VeloSwap Interview with Reese Brown

[303Cycling] Tell us something about VeloSwap's 20 year history and how you got involved.
[Reese] VeloSwap was started in 1989 by VeloNews art director Dan Wildhirt mainly because he and his friends had extra bike stuff at the end of the season and wanted to get rid of it. That first edition was held outdoors at a Boulder cyclo-cross race. Over the next few years it became apparent that the swap had outgrown any Boulder venues, so the event had to move to nearby Denver. It finally found a home at the sprawling National Western Complex, famous for rodeo and stock shows. Filling some 140,000 square feet, VeloSwap has developed into the world's largest single-day consumer bike show and swap.

I joined the team 6 years ago when the owners of VeloNews asked me to help them run the event. We have run it ever since and have had a great time doing so. The first year I did not fully understand the true meaning and scope of VeloSwap, but after that first year, I was hooked. Although there is a ton of buying and selling going on, I feel it is really about hanging out with like minded cycling fanatics. It is a great place to reacquaint with old friends and meet new ones.

I hear great stories every year from people calling the VeloSwap phone and telling me what makes VeloSwap special for them. I love that!

[303Cycling] How did the incorporation of the EcoVillage come about?
[Reese] I think the incorporation of the EcoVillage grew naturally from the event. VeloSwap is about recycling bikes and cycling equipment and keeping them out of landfills. Bringing that component to the forefront was only natural. Finding companies that recycled tires and tubes was a bit more challenging, but we now have good relationships with Alchemy Goods and Jai Tire. Our hope is to make VeloSwap a major tire and tube drop where riders save their old rubber for the event.

[303Cycling] Which cycling celebs should we keep our eyes out for?
[Reese] It is always tough for us to know what cycling celebs will be attending VeloSwap and truthfully, I do not know for this year. Last year we had several high end tri athletes, many of whom I met for the first time. We always get the local pros who live in Boulder and are in town. I do know that Sonya Looney and Jeff Kerkove will be there from Ergon. I did hear the Heather Irmiger will not be there as she is racing.

We also will have the Yellow Design Stunt Team. They do not let us know in advance what athletes are coming, but they are all well known Denver area athletes.

[303Cycling] Anything else you would like to add?
[Reese] Come on down and check out VeloSwap. If you have never been there, prepare to be wowed by the sheer volume of stuff. If you have been there before, come and reacquaint with old friends.

One of the really cool elements we added last year is the live info feed. Here you can follow what is happening at VeloSwap on your handheld or at screens around the hall. You can also become part of the conversation by sending in comments. Live Feed.

It's really the thousands of revisiting cyclists who bring together core cycling traditions from across the state and nation that make VeloSwap the cultural cycling happening it is today.

VeloSwappers live to their own beat and this pulse is directly in sync with the recycling undercurrent of the show.

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