Janelle Dunn of Harpswell arrived at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Great Maine Bike Swap in Portland a little early on Sunday morning.

Accompanied by her husband, Fred, son Alex, 13, and Alex’s friend Collin Hayward, 14, Dunn said as first-time attendees they wanted it scope it out, so they got there an hour and 45 minutes before the doors opened. That is how the four, shopping for mountain bikes for the two boys, found themselves first in line and about to get first crack at the roughly 1,000 bicycles inside.

“We have never been first at anything. This is awesome,” Dunn said.

By 10 a.m. more than 400 people were lined up at the Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex at the University of Southern Maine. Hundreds more were expected during the three-hour event. An exact count was not available Sunday afternoon.

Last year more than 800 people showed up. With sunny skies and springlike temperatures at this year’s sale, the number could be even higher, said Nancy Grant, the coalition’s executive director.

“Our motto is: ‘More bikes make a better world and make a better Maine,’ ” Grant told the waiting crowd.

In its 17th year, the swap is organized by about 120 volunteers who keep the lines flowing and control the chaos as shoppers browse the racks. Sellers drop off their bikes the day before. The coalition offers pricing guidance to sellers and receives a 15 percent commission on the bike sales.

The coalition uses the proceeds to pay for programs. The swap grosses about $110,000 annually. The amount raised Sunday won’t be calculated until Monday, according to the bicycle coalition.

About 85 percent of the bikes are sold. The leftovers are often donated by the sellers to the Portland Gear Hub, a nonprofit bike and outdoor gear shop that reconditions donated bikes and gears for resale at affordable prices.

That was to be the fate of the yellow child’s two-wheeler Andrea Wollstadt of Saco brought to the sale Sunday. The bike belonged to her son, Luke Duquette, 9, who was reluctantly swapping it in for a larger model.

“He is so attached to it. He loves it so. But he has outgrown it and his knees are bumping the handlebars. I told him we would donate it to some other little boy or girl who would love it,” Wollstadt said.

Luke said he will miss it, but he was optimistic about finding a good replacement.

“A bike with a low seat and blue,” Luke said of his specifications.

Peter Rudenberg, 16, of Falmouth and his father, Paul, stood toward the end of the line but said they were not worried about the inventory running out before they managed to get inside.

Peter, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall and still growing, said he was not too concerned because he didn’t see many other tall bike buyers.

“There are probably plenty of tall bikes,” he said.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

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