A: Once I started riding, folks at Cross Country Sports who were already participating in the Challenge suggested I join in and help the local Keweenaw challenge. I figured it would be a good motivational tool for me while at the same time helping to rack up local miles. Little did I know the Challenge would help me to become completely addicted to riding, since I had more of an incentive to get out there and ride every day.
Q: Has the National Bike Challenge changed when and where you ride your bike?
A: Yes it has! Before I joined the Challenge, if I were out of town I wouldn't ride; but once I got into the challenge I HAD to ride every day so I could get my miles and points to be competitive in the rankings. That made me take my bike along when I'd go out of town and ride wherever we were. I'd take off early on my bike and my husband would leave an hour or two later and pick me up on the way. Riding in different cities and states made it more fun, too.
Q: What do you like about bike riding in the area?
A: I live in Lake Linden, so my favorite ride in the area is from Lake Linden to Chassell and back. I love that the bike lane on M26 is wide on both sides of the road. The trail from the Lift Bridge in Houghton out to the old Onigaming, just past the Nara Nature Trails, is a favorite of mine too. After that, the trail is gravel and I prefer the paved trails, so I get back up on the road. Having less traffic than the big cities is a plus.
Q: What would you say to others who are thinking of joining the National Bike Challenge?
A: Just do it...even if you only ride once a week, those miles and points add up and they help our local challenge to get to the top. You're getting fresh air and exercise, while breathing good Copper Country air...it doesn't get much better than that!
Q: Can you share a story from one of your rides during the Challenge?
A: I think my favorite ride from the Challenge period this year was in August. My husband and I took our two grandsons with us to the Soo Locks, Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island and we brought our bikes. It was so much fun to be riding around Mackinac Island with my grandsons. We rode to Arch Rock and then cut across the middle of the Island, past the airport and down to British Landing. The three of them took a break there, while I made a complete loop of the Island on my own. Riding with my grandsons, hopefully giving them a love for riding, was my very favorite. Afterwards, I asked the boys what their favorite part of the 3 day trip was and the 14-year-old said "riding our bikes around the Island". Maybe one of these days he'll be racking up miles for the Challenge, too!