Anchorage Bike Exchange Helps Ease Burden of Bike Shortage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — Anchorage residents looking for summer biking have finally been able to get out and ride their bikes, thanks to an annual Anchorage Bike Sunday.

During the ABC Bike Swap event, organized by the Arctic Bike Club, people browsed for items to buy, sell, or trade anything bike-related, and this year it was a seller’s market. The JL Tower parking lot on Sunday afternoon looked like a giant bike shop as people sold everything from bikes and parts to shirts. Arctic Bicycle Club ATV Division President Natasha Graham said people come to the event to sell items for a variety of reasons.

“We have people leaving the country and liquidating. We have children’s items that parents need to get rid of once the kids have grown up,” Graham said.

Will Ross, an avid cyclist who showed up with two used bikes cluttering up his house, said this year’s event was a seller’s market due to a shortage of bikes being faced by various shops of city bikes.

“Some of the models, you’ll go to a bike shop to check out, ETA is two or three years away,” Ross said.

Jayson Owens, who attended the event with his son, Brazos, said he heard similar stories.

“When I find what I want, I go to the store and look for it, and it’s just not there. It’s going to take six, eight, 12 months,” Owens said. “I had a friend who had just bought…a gravel bike, and he had to wait 14 months for it.”

He added that he and his son are currently looking for a gravel and mountain bike.

“My goal is always to show up to these things and look around and see if there’s anyone trying to get rid of a bike that’s worth $4,000 and give it to me for (2 $000), right?” said Owens.

However, this year it might be hard to find a bargain like that, as used bikes are selling for higher prices than normal. Owens knows this from experience.

“Five years ago you couldn’t get half of what you can get for used bikes compared to what you can get today,” Owens said. “Last year we sold a bunch of old bikes that no one would have bought before COVID, and we sold them for double what we thought we could get for them.”

Before the two-hour event ended, Steve Lindbeck and Patty Ginsburg were thrilled to have been able to sell the most expensive bike they had brought to the trade, a fat tire bike that sold for $799.

“The young woman who wants it just goes and gets her money,” Ginsburg said. “It’s a pretty successful day, even if it’s only one in four (bikes).”

“It’s the one I wanted to sell the most,” Lindbeck said. “It’s good.”

With some bike shops only stocking high-end bikes, valued over $7,000, many people at the event were thrilled to see bikes selling well below that, and they were able to leave with a bicycle and some money in their pocket.

The ABC Bike Swap is a free event hosted by the Artic Bicycle Club, a non-profit organization that also runs various races in south-central Alaska.

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