Not just a sport, Mountain Biking a staple of area

MARQUETTE — It’s a sport that’s been around for a while now. It’s accessible for people of all ages. But here, it’s more than just a sport. It’s a lifestyle.

“The trails have been here. We’ve had some events here for years that help bring people in to the community, really help put a bright light on the trail system,” said 906 Adventure Team President Todd Poquette.

Now, with events year in a year out, you can’t enter Marquette County without hearing about the almost unlimited opportunities to ride.

“We have 72 miles of trails here in Ishpeming; Marquette has probably the same amount or maybe more,” said Rang Area Mountain Biking Association President Danny Hill. “We have flow trails, pump tracks, whatever anybody’s looking to ride, we have here.”

Those trails provide a great workout, as well as some pretty nice scenery. The building of hundreds of miles of  these  trails wasn’t just done out of the blue. It takes a lot of cooperation between the organizations and the cities.

“They’ve embraced us and trusted us to build quality mountain bike trails for all to enjoy,” said Hill.

And with that chance, comes a lot of responsibility.

“We start to become established as one of the best places to visit for trails, and there’s more pressure put upon us to maintain that level of excellence,” added Poquette.

Local organizations are working together to get as many people involved, not just for racing, but for the fun of it.

“Our goal is to get more people out on the trails, be it kids on strider bikes to senior citizens,” said Hill.

“We have this adventure culture where, regardless of what our personal goals are, we can do it together, it isn’t about winning and losing and that whole paradigm, and it’s something that we’re sharing with our families and our kids,” said Poquette.

The sport provides a very unique opportunity to add major growth to the area.

“It creates this infrastructure between the cities of Ishpeming and Negaunee that is still kind of untapped,” said Hill. “The cities could take advantage of all that we’ve built here.”

And best of all, It’s something that sticks with you.

“It’s a lifestyle that as a kid you can do it, you can take it in through high school and college, and most importantly is you become an adult, you have kids and a family, you can pass that on and it’s something that we can do for the rest of your life,” said Poquette.