Biker Dreams 

We all remember our first bike. Whether it was bright pink with a banana seat or had rainbow tassels streaming from the handles, those first bikes forever live in a warm, fuzzy place in our memories.

My first bike was a gift for my 6th birthday. It was a bright yellow Huffy BMX, and it was my pride and joy. Family photo albums show 6-year-old me standing proudly beside my prized possession, all gap-toothed grin dressed in my favorite Chuck-E-Cheese T-shirt and light-up rainbow visor.

That bike was freedom, and I felt oh so grown up as I cruised down the street, even if I was only allowed as far as the rarely traveled road in front of our house. I rode that bike until I was far too big for it, only reluctantly passing it on to my younger sister. Other bikes have come and gone, but none holds even a candle to my beautiful yellow Huffy.

The bike I have now is the same one I've had since my freshman year of college, only now it's much harder to ride—mainly because the front brakes are just always on. Turns out, no matter how hard you pedal, if your front wheel is being grasped in a vice, your bike just won't go. Trust me, I've tried.

While my problem can probably be easily rectified with a quick trip to the repair shop, sometimes it's time to admit that it's the end of an era and time to just get a new bike.

Of course, financially, that's not always the easiest thing to do. Depending on your biking needs, some rides can cost more than a small car, and they still make you do all the work.

But short of learning how to weld so you can build your own bike out of scrap metal, there are options, namely the sixth annual Boise Bike Swap on Friday, Feb. 27, and Saturday, Feb. 28.

The Bike Swap is a wondrous place where both new and used bikes, bicycle equipment and accessories mingle together in harmony, and bring together all types of bicyclists.

The event is a lot like the annual Bogus Basin Ski Swap, in which individuals can bring their used equipment to a central area where those in need of some new-to-them gear can browse a multitude of offerings.

But the bike swap also brings new gear into the mix thanks to several area bike shops that will have shiny new bikes, gear and accessories for sale.

Not only can you walk (or roll) away on a new ride, but a portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Southwest Idaho Cycling Association, which not only organizes bike races throughout the area, but members of the group have also been known to volunteer their own time to help maintain paths and trails.

The sale will be held from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday at the Cole Village Shopping Plaza at the intersection of Cole and Ustick roads. Admission is $1, or free for those age 13 and younger. And while cash is always welcome, plastic will also be accepted. Still need more info? Check out boisebikeswap.com.

Maybe you'll find your own version of a yellow Huffy. I'll just be happy when my bike goes forward.

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