Tips for a UP trip?

For discussing Northern Michigan Mountain Biking Association events, updates, and more. This includes the Upper Peninsula as well!

Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby jfactor! » August 21st, 2012, 2:14 pm

I've never ridden up there, but it's definitely on my to-do list.

However, do NOT miss breakfast at the Suomi Home Bakery in Houghton. Try the Pannukakku. It's a Finnish oven-baked pancake and they're worth killing for. :)
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby raymears » August 28th, 2012, 8:35 am

We ended up with 4 riders, and it was an absolute blast. We hit the blue and yellow Marquette loops on Thursday morning. The blue loops had a lot of tough hills and a couple of spooky downhills, but was a very good trail. The yellow trail had great scenery and the designed part was also a very fun trail, though the end where it peters out at a ski hill wasn't so good. I think the Marquette trails come out ahead in comparisons to the western trails that have a similar style, like Yankee Springs and Ft. Custer.

Next, we had lunch at the Rice Paddy in Marquette, which is a great Thai takeout place. We got to Copper Harbor just in time to go on the group ride with Sam (every Thursday night at roughly 6). It had been raining only 30 minutes before, so we were surprised that the ride was still on, but Sam assured us that the right half of the trails were fine when wet.

The group ride was tremendous. We did Garden Brook, Woopity Woo, On the Edge, and The Flow. The other guys on the ride were stronger riders, but they waited up for us. They said we had big smiles on our faces the whole time, and I believe it. I remember laughing about how last summer, I was hooked on MTB after just one ride at Bass River, where I didn't even finish the course. CH was about 10 steps above that in difficulty and coolness.

Friday, we rode the left half - the rooty/rocky section. Stairway to Heaven was not good when wet, and many riders in our group and others slid out and bit it on the boardwalks. None of the other boardwalks had that problem. We did
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby raymears » August 28th, 2012, 8:59 am

Huh - posting error. We did Stairway to Heaven, Here We Go, Dza Beet, Simeh, De Deet, Red Trail (!!!), Mango (!), Ma Maki, Der We Went, then one guy broke a derailleur and we walked Stairway out. The ascents and descents were amazing, and we got a lot more comfortable with the bridges, though we skipped one skinny one on Mango.

On Saturday, we rode twice. In the morning, we entered from the side at Ma Maki and went across via Say Hello, Simeh, Blue Trail to Garden Brook. I think there's something goofy on the map here, as our GPS apps that were dead on at the other trails didn't agree with the map here. We ended up doing some loop twice here, then took Woopity Woo to Edge to Flow. Awesome ride.

Saturday night, we went up Stairway through Here We Go / Simeh / De Deet to Dancing Bear, then up Red to the lodge and down the road to town. That meant that we only missed the three small downhills Downtown, Flying Squirrel, and Danimal, which we guessed were beyond our ability anyway.

We ate lunches on the trails, and had dinner at Harbor Haus and Mariner twice. We stayed at the Pines about 50 feet from the trailhead and the cabin was just right.

The trails exceeded my expectations, the town was great, and the whole trip was just about perfect. We rode things I didn't think we could, nobody got hurt, and we only had one mechanical problem that the bike shop guys found an old used replacement part for.

I'm hoping we go back next year.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby dmpeterson » August 29th, 2012, 8:01 am

I'm glad that you had a good time. I LOVE Marquette and the Keweenaw. I miss living up there! Aoy (the sweet lady that own the Rice Paddy) is an awesom lady. She'll never forget your name or face. I love how she calls everyone girlfriend or boyfriend.
"Not all who wander are lost."
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby redleg_64 » August 29th, 2012, 6:03 pm

I was just up in Houghton a week ago and it was raining the whole day. I was pretty bummed out about missing the riding there and in Copper Harbor. I guess I'll have to dedicate a week of vacation just for riding around up there. I was able to hit the trails at the adventrue mine in Greenland though. Coming from Traverse City, these trails were much better than what I was used to. I had a blast out there, even though I took a pretty good spill on the dangerous curves trail. I wouldn't dedicate a lot of time to ride those trails, but if you're in the area without much to do, go hit them up. On the way back to TC I stopped in Marquette for about two hours and rode the trails there. I started at the 553 trailhead and took the yellow trail down to the river. Somehow I missed a turn and ended up on the blue trail headed uphill. I had a pretty good time and wish I had dedicated more time for the trip. There's always next year though.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby JonathanGennick » August 30th, 2012, 6:30 am

redleg_64 wrote:I started at the 553 trailhead and took the yellow trail down to the river. Somehow I missed a turn and ended up on the blue trail headed uphill.


It's an easy turn to miss, but you actually ended up taking a good route. If you stay yellow, you're in for a bugger of a climb to the top of the ski hill. The Blue Loop from that point is much more interesting and fun to ride.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby redleg_64 » August 30th, 2012, 9:37 am

Yeah, it turned out to be a good ride until I cut a corner too sharp and rode off the trail. Thankfull the friction between my legs and the rocks stopped me before I fell too far down the hill. I'm glad I fell of that trail instead of the yellow one and down into the river lol. Now I'm glad I missed my turn because I absolutely hate riding up ski hills. The UP trails told me that I need a few things for my bike. Number one are platform pedals. Sometimes I can't get unclipped in time to avoid a spill, or I can't get clipped in fast enough when restarting a climb or descent. Number two is a dropper seatpost. It gets really annoying to have the seat stab you in the but repeatedly.
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Re: Tips for a UP trip?

Postby JonathanGennick » August 30th, 2012, 12:12 pm

redleg_64 wrote:The UP trails told me that I need a few things for my bike. ...


It's really western UP. The difference between Munising area and Marquette is night and day. I'm sitting here trying to remember whether we actually have a single rock on any of our singletrack in Alger County. Probably there is a rock somewhere. But drive an hour west and you cross the edge of the Michigan Basin. The entire underlying geology changes. Terrain becomes very different. The Marquette people are very lucky to have what they have.
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