Keweenaw and Other U.P. Teams & Clubs

March 1, 2011
road | mountain | racing

The Western U.P.'s nine cycling teams/clubs offer something for everyone, be it a highly competitive racer with aspirations of the big time, someone who wants to be regionally competitive, weekend warriors who want a group to race and train with, or cyclists just looking for other people to ride with. In addition to the teams with roots in the U.P., there are a few riders around who have taken the next step and are racing for regional and even national teams.

Even though emphasis on Bike the Keweenaw is on cycling in the Keweenaw, we're including the teams and clubs located outside of the immediate area here for the sake of completeness. If you race at all in the Keweenaw, you're sure to see most, if not all, of the team colors. If you're new to the area and/or are looking to get into racing, perhaps you'll find your match here. Note, however, that teams may have certain membership requirements, or may not even actively be pursuing new members.

Red Jacket Cycling Team

Base: Houghton
Members: 17
Website: www.redjacketcycling.com
Founded: 2008


This Houghton-based team focuses more on competition than on being competitive. That's not to say members don't ride hard. The Red Jackets are all about promoting competitive cycling in the Keweenaw, and welcome anyone who is committed to racing, regardless of ability. The team's trademark red and white stripes are a frequent site on the back roads and trails of the Keweenaw. They're seen from time to time on the podium at races at well. The Red Jackets bring two days of cyclocross to the Keweenaw every year with the Keweenaw Cup.

Team Dorfblick / Flyer Cycles

Base: Hancock
Members: ~15
Website: N.A.
Founded: 2008


Often an unknown, always a danger. Based in a rustic chalet atop Hancock's fabled Mont Ripley ski resort, Dorfblick riders, garbed in their motley kit, move like the wind. More than once, riders in a peloton have been left looking at each other as a hitherto racer in pink, blue and purple (sometimes covertly, out of uniform), has motored down the road, to take his chances alone – often with success. The team tends toward the more competitive side, but is still all about having fun on the bike.

Keweenaw Trekkers

Base: Houghton / Hancock
Members: ~>50
http://www.admin.mtu.edu/~rbdalqui/
Founded: 1989


What started off as a group of friends who got together for a weekly round of golf and dinner gradually transformed into a group that now encompasses the better part of the Houghton/Hancock silent-sport community. Though a loosely knit organization, members (i.e. anyone who wants to get involved) still get together for weekly mountain bike rides and snowshoe outings, as well as adventures of all types throughout the year. A great group of people, and a great place for cyclists and silent sport enthusiasts in general who are new to the area to meet other like-minded individuals. Check out the website for additional information.

C4 / Michigan Tech

Base: Michigan Tech / Houghton
Members: ~40
Website: cycling.students.mtu.edu
Founded: 1970s


Though only open to Michigan Tech students, the club meetings and rides have – for decades – been a gathering point for Tech riders. In addition to the Copper Country Color Tour – a 200k ride through the Keweenaw every autumn – the club fields a strong collegiate mountain bike team. Racing DII, the team hits races throughout the Midwest all fall. With the long Keweenaw winters, springtime riding is a bit of a challenge, adding a hurdle to being competitive during the collegiate road season. The club also maintains a dirt jump trail and dual slalom course at the Michigan Tech Trails.

KMK (Kitchi-Mi-Kana) Cycling Club

Base: Marquette
Members: ~200
Website: www.kmkcycling.com
Founded: 1895!


By far the largest cycling organization in the U.P., Marquette's KMK cycling club works to enhance cycling-related opportunities for its members, novice to elite. The club has also successfully expanded the sport of cycling in the Marquette area while promoting a fun friendly cycling community and racing opportunities for riders of all abilities – and continues to do so. A USAC-affiliated organization, the club sponsors two competitive teams, Chocolay Ace and Sisu Cycles.

Chocolay Ace Cycling Team

Base: Marquette
Members: 10
Website: chocolayacecyclingteam.blogspot.com/
Founded: 2007


The original U.P. powerhouse, Chocolay Ace Cycling Team has been crushing its competitors for nearly five years. Peloton patron and director sportif Tom Maheney has managed the team since its inception, orchestrating a group of cyclists possessing a fine blend strengths and riding styles. No break goes unchecked, no hill climb uncontested. A force not only on the road, the team has always fielded contenders on the trails and on the cx circuit as well.

Sisu Cycles

Base: Marquette
Members: 7
Website: www.sisucycles.blogspot.com
Founded: 2008


Sisu Cycles has helped set the tone to the U.P race scene the past three seasons. Veteran rider Jesse Bell has led the charge, with numerous podium finishes both on the road and on the trails. Firecracker Chris Lnych, who joined the team in 2010, rocketed through the road ranks all the way to Cat II in his first year of serious racing. Managed by D.S. and Sisu Cycles owner and framebuilder Matt Palomaki, the team strives to promote good health, friendship and safety while offering a venue for competitive cycling to riders in the Midwest and beyond.

Range Mountain Bike Club

Base: Ishpeming
Members: ~40
Website: http://www.countryvillageresort.com/httpdocs/html/range.html
Founded: 1997


The Range riders are the driving force for cycling at the western edge of the greater Marquette area. A passion for trail building (and riding) has led to the development of over 50 miles of singletrack. Perhaps not always built to IMBA standards, the trails tend toward the technical side, though there is plenty of smooth and flowy to be found as well. For an outsider, the many of the trails are difficult --if not impossible --to find. To learn about the trails (and the club), your best bet is to show up for one of their weekly rides - every Wednesday during the spring and summer at 6pm from the Jasper Ridge Brewery.

Culver's Racing

Base: Ishpeming
Members: 7
Website: culversracing.blogspot.com
Founded: 2010


In their first year, the team as quickly become one of the top squads in the U.P. Founding team member Tyler Gauthier notched top 10 finishes in multiple expert class WORS races, which pitted him against some of the top riders in the Midwest. Gauthier also took wins on the road, including the fabled Cherry Roubaix in Traverse City. The team's palmares include the Michigan road championship and Superior Bike Fest omnium titles claimed by another rising force, Tom Carpenter. The team, organized as part of Ishpeming's Range Mountain Bike Club, is certain to remain a powerhouse well into the future.