in love with a quirky green 70’s bike that Mike fixed up for me. I quickly got used to the gears being on the center of the frame and getting compliments on the paint job. “Free Spirit” was emblazoned on the frame (the model name I believe) and people assumed I had it done myself. I am flattered that the label fit me so well, but me, a custom paint job? As if.

My new bike has big tires to fill, and I had high hopes the Swapmeet was the place to find it. The timing was perfect after all. So I bundled up and headed to the West Wind Drive-ins for the Swapmeet. Even before I parked, the throngs of leather clad men tipped me off that the emphasis of this meet was definitely on the MOTORcycle. I considered pocketing the $6 for parking and heading back to Midtown. Still, I was there and going to check it out if for nothing else than to write about.

I did a quick tour of the vendor’s tables and to be fair there were two vendors each with a few bikes on display. Three if you count the tandem bicycle. Sadly, none of the handful of women’s bikes were what I was looking for so I left empty handed. Though, not before doing a little reconnaissance. A lady informed me there were usually more bicycles at the summer Swapmeets. Unfortunately I can’t wait until (May 19, July 21, or September 15, 2013) to replace my bike. Unless it gets stolen again of course! Just kidding, I plan on breaking the cycle (pun intended) by parking my new bike inside the apartment.

Despite my experience, I would recommend checking it out this summer if you’re looking for bike parts, a fixer-upper or anything motorcycle related. There were endless tables and blankets of motorcycle parts. I might also bring a friend because let’s face it the drive-ins are sketchy on a good day, but luckily it was an I feel like wearing all black kind of day so I didn’t stick out (too) badly!

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