About Bike the Keweenaw
Updated:March 1, 2011
There are some great places to ride out there, no doubt about it. But if you were to score overall rideability on the quality of roads and mountain bike trails, on the length of travel time to trails, the amount of traffic on roads, scenery, terrain, topography and weather, you’d have a hard time beating the Keweenaw.
As great as the riding is, after numerous encounters with mountain bikers, roadies and touring cyclists who have either stumbled upon roads and trails, or stumbled past them for lack of information, I set out to spend a winter doing a brain dump of two decades of riding the Keweenaw roads and trails. My goal: create a resource for cyclists of all types, both fat- and skinny-tire riders as well as locals and bikers from outside the area. While great information is out there (a big shout-out to keweenawtrails.com, in particular), it’s presented in the broader context of fun things to do in the Keweenaw – of which there are plenty besides cycling. It’s the cycling, however, that keeps this roadie turned mountain biker in the Keweenaw. Ok, the skiing isn’t half bad either, but that’s another story altogether.
Mountain biking in the Keweenaw has seen plenty of coverage in recent years, and attention has been focused on its northern tip, Copper Harbor, where the Copper Harbor Trails Club has been doing an amazing job building, maintaining, and promoting their 25+ mile and growing trail system, part of which was recently awarded the coveted EPIC status by the International Mountain Biking Association, IMBA. Further down the 50-mile-long peninsula, however, information on the other mountain biking trails is a bit harder to come by. No fewer than five other trail systems dot the Keweenaw in addition to Copper Harbor and each is distinct in its own right. My favorite? What day of the week is it?
On the Road
With well over 100 miles of hand-built trail, you may think the Keweenaw is solely the domain of fat-tire riders. Think again. The outstanding scenery, low-traffic, good road conditions, and varied terrain make for some of the finest riding in the Midwest – if not anywhere. Between Houghton and Keweenaw counties, there are nearly 700 miles of pavement, only a tiny fraction of which are best avoided if traveling by bicycle. And if you're into touring, be it cross county or around Lake Superior, you'll likely count the miles along the Keweenaw shoreline and final stretch of US-41 near Copper Harbor among the highlights of your trip.
With Bike the Keweenaw, I’m hoping to provide information on everything I’d want to know about the Keweenaw if I was coming to ride here: where to ride, what to avoid, where the climbs are, what the different trail system are like and how to find them, the low-down about local events, what to do when I’m done riding for the day. There are probably plenty of other details other people consider important when heading somewhere to ride, so if something’s been overlooked, let me know and I'll work on adding it.
Riding in the Keweenaw rocks, and the world should know about it! This is one guy's part in getting the word out.
cts - March 2011