Residents participate in Bike to Work Day in the Keweenaw

The Copper Country is well known for its strong biking community.

Copper Country residents ditched the car keys and fastened their helmets on as they rode to work on their bikes as a part of Keweenaw Bike to Work Day.

And with the weather peaking to spring conditions, the timing is perfect to get out and get riding.

“We have a really good, over here in Houghton County, a really strong biking community but it’s only half the year. There’s a few really brave souls that bike in the winter. We’re getting off to a late start this year on the biking because it’ still wet on the trails, but we have a lot of active cyclists in the area,” Bike To Work Day coordinator Ray Sharp said.

Several stations were set up across communities in the Keweenaw.

Bikers stop to re-fuel with energy bars and bananas.  They even had a chance to enter into a raffle with prizes donated by local bike shops.

Hayden Henderson works at Rhythm Bike & Board Shop and is volunteering for the event.

“Events like this kind of help to create some hype surrounding bikes and get people out there and make them remember what they liked last August and September with riding their bikes and not having the snow around,” he said.

According to Sharp, the impact that cyclists have had on the community has even affected city ordinances, including a plan recently passed by the Hancock City Council that will include the needs of bike riders when road plans are created.

“We have seven communities that are involved so we’re expanding Bike to Work Day every year. And we’re making a lot of in-roads with cities in terms of planning to make the roads safer for cyclists,” Sharp said.

Among the many benefits of riding bikes are a decrease in emissions from cars and better personal health, which are some of the many reasons to skip the gas pedal for some bike pedals.