NTN grooms for winter biking opportunities

The Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN) has added more than 20 miles to the 75 kilometers of ski trails volunteers groom each winter. New to the 2012/2013 season, the NTN plans to groom 20 plus miles of singletrack on the NTN  South Trails for winter biking.

Photo Courtesy: Aaron Peterson/aaronpeterson.net

NTN Board Member Mike Brunet has groomed a few times after recent snowfall in Marquette.  “Please run low tire pressure 2 to 3 psi (when you ride)”, he said.  “Throughout the season we’ll groom as often as we can get the machine through certain sections.”

The decision highlights the Marquette area’s commitment to winter’s newest emerging sport.  According to the four Marquette bike shops, sales of fat bikes have exploded in the last two years.  And those owners are looking for somewhere to ride.

“I did enjoy when it was groomed a little, last year.  Grooming (the trails) would offer more rideable days”, said Marquette rider Dave Grant..  “ Ungroomed snow is not rideable. Frozen snow is not rideable, so grooming helps extend the season.”

Marquette rider Nicole Alexander, an avid bike rider, says the snow allows her to ride more advanced trails.  “There is something really cool about utilizing trails that you could only ride during some parts of the year”,  Alexander said.  “The trail rides completely different without the roots and rocks. You ride stuff you wouldn’t ride in the summer. It’s like new trails. A lot of people know them well from riding them all summer, but know it looks totally different.”

The 20 miles at the NTN South Trails will comprise sections of existing trails, weaving from the Benson Grade, up the Green Trail, way out into the wilderness, around the Greywalls golf course and more.

“I don’t want to give too much away.  I want riders to come out and be surprised”, said Brunet.

New hot pink signs, donated by Signs Unlimited, will direct riders to the singletrack groomed for winter use.   As with the blue trail signage, all the new hot pink signs are reflective, making it easier for riders to navigate at night with a headlamp.

Riders can support snow bike grooming this year by purchasing a “Support the Groom” card at Marquette bike shops and the NTN office, located on Fair Avenue.

The NTN would like to thank the generous donors who’ve invested in snowbiking on the NTN trails for the 2012/2013 season.   Those donors include Signs Unlimited, the Marquette Golf and Country Club, City of Marquette, Marquette Township, Lakeshore Bike, Sports Rack, Downwind Sports, Quick Stop Bike Shop, Black Rocks, Ore Dock Brewing Company, and private donors.