For us, Ore2Shore is the absolute highlight of summer. It’s more than a race; it’s an entire experience.
The trip to Ore2Shore is always worth it. The annual August trip across the bridge isn’t always easy. For a lot of us, it takes a day or two off of work. It take a lot of packing, especially if the kids are coming...and if the kids bring a friend or two. It’s a long drive no matter where you’re from, and the folks who make it from the Lower Midwest make it even more impressive. But for all the packing, all the miles, and all the work to placate wild kids in the backseat, the experience of Marquette in peak summer, of flying through clouds of thick red ore dust, and reliving the action with friends...it’s a no-brainer.
This year, we were able to meet a few dozen new pals as they picked up their free up.bike shirts from the #AdventureHub. Some of those faces were still dirty from racing. We even had a hard time recognizing friends and pals from Traverse City due to the thick, almost sooty dust caked on faces, arms, and legs from a dry day in the Upper Peninsula.
The weather couldn’t have been much better. The heat that characterized previous years took a lot longer to turn itself up, and the start line was entirely comfortable as over 1,000 riders queued up. As always, the opening miles of the race were chaos. There’s no way to set off that many riders without incident, but this year saw some serious carnage. Luckily, mountain bikers are good people; for every rider down, there were a half dozen ready to halt their race and lend a hand.
It’s that camaraderie and community that makes our sport so special. After Saturday’s race, we spent the afternoon and evening reliving the action with friends, drinking the local beer, and planning for what was next. We were able to hitch on with our pal Marc on his Sunday spin. Marc spends a lot of time in Marquette and led us on a really cool tour of the Noquemenon Trail Network. Even tired and battered by the previous day’s efforts, we still had a ton of fun riding on trails that are totally unlike what we have at home.
This isn’t the Adventure Hub’s last trip for August. Next weekend, we’ll be heading to Glacial Hills for more racing. The Short’s Glacial Hills Challenge is one of the most fun races of the year and the second in the NMMBA Trail Series, three events events that highlight Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association trails all summer long.
What's your can't-miss race of the season? Are there any races on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments!