At first glance it seemed like the cash for clunker bike promotion at Daniel Boone Cycles was little more than a spoof on the government program to get some advertising for the bicycle shop. Turns out, you might call it a political statement.
"It's a matter of making people aware they can go green, have a new bike, and it can all be done by private enterprise," Joy Boone, who started the shop in 1968 by buying and selling used bikes, tells Hair Balls. "Every dealer in town could do the same thing."
Boone isn't the biggest fan of government. She received a $200 check from one stimulus program, she says, but that money just went back to paying taxes.
"I think [the government] has wasted a lot of money," Boone says. "The cash for clunker program was probably the wisest thing they did, because it put the money in the hands of the people without 20 million layers of bureaucracy."
Daniel Boone's cash for clunker program starts September 1, and the shop will take old bikes until the end of that month. A person will get 75 percent trade-in value on an old bike -- up to $450 -- and has to spend at least $100 more on a new bike. The cheapest bikes at Daniel Boone start at about $340.
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The shop won't accept any department store bikes, kid's bikes or "rust buckets."
"We're not here to print money for Boone's, and Big Government isn't going to do it either," Boone says. "We're going to have to break even at this, if not make a little money."
From October 1 to November 1, the fixed up clunker bikes will be sold. The shop hasn't had a trade-in program before, and Boone calls this venture an "experiment."
"If it's a success, if it draws in a lot of people, it's something we could continue doing," Boone says. "I think there will be a lot of people that think about trading in an old bike, but I don't want to put my neck out there too long."