Cyclists celebrate Bike to Work Day

HOUGHTON – Before he retired, Dan Dalquist would commute from Chassell to Calumet three times a week – so often his clients would ask what was wrong when they didn’t see a bike there.

So he was happy to see so many people stopping by the station on Lakeshore Drive, where Bike Initiative Keweenaw members were ready with refreshments for the annual Keweenaw Bike to Work Day.

Stations were set up in the morning and afternoon in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, Lake Linden and South Range.

“The cyclists like the support,” he said. “Even if they don’t need water or food, they’ll stop and say thanks. It’s nice to see that somebody cares.”

About 60 people – including about 45 cyclists – had stopped at the Lakeshore Drive location Friday morning, Dalquist said. About an hour into the Friday afternoon session, about 15 more had come.

One of those afternoon riders was Curt Webb, who stopped in on his afternoon commute from Hancock to the South Range area.

Having a day for biking can remind drivers of the need to be alert for cyclists, Webb said. And the focus on riders can also motivate people to start, or ride more often.

Hopefully people will carry on the habit now for the rest of the summer, at least a bit,” he said.

In addition to snacks and water, cyclists who stopped by also got reflective Bike the Keweenaw stickers and a card for the National Bike Challenge, in which people and areas can compete to ride the most miles. To register, go to nationalbikechallenge.org. The local group was first in the country among communities of its size, Dalquist said.

“When you think about Houghton, Hancock, Atlantic Mine, Chassell, it’s not a big population, but we’ve got a lot of people who are riding daily and recording miles,” he said.

For more information on Keweenaw Bike to Work Day, go to KB2WD.org.