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Conti Coastings - May Edition

May is here and the birds are chirping with the anticipation of mountain bike trails being open! Gravel season is in full effect, and our spring rains are cleansing the roads of the salt and debris collected over the long winter now behind us. Catch up on the happenings at Conti below:

  • The 25th Annual Bike Swap was a huge success! A big thank you to everyone who came to the event this year!!
  • Our ski service shop is now shut down. Thanks for a great ski season!!
  • Bike service is by appointment only. Stop in or give us a call to schedule an appointment for your bike(s) to be serviced.
  • Here at Conti we had a rebranding done. You will notice an updated website as well as updated logos, color schemes, and more.
  • Our shop ambassador program has officially launched!!! The Conti Crew is stacked and stoked. The first Conti Crew event will be hosted this month. Check it out below in Local Events.

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Local Events

Congdon Bicycle Rodeo

Join us for a FREE bike rodeo at Congdon Park Elementary on Tuesday, May 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. Kids and their parents (from any school!) are invited to bring their bikes, scooters and helmets to this free family event.

The bike rodeo will feature a bicycle obstacle course, bike maintenance clinics, bike safety information, a Duluth DEVO Mountain Biking demo course, a raffle, free helmets, food trucks, and more! A bike fleet will be available for those who do not have their own bicycle. Bring a food donation and receive an extra ticket for the raffle to win a free bike!

Congdon Park Elementary

Ready, Set, Ride!

On May 20th, Leadership Duluth is working to bring bike resources to the Harbor Highlands Community! This includes helping with bike repairs, installing a permanent maintenance stand, and working with neighbors on learning bike maintenance! 

Bike Wash Party

Come wash your bike and get it ready for the summer season!!! The Conti Crew will be hanging out having fun and helping folks wash their bikes. Bike washing supplies will be provided... there might even be coffee and donuts!

Sunday, May 14th. 12-3pm @Continental Bike Shop

Gear Review

Have a Conti product you love and would like to review?!  Submit your review here!

Ride Concepts Shoes - Hellion

Ride Concepts is a new brand to Continental as of last year. I picked up a pair of their mens flat pedal shoes, the Hellion, shortly after we started carrying their shoes in our store. I now have a good season of riding baked into these shoes and they are holding up quite well. I've had experiences in the past where the sole of my shoes would be completely worn out after only a season of riding on them. However, that has not been the case with these shoes, as the sole is still there with plenty of grip remaining to cling onto my flat pedal pins. 

Prior to riding Ride Concepts shoes, my last shoes had soft soles that didn't have good contact with my pedals. They also wore out quite quickly and didn't have the snug fit that I was looking for. My Hellion shoes, however, have been sticking to my pedals like glue. I almost feel like I'm clipped in.  The sole of the shoe is quite stiff as well out of the box, but it does wear in nicely for some more feel of the pedal. Initially, I couldn't feel how my shoes were contacting the pedals at all, but after a month or so of riding I had that awareness back and the sole is still supportive. 

If you are a fan of clipless pedals, there are several options available for that style shoe available as well. Their designs allow for plenty of grip on your pedals in case you come unclipped, as the clips on the shoe are recessed. 

One of the best parts of Ride Concepts shoes are the colors they're available in. Come check them out today!

Community Corner

Want to share your recent outdoor experience with the community in next month's newsletter? Submit it here!

30 Days of Biking

Written by: Larry Mishkar

I’m fresh off another #30daysofbiking - it’s an April thing that I’ve done for a few years now.  
The logic is simple: ride your bike each day of April. It’s your call: around then block, on the trainer, at the gym, or something more epic. Then take a photo or three, usually one with your bike in the shot, and post to your social media.

It’s that simple.

Where the simplicity breaks down, however, is with the rider. And this spring, with the weather trajectory as straight as a wet noodle, getting a good ride in was a bit of mental gymnastics. But like I said, making this easy or difficult is up to you, the rider.

Thus this April was anything but straightforward. 

While I did ride some routes a few times, my mind would not allow an exact duplicate of a previous ride. 

Which was a blessing, for now I know far more routes, new neighborhoods I hadn’t explored before, and was able to work on technique, like the one you acquire when you pedal from asphalt to snow to thick slush, all at an unrecommended speed with tires too narrow. 

So in other words, it was a good #30daysofbiking.

The magic of riding this much, from 5 to 30 miles a day, 30 days in a row, is that it truly jump starts those biking legs that had been on skis for the past six months. The early spring bike races are less intimidating now, while my tolerances for “bad weather” have been blunted by controlling the mind, which started each day by carrying the bike down the steps, and hopping onto the saddle and setting out.

Living in Duluth and having both a gravel and fat bike, was helpful but not necessary. Looking back, however, this April it was necessary. It’s been only recently that I pulled the studded tires, having used them numerous times during April. And more often than not, I would take the fat bike to be on the safe side, i.e staying upright in sloppy snow or high winds or having to mix trail surfaces.

But what about those photos? I tend to post images in groups of three. And these bike rides were tours,  exploration via two wheels. As someone who is passionate about Nature and being outside as much as possible, my personal goal is to showcase what I see - what I feel - what I experience. When I bike tour, I tend to stop often, talk to strangers (or they talk to me), and generally breathe in my surroundings. It’s like me saying to you, “Come hither - check this out!” It’s like a trail report, Nature report, and photojournalism rolled into one. Each day for 30 days.

The individual photographs are journal entries, sometimes very personal, with deep back stories. Taken together each days’ photos are a journal. And if you sat down with me and looked at each photo, the story behind each would be interwoven with childhood memories, ambitions and a dose of soul searching. Taken a step further, April is my bike rider’s detox, which seems appropriate for spring, as we cleanse away winter and darkness and invite warmth, growth and light.

So where did I ride? Everywhere I could. Or wanted to. There were rides to the co-op in a full blizzard. There were rides on the Munger, back and forth between Barnum and Moose Lake. There were rides south of Moose Lake. There were rides north of Barnum. There was a lovely ride near Danbury, WI. There was a very soft ride south of Danbury on the Gandy Dancer Trail. There were rides over the Bong Bridge and ending at the Anchor for burgers. There were rides out to Wisconsin Point. And there was one particular ride that wasn’t about me; instead it was about a retired couple out for a tour on their e-trikes, talking softy, enjoying their time together, out on their bikes.  

The last ride, on day 30, was an early morning ride, as forecasts predicted rain in the afternoon. However…the wind that morning was stellar! I’ve never before been blown diagonally across a road, twice. Nor have I ever been blown so hard that a St. Louis River bike swim was in my future. To feel the force of Nature, up close and personal, by my own choosing, while on a bike, was in my mind, the perfect way to end 30 days of saddle time.

When I finally reached home, in the relative shelter of the stairs upon which I had carried my bike 59 times in the past 30 days, it was time to pause and relax. But only after the 60th climb was done.