Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH - We couldn’t tell it was April by the weather, but there’s one Northland Spring tradition that rolled on as planned.
The weather has been a poor indicator of Spring, but the 7th Annual Continental Bike Swap was a hopeful sign to many customers.
“I just thought I need a bike and maybe if I get a bike, I’ll send out this cosmic energy to let Spring happen,” Jeff Niesen, a bike swap customer, said.
New to the Northland, Jeff didn’t want to wait in the chilly morning air and just hoped for the best.
“I came by yesterday and checked out some stuff and you know I’m not going to come here at 8a.m. and get in line. I’m just going to see what happens and wing it,” Niesen said.
But the cold spring air didn’t stop many others from lining up this morning.
“It’s grown a lot in the last couple years. This morning we had a block and a half line. We didn’t open the actual sales until 10a.m. today,” Erik Howard, employee at Continental Ski & Bike shop, said.
Organizers said they started the day with over two-hundred bikes, now all that remains is a modest selection.
“There’s a lot of people that want to bike this summer. They’ve been couped up all winter or just skiing, and it’s time to switch over to a new sport,” Howard said.
New bikes from the shop are also being sold at discounted price, but the real draw is people selling their own bikes.
“They’re all in good condition. Whenever someone brings in a bike we make sure to do a run through to make sure it is running okay,” Howard said.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will go to United Way, with the rest of the profits going to the bike’s seller.
And for Jeff, getting a later start didn’t hurt his chances of finding the perfect bike.
“I was just walking by, this guy came off the truck and I just thought that’s it, that’s what I wanted,” Niesen said. “It came as I did, it arrived right when I did. It was fate, it was meant to be.”
Jeff hopes to enjoy his first summer in Duluth by riding the city’s hills with his new bike, and we all hope that day comes sooner rather than later.