A Day at the San Diego Velodrome Velo$wap

The San Diego Velodrome VeloSwap took place this past weekend to the delight of cycling enthusiasts from near and far. The VeloSwap is an annual Fall tradition where sellers can unload old cycling gear that is no longer needed and where buyers can find the killer deal or old part that has been eluding them at the local bike shop.

With eBay fees at an all time high and Craigslist transactions ending in murder, the VeloSwap is a pretty good alternative.

The San Diego Velodrome is a great venue that lets the sellers set up on the infield of the track starting at 7 am, while a long line of buyers forms outside the track waiting for the gates to open at 9 am and for the frenzy to begin!

Believe or not, there is a system to having a successful Swap Meet for some! The buyers want in the VeloSwap as soon as possible so they can get dibs on products that they are looking for. In fact, we had a few buyers that were standing in line offer to help pay part of our sellers fee if they could get in our car and drive in, so that they would be inside before the Swap opened to the line of buyers! It is also not uncommon for the sellers to get a jump start after they have set up and buy things from other sellers before the gates open!

This year I went with the goal of selling my beloved red Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod. I have had a Cannondale EVO Hi-Mod frame and SRAM Force 10-Speed Gruppo sitting there ready to build for nearly two years, but have been so busy that it just hasn’t happened. I decided if I could sell the SuperSix and the 10-Speed Gruppo, I would upgrade to SRAM Force 11-Speed and finally get it built!

The day before the Swap, I went for a ride and have to admit I got a little sentimental during the last mile when I realized that if I sold my bike, this was going to be my last ride on it! We shared a lot of great rides, travels and experiences together, so it kind of hit me!

As the VeloSwap bustled along and items were sold, I got a lot of inquiries on my bike, “What size is it? How much do you want for it.” This happened many times throughout out the day, so I thought there was a pretty good chance that it would sell.

There was one guy in particular that seemed like he really wanted it and came by to check it out three times and on the third time asked me, “What is the lowest price you’ll take for the bike?” I gave him an answer that was $100 less than I previously asked for and he said,”I’ll think about it.”

About an hour later he came back and offered me $100 less than my new low price. Ha! This is the fun of the Swap Meet … the art of the haggle … minus the sleazy car salesman tactics!

In the end, we agreed on a price and I sold my SuperSix to a nice man named Marco who really wanted and appreciated my SuperSix. I am happy that my bike found a good home and someone that will enjoy it as much as I did!

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Since I was trying to get rid of “old stuff”, I usually try not to buy “new stuff” at the VeloSwap, but this year I was stoked to pick up a Serfas Furano saddle with carbon rails for my new EVO for just 10 bucks and cute Cannondale shop shirt for a great price!

All in all, the VeloSwap is a fun day where you can get some smokin’ deals, get rid of old bike gear that you no longer need (but someone else will appreciate), see old friends and meet some new friends! I am sure we’ll be back for some more VeloSwap action!

Word & Images by Christy Nicholson / SoCalCycling.com

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