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Swap and Tax: On being a gearhead in the New Economy 

click to enlarge Dodging gates and taxes.
  • Dodging gates and taxes.
Dodging gates and taxes.
The stock market is in the tank. Your 401K is now a 201K. A friend of mine bought a Westside Bend house for $99,000 about 5 years ago and sold it a year later for $175,000. That person resold it at the peak of the bubble, for $275,000. Last week, I saw a "For Sale" sign in the front yard--they're asking $99,000.

Given the current state of the economy, it is no wonder that frugality is the new cool. A recent Business Week article dubbed this the "New Age of Frugality." After an era of gluttony, it's good to go back to the basics. But for outdoor addicts like me, gear is an actual necessity that ranks highly on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, probably right after food.

And, hey, my bike can provide transportation and self-actualization all at the same time, without polluting the environment. But why pony up $5,500 for that new carbon-fiber Orbea when you can find a screaming deal on a slightly used titanium Litespeed listed by an ex-developer, realtor, mortgage broker or restaurant owner on Craig's List. There's E-Bay, too, and the used gear shops. Personally, I miss Second Season Sports which provided me with a steady monthly income for years, which, of course, I spent on more gear, so it was probably a breakeven relationship at best. Repeat Performance and Gear Peddler have never quite filled the gap for me, though I'm sure they do bang-up business on extra large downhill boots for PPP at this time of year. Interestingly, swap meets are popping up like daffodils this spring. But be forewarned. Our cash-strapped government actually wants to tax your gear!


Got boats, bikes, water sports equipment, backpacking, camping and hiking gear? Need boats, bikes, water sports equipment, backpacking, camping and hiking gear? The third annual Skyliners Summer Sports Swap will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2009, from 8am until 4pm at the Mt. Bachelor Bus Barn at 115 SW Columbia Street.

A 25% commission is charged on all sales and proceeds will benefit the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation. For more information call the MBSEF office at 388-0002.


The REI Bend Used Gear Sale will be held on Sunday April 19, 2009 from 10am until 3pm in the rear parking lot of their store in the Old Mill.

The event is free, but you must be an REI member to shop (you can bring one buddy with you). For more information call REI Customer Service at 385-0594.


Got bike parts? Need bike parts? Bend's Big Fat Bike Swap will be held on Saturday May 9, 2009 from 10am until 5pm across from Cold Stone Creamery in the Cascade Village Shopping Center.

Admission for shoppers is free and there will be very low table fees for sellers. For buyers, there is a VIP Preview from 9am to 5pm for a $5.00 entry fee or $3.00 and two cans of food for NeighborImpact, which is part of the Oregon Food Bank. Proceeds will benefit the Central Oregon Trail Alliance. For more information contact COTA at

The Big Fat Swap will be preceded by the Epic Trail Ale Launch Party on Friday night at Silver Moon Brewery. Proceeds will benefit COTA as well as the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance (BPTA) and the Tumalo Langlauf Club (TLC). There will be a silent raffle, live music, and plenty of ale to go around.


Proposed House Bill 3008 bill under consideration in the Oregon Legislature would require everyone who rides a bicycle on the roads in Oregon to license their bicycles and pay a registration fee of $54 per bicycle every two years (HB 3008).

The bill probably won't make it very far, but you can see a copy of it at:


Proposed House Bill 3447 would require Oregonians to buy non-motorized boat permits for their rafts and kayaks. The biennial fee would be $50 for one boat, and $300 if you own more than five boats.

You can see a copy of the proposed bill at:

All who have concerns about this bill can contact Terry Beyer, Chair of the Transportation Committee at or (503) 986-1412. The deadline for the committee to hear all of their bills is April 17, 2009.


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