COPPER HARBOR - Surrounded by dozens of mountain bikers and community members, Aaron Rogers pierced a yellow ribbon with a chainsaw as cheers erupted from the crowd.
After all, it's by using tools like the chainsaw which got the Copper Harbor Trails Club to where it is today. Throughout the past few years, the club has worked tirelessly to create dozens of premier mountain biking trails in the Keweenaw. Numerous man hours have been spent clearing trails so the public has the opportunity to bike on some of the most scenic and adventurous trails around. And because of the club's efforts, the International Mountain Bicycling Association has named the Copper Harbor trails as a Ride Center, a title only a few locations in the world have the honor of holding.
Sunday, the Copper Harbor Trails Club held a ribbon-cutting event at the top of Brockway Mountain in Copper Harbor were they honored the new designation. The ribbon cutting was held in conjunction with the Ride the Keweenaw event held the same weekend.
Stacey Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
Aaron Rogers, president of the Copper Harbor Trails Club, uses a chainsaw to cut a ribbon honoring the club’s Ride Center designation from the International Mountain Bicycling Association on Brockway Mountain in Copper Harbor Sunday.
"There's only seven of these in the world right now," said Hansi Johnson, IMBA's midwest regional director. "As a brand, we're being extremely strict about quality."
Johnson said the Copper Harbor trail system is one of the highest quality trail systems to ride in the world.
"We're going to hold any Ride Center to that standard and any Ride Center that's in it to that standard," he said. "You should be congratulated for doing that."
Also, Johnson commended the Copper Harbor Trails Club for stepping up and making a positive change and influence in the community.
"You're changing the community you live in," he said.
Rogers, president of the trails club, was one of many riders exiting the mouth of the On The Edge trail to attend the ribbon cutting.
"We decided to hold this at the trailhead of the On The Edge trail and the Flow Trail," Rogers said.
Despite the less-than-favorable weather, Rogers said he was impressed with the turnout for Ride the Keweenaw. For opening events at the Michigan Technological University Trails, more than 100 people attended.
"There was also another 80 people at Maasto Hiihto," he said.
Sam Raymond of the trails club said a pro-rider event would follow the ribbon cutting and events for Ride the Keweenaw would continue through the long weekend.
"There were three different rides yesterday," he said. "I imagine (participation) will double in Copper Harbor today."