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Kitchi-Mi-Kana means good roads

Kitchi-Mi-Kana means good roads

A couple with a tandem bicycle is pictured. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Regional History Center) MARQUETTE — Marquette has become synonymous with biking, encompassing many…

Wednesday, Aug 03

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A couple with a tandem bicycle is pictured. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Regional History Center) MARQUETTE — Marquette has become synonymous with biking, encompassing many different disciplines. The county is spoiled with world-class single track mountain biking trails, winding county roads for cyclists, and miles of decommissioned rail lines for gravel riders.

The popularity of local trails is ever expanding, with Marquette’s trails being featured on websites such as bikemag.com, mtbproject.com, alltrails.com, and mtbparks.com among others. Marquette County even hosts several biking events such as Trails Fest, Ore to Shore, and the Fall Enduro that bring in thousands of people from across the country.

The growing love for biking in this community is obvious. For example how often do you see trucks with bikes on the tailgate? Or cars with bike racks attached to the hitch? You would be hard pressed to travel a block and not see a bike hanging off a car.

The origin of biking in Marquette is closely tied to early urban development. Starting in 1890, the roads of Marquette began to improve dramatically and soon were filled with cycling enthusiasts. A recollection from July 1895 states that there was a parade of “60 or more” cyclists touring around town, touting their new bikes. An unnamed author of a 1935 local newspaper article recalled biking in 1896 as a “cycling epidemic.”

That same year the Kitchi-Mi-Kana Bike Club was formed. The name “Kitchi-Mi-Kana” is derived from the Chippewa phrase for “good roads,” showing the members’ appreciation for the improvement […]

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