Huge on mountain biking, but the local ski hill wouldent run their lifts. They have so much potential to make a mountain bike park there and have people from all over travel to it. A couple days ago I caught up to Dave O.....owner of viosport. He spoke words to me that made me go :think: :
This is what is happening here this summer....5 minutes away from where I live
'Monster' bike event coming to Marquette
By AARON PETERSON, Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE - The world's top downhill freestyle mountain bikers will descend on Marquette this July for a new world-class competition at Marquette Mountain Ski Hill.
The event, called the Monster Park Slopestyle Challenge, is being sponsored by Bike Magazine, local extreme sports video equipment company Viosport, Marquette Mountain and the Nordic Bay Lodge.
On Wednesday Viosport owner Dave Ollila of Marquette toured Marquette Mountain with professional mountain biker John Cowan of San Diego, Calif. to begin planning a course for the competition.
Cowan said he liked what he saw at the hill, but that local interest and willingness to work are the major factors in creating such a race.
"What's in Marquette right now are the people willing to put the work into it," Cowan said. "It will be world class level as long as everybody puts the effort into it."
Guess who gets to help build it.....yours truely does!!!!
Cowan will be designing a series of earthen and man-made jumps and obstacles on the lower half of the ski run known as Rocket. Riders will descend the hill and use the course components to do tricks, similar to a snowboarding or skateboarding competition, Cowan said.
"The object isn't to go fast, it's to do tricks and outshine the competition," Cowan said.
Work on the course is expected to begin in mid-June for the July 8 and 9th event. Following the event the structures will be removed and the hill returned to it's previous state, Marquette Mountain Manager Vern Barber said.
During the competition spectators can expect to see riders combine 12-foot-high aerial maneuvers with other tricks such as sliding a bike down a metal rail. The event is free for spectators.
"It's basically stuff you can't imagine people doing on a bike," Ollila said. "These guys are the best in the world."
A panel of judges will rate the riders on technique and creativity in the head-to-head, double-elimination competition for $10,000 in prize money.
"The judges are looking for the most creative and cleanly executed run," Ollila said.
The event's major sponsor, California-based Bike Magazine, is familiar with the quality of local mountain biking opportunities, having named Marquette the number two city in America for biking and living in June 2001.
"The U.P. has always kind of been this underground hotbed of mountain biking in the Midwest," Bike Magazine editor Ron Ige said. "As the area gains prominence it's important for us editorially to be involved with what could develop as the next essential biking community."
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