Founded nearly a decade and a half ago by the Wisconsin Bike Fed, the Bike Bazaar has mophed over time into a Milwaukee Recreation-organized fundraiser for its Milwaukee Mountain Bike program.
The event is Saturday, Feb. 25 – today! – at Riverside University High School Community Center (aka the gym), 1615 E. Locust St., and runs until 3 p.m.
I stopped over for a peek and there were more than 30 vendors selling new and used bikes, bike parts and accessories, clothing and more.
The vendors – who travel from far and wide – pay a fee for their space and keep the money they make.
Anyone can bring a bike to sell in the bike corral and details on how that works are here.
The admission fee and those vendor rentals help fund the MKE MTB program, which currently has 25 students (24 of them attending MPS), who learn how to ride and take biking trips.
Merchandise donated to MTB is also for sale and all that money goes straight into the program, too, according to organizer Milwaukee Recreation's Andrew Rossa.
While there, I met a vendor from central Missouri and a shopper seeking vintage bikes and accessories from Madison.
"It always surprises me how far people travel to come to this event or as a vendor," Rossa says. "I've met some even paying customers over the years that travel to bike shops throughout the Midwest.
"They just decided, you know, 'hey, there's one in Chicago, hey there's one in Milwaukee.' I believe there are some people from St. Louis and Indiana just as paying customers (today)."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.