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Old 09-12-2018, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,882 posts, read 19,072,602 times
Reputation: 3911

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceGhost79 View Post
When I attended NMU from '97 to '02, back before the internet/social media as we know it today, NMU had
posting boards in the University Center and on the Dean of Students Office website where you could post if you were looking for a ride or offering a ride (DSO has a Carpool Network message board now). These days I know there's Facebook groups and stuff, too. You could almost always find someone going somewhere either to or near where you wanted to go on a weekend and hitch a ride for gas money. I would offer rides when I would travel back home to Ann Arbor and almost always had one or two students travel with me to split gas money and their parents would meet us at an exit along my drive.

As for cell service, it can be hit or miss. I think AT&T is the best provider up north. For the most part you should get coverage on the main highways, but occasionally you will hit a "dead zone" for cell coverage. I used to travel a lot from Marquette to northern Wisconsin and there was always a spot near Republic that I would lose cell service for 5-10 miles.

NMU has really changed since my days there. Great to see everything on camps getting a modern makeover. Long overdue. Loved my time there as both a student and employee.

And yes, the Upper Peninsula is an endless outdoors adventure no matter the season! One of the true joys of living there is taking advantage of those outdoor opportunities. Used to get out walking my dogs in the woods or beach two or three times a day. Some of the best years of my life. I live in Florida now, but it' s just not the same. Miss the U.P. every single day, still got a house in MQT we rent out, and hope to one day move back there.
A friend whose son just graduated from there told me that same thing, that there's never a shortage of people driving back to the West Michigan area for the weekends and especially for the holidays. I'm not worried, Mom's a bit worried.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Marquette, Mich
1,316 posts, read 675,841 times
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The new dorms are really nice. They're trying to make them so students have a better chance to connect with each other through shared spaces. The new food service area is supposed to be opening really soon--maybe by next weekend. There's a "Fit Strip" with exercise equipment and fat tire bikes to borrow (we are a HUGE cycling community all year long). And the "Lodge" is a big room with comfy furniture & a huge fireplace to lounge/study in. The campus has been undergoing a huge change over the last several years, and there are more to come!



Just a note about ice caves. The Eben Ice Caves are accessible if you care to hike out to them in the winter. Sometimes it's an easy hike, sometimes it's kind of difficult. Then there are the ice caves that form across the bay in Munising. If the bay ices over, people hike out to them. Now, this is never considered "safe," as the water is moving underneath and the ice could potentially break up. That said, my husband, daughter & I have hiked out to them and it is a beautiful, surreal environment.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,882 posts, read 19,072,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebeemi View Post
The new dorms are really nice. They're trying to make them so students have a better chance to connect with each other through shared spaces. The new food service area is supposed to be opening really soon--maybe by next weekend. There's a "Fit Strip" with exercise equipment and fat tire bikes to borrow (we are a HUGE cycling community all year long). And the "Lodge" is a big room with comfy furniture & a huge fireplace to lounge/study in. The campus has been undergoing a huge change over the last several years, and there are more to come!



Just a note about ice caves. The Eben Ice Caves are accessible if you care to hike out to them in the winter. Sometimes it's an easy hike, sometimes it's kind of difficult. Then there are the ice caves that form across the bay in Munising. If the bay ices over, people hike out to them. Now, this is never considered "safe," as the water is moving underneath and the ice could potentially break up. That said, my husband, daughter & I have hiked out to them and it is a beautiful, surreal environment.
Thanks leebeemi!
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,882 posts, read 19,072,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopertransplant View Post
Has your daughter been accepted/chosen to go to NMU yet? I'm really glad you and your family got the opportunity to come check out Marquette and the surrounding areas. As I've told many friends back in Florida, it's truly too beautiful to describe. In my opinion, winters are even more beautiful than summers. There's truly never a bad time of year to come to Marquette, though.


There is so much to see and do here that it literally takes years to do it all. For instance: My wife, kids, and I JUST got around to hiking up Sugarloaf about three weeks before you and your family did it. We've been here for knocking on three years now. And we drove up to Mount Arvon (Michigan's highest peak, it's in the L'Anse/Baraga area of the Copper Country) on my birthday (September 2nd), about three weeks to the day after going up Sugarloaf. We did Sugarloaf for my daughter's birthday in August. My wife and I decided this past summer that we're wanting to start doing adventurous things on every one of our family members' birthdays and national holidays. Who knows - it'll probably get old after a year or two, but in the meantime, we'll have some fun and check out some cool things. We're going to spend Christmas in Copper Harbor this year.


It's too bad you didn't get a chance to see the Northern Lights while you were here. Maybe the next time you'll get to see them. I'm sure you noticed how incredibly friendly the people are here. But I won't say a word about that one thing you mentioned in the threads I've been commenting on the past few days. LOL! Sorry, I had to.


If your daughter ends up going to Northern, I have no doubt she will treasure her experience here for the rest of her life. My wife and I have many friends and neighbors that went there (some are still going there) and they rave about it regularly. Even the ones who graduated twenty years ago or more. It's also where all three of our kids are planning on going. They still have quite a while before college, as the oldest won't be nine until the end of January. But they already love that school, and they're obsessed with the Peter White Library. Not sure if you got a chance to check that out while you were here, but it's a beautiful library with amazing views of Superior from the second floor.


Did you guys get a chance to go inside the Yooper Dome while you were here? That is one cool building. World's largest "all wood" dome. By the way, Jean Kay's has the best pasties you will ever eat! If you didn't get any while you were here, you'll have to try them the next time.
My daughter has decided on Northern but MOM has not given her blessing yet. :P We didn't get to go in the Yooper Dome but my daughter's friend who's on NMU's cross country/track team actually was having practice inside there the day we were there.

We do need to make another trip with a little more time. I'm already thinking of taking my mountain bike and visiting her next year (if she doesn't mind).
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,882 posts, read 19,072,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopertransplant View Post
I'm sure you'll be able to talk Mom into it. You will love the mountain bike trail system here in Marquette county. These guys take that stuff serious around here. I've never gotten into it yet myself, but it's definitely one of those things on my radar. Maybe I can talk my wife into getting me a fat tire bike for Christmas?! Here's a link to a video of the NTN and RAMBA trail groomers that really shows the dedication and pride that goes into what they love:





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj4j09nZbjA






Just be prepared to never want to leave if you ever bring your mountain bike here. By the way, I'm sure your daughter won't have a problem with you coming to visit her next year. She will probably be stoked to show you all the great things she's discovered in her time here.




PS - If you're into fishing, you have to bring your fishing license with you the next time. Our fishing here is phenomenal! There are some great guides in town that could take you out on a chartered boat and give you the fishing experience of a lifetime. If you like ice fishing, I'm your guy. I have an auger and all the gear you could possibly need, and I wouldn't charge you a penny. And I know where all the best spots are located. Just saying...
Oh I know, those guys are a bit nuts. Several local guys do the same here in the Grand Rapids area, keeping the mountain biking trails groomed in the winter. And they do it completely voluntarily (except for small donations they use from the WMMBA to pay for grooming sleds). With the snow you get up there, they must be grooming almost every day!

This past weekend was Iceman Cometh, a big mountain biking race from Kalkaska to Traverse City. Any rider of any skill can do it, but it's a bit brutal. I've had something going on that weekend every year for the last 3. Next year I'm planning to do it for sure!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4aV6_dPND8&t=2s

I've also had friends do the Marji Gesick 100 mile mountain bike race in Marquette but I don't know how anyone who is sane can ride 100 miles mountain biking. I've done 100 mile century rides road biking about a half a dozen times but it's totally different.

If you get a fat bike, be sure to get a lightweight one like a Salsa. I have a Surly fat bike and it weighs a ton, and gets really dogged on the uphills, especially with a guy my age (48) pushing it. A lot of people get sticker shock when they check them out ($1500 and up for good ones) but it's well worth the money. All the guys I know my age who have started up mountain biking and winter fat biking have shed 25 - 35 pounds in the first few months of doing it.


Before you know it you'll have a bike for every riding condition.

Last edited by magellan; 11-05-2018 at 07:31 AM..
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,882 posts, read 19,072,602 times
Reputation: 3911
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopertransplant View Post
I completely agree! In fact, I told some of the fat bike guys from the Marquette area that I think they're crazy for doing some of the things they do with their bikes. And, as I told them, I'm a former professional bull rider! I wasn't sure how big fat biking was in your area of lower Mi., but I'm glad to know you have a great trail system down that way, too.


Yeah, I don't think I could do a 10 mile mountain bike course! As you said, road biking is totally different. Still, 100 miles on ANY kind of course is pretty impressive.


Thank you very much for the advice! Honestly, I would have though the heavier framed fat bikes would be better for the area? Shows what I know about mountain biking! I especially appreciate the advice on the Salsa you mentioned. As I said, I really know nothing about any of these bikes. I only know that I want one! Is "Salsa" the brand? Or just a particular model of some brand? Again, I'm a complete novice. But when people mention that they'd like to bring their mountain bike to Marquette, I always feel the need to tell them that they really should. You certainly won't feel out of place here with your bike. There are literally days that I see more fat bike "traffic" than actual car and truck traffic. No joke!


As for the prices...I knew they were costly. I've actually seen some on the Yooper Craigslist (clearly those were used) in the $3k to $4k price range. Those were usually highly customized, and most likely some of the top brands.


By the way, you're not much older than me. I am 42. I would have no qualms with losing 25 to 35 pounds. At 6' tall and 240 lbs., I could stand to lose at least that. I've always looked my best when I was around 210 lbs.


I was wondering, and maybe you can help me out here...what exactly needs to be done to transform one of those (winterized) fat bikes into a summer bike? Do you know if there would need to be expensive modifications, as far as brakes, gears, different style of tires?, etc. done to them? Or is it possible to leave everything alone and just continue riding? If so, I would say that would be the only type of bike I'd need here. I'm sure they handle the beach sand about as well as they handle snow, maybe even better?


Thank you in advance for any more tips or advice on fat biking!




PS - I forgot to actually watch the video you posted, so I just went back and watched it. Wow! Parts of those trails were WAY too narrow for me. I don't know how their handlebars weren't hitting the trees! And my legs were burning FOR them on that crazy hill! I think I'm way past my prime for anything near that level. It would've been fun 20 years-ago, though. Also, I agree with you even more now about the 100 mile race in Marquette. That one in your area was 26.8 miles and looked like sheer torture to me! The guys who do this stuff must have some of the best endurance and strongest legs on the planet! I think I need to go relax after watching this video. CRAZY stuff, that's for sure.

You can't really turn a fat bike (most people drop the "tire" ) into a regular mountain bike by switching tires. But I ride mine year-round. It's really great for sandy trails because you don't feel like you're going to crash. You can also ride fat bikes on the beaches of Lake Michigan. Just don't ride in the water too much! The wet sand will mess up all of your components, from my experience. Most people just ride on the wet packed sections.

Crashing into trees with your hands is probably the biggest problem you'll run into. Some people even saw their handlebars down for more clearance. But I've wracked my knuckles more than a few times. If you work out at a gym you're going to get a few injuries too, right? You will crash mountain-biking, just plan on it haha. Sometimes you crash pretty hard, but it's worth it. It's totally meditative (surprisingly). It's hard to think about anything else when you're dodging trees.

If you only plan to have one bike for trail-riding in Marquette, I'd say get a light-weight fat bike.

On page I follow called West Michigan Trail Conditions, someone just posted that they went fat-biking up in Marquette:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/wmtrailconditions/

FYI Salsa is a brand of bike: https://salsacycles.com/bikes/fat-bike

Last edited by magellan; 11-06-2018 at 07:29 AM..
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