Marquette honored for mountain biking excellence

MARQUETTE — Two areas of the Upper Peninsula are now attracting attention from mountain biking enthusiasts around the world for the quality of their trail systems.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association has named Marquette a bronze-level IMBA Ride Center. The honor means that the area has something for any rider, from expert runs to family-friendly trails.

“We have an unbelievable amount of single-track here,” Marquette County Convention & Visitors Bureau recreational director Candy Fletcher said. “The mountain biking’s fantastic. We take a lot of pride in our trails, and also there’s a lot of volunteers that put a lot of work into them as well.”

The organization presented the honor in Steamboat, Colorado recently. The award process is very selective. Communities can only be named a Ride Center after being invited to apply first.

“There’s a lot of people that apply,” Fletcher said. “However, there’s one gold (Ride Center) in the whole world. There’s, I believe, ten silver.”

Copper Harbor is one of those ten silver-level IMBA Ride Centers. It received that distinction two years ago.

Marquette is now one of 16 bronze-level Ride Centers around the world.