Over 4,000 cycling aficionados converged on the Carroll County Agriculture Center Sunday for STOP, SWAP and SAVE, the East Coast's largest indoor bicycle swap meet and consumer bike exposition.
"The line to get in this morning was ridiculous – in a good way," said Cameron Dilella, a Howard County cyclist.
In its 18th year, the event allows participants to meet with over 300 vendors and find an assortment of road bikes, mountain bikes, triathlon bikes, BMX bikes, clothing, bike parts and cycling accessories at discounted prices.
"I'm here for the camaraderie and the deals," said Ken Cote, a cyclist from Monkton.
Dana Diefendbach, a Pennsylvania cyclist, said she comes to the swap because it offers such a large selection.
"You can pick something up here for a fraction of the price elsewhere," said Beth Horstman, a Green Aero vendor from Queenstown.
Robin Culver, the event's organizer and promoter, said the swap included 10 nonprofit organizations, making the event a great opportunity for organizations to meet face to face with cyclists who might be interested in supporting their programs.
Besides the deals, participants were able to use the swap as a one stop shop to sign up for rides with the Tour de Cure, the American Cancer Society's Pennsylvania Hope Ride and Bike MS. Cyclists can help the nonprofits raise money for outreach and research.
Bike MS offered free registration at the swap when cyclists signed up for the program's two-day ride planned June 6 and 7.
"Our goal is to raise $555,000," said Courtney Baltimore, Bike MS's development manager. "We've already registered 10 people."
Cyclists were also able to network with community cycling programs like Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Baltimore Youth Cycling and Bike Maryland. Many participants donated their surplus bicycles or unwanted parts to the Bikes For The World, the nation's largest bicycle reuse program.
Culver said vendors are already signing up for next year to get prime real estate.
"It's a great way to kick off the spring season and it gets everyone excited for spring riding," Culver said.
Latest Carroll County News
Reach staff writer Michel Elben at 410-857-7873 or email@example.com.