June 2004 News
Keweenaw Chain Drive draws nearly 200 mountain bikers plus kids
HANCOCK -- Nearly 200 mountain bikers streamed across the Portage Lift Bridge
from Houghton to Hancock on Saturday, June 19, on their way to the Maasto Hiihto/Churning
Rapids trail system for the Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival 16- and 32-mile races
for men and women ages 14 and up.
Participants in the Keweenaw Chain Drive cross the Portage Lift
Bridge on Saturday, June 19, on their way to 16- and 32-mile races at the Maasto
Hiihto/Churning Rapids trail system in Hancock. (Photo © 2004 Michele Anderson)
The Saturday cross-country races began at the Best Western-Franklin Square
Inn in Houghton and finished at the Portage Health System hospital in Hancock.
The course covered miles of single track with considerable changes in elevation
and other challenges.
Mark Klein, 22, of Atlantic Mine negotiates a stream crossing during the
Men's 32-mile race at Maasto Hiihto. Klein was first in his age group
(19-29) and eighth overall with a time of 2:35:21. (Photo © 2004 Adam
"It was fun," said Kathy Abbott, 45, of Atlantic Mine, noting this
was her first time for the 32-mile race (She won the 16-mile in 2003).
"I was the second-place woman," Abbott said. "Just being able
to finish it makes you grateful that you have good health, good lungs and good
Besides being a mother of five and a grandmother, Kathy Abbott
of Atlantic Mine takes time for mountain biking. Tom Lindley took this photo of
her during the 32-mile Women's Expert Race, which she attempted for the first
time, coming in second and second overall with a time of 3:09:11. (Photo © 2004
Kathy noted this year's events owe their success to "lots of
volunteers." One of these is her husband, Michael Abbott, who supervised
the Junior Chain Drive for children 13 and under on Sunday, June 20, at the
Michigan Tech Trails.
The Technical Time Trials for all age groups, including 14 and under, were
also held on Sunday at the MTU Trails. Several families spent Father's Day
weekend with more than one family member participating in the events. In
addition, non-racers could participate in non-timed guided rides behind the racers,
choosing from three tour options -- the 16-mile race course, an eight-mile section of the race
course or an eight-mile non-paved rail trail.
Two father/son teams were recipients of the Father's Day Weekend Challenge 16-mile awards (father/youth combined times). Wayne
Fish and his son Bryan Fish, 29, won the 17- and-over prize; and Douglas LaBar
and son Daniel LaBar, 16, won in the 16-and-under category. All four received
biking socks and a hand-made Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival magnet made by Jill
At the end of the Time Trial course on the Michigan Tech Trails, Jonah Koski,
12, of Traverse City, Mich., approaches a jump from the ten-foot
"Finale." He landed successfully. (Photo © 2004 Michele Anderson)
After a successful jump from the high "Finale," Jonah Koski, 12, of
Traverse City, Mich., the youngest Time Trial participant, made his Dad, Devin
Koski, very proud. Both Devin and Jonah had positive reactions to the Chain
"Everyone was awesome," Devin said. "The town is
Jonah agreed, noting "people are really nice."
While Devin did not participate himself in the Time Trials -- "I leave
that for the 12 year olds and the 17 year olds," he said -- he promotes
silent (non-motorized) sports like mountain biking in his business, Modern
Extreme Sports, a shop he owns in Traverse City.
Moms were also on hand to cheer the young bikers. One of these was Melody
Raphael of Boyne Falls, Mich., who was taking photos for the family.
"It's great," Melody said. "I've been here before, but it's
been a long time."
She noted the "spectating" was great, too.
"I hit every spot ... very well organized," Melody added.
Her son Adam Raphael, 17, of Boyne Falls, took a fifth-place prize ($75) in
the 32-mile Men's Expert Race. The winner of that race, Niel Scharphorn of Grand
Rapids, is 38; and the second-, third- and fourth-place winners are all in their
30s as well -- Scott Kylandes-Johnson, 31, of Duluth; Christopher Pagels, 30, of
Brussels; and Jeff Juntti, 35, of Negaunee. These five also had the best Men's
times overall for the 32-mile race.*
Winner Niel Scharphorn's Dad, Cornelius Scharphorn, raced in the 60+ age
group of the 16-mile race.
Said Juntti of the 32-mile race, "It was fun, but challenging. I've done it
about five times."
These five top men and the three top women in the 32-mile expert race (Sara
Kylandes-Johnson of Duluth, first; Kathy Abbot of Atlantic Mine, second; and
Lori Violetta of Marquette, third) all won cash prizes.
Juntti said he brought his three children -- Alea, 10; Storm, 7; and Chase, 4
-- for the Junior Chain Drive.
Nelson Sommerfeldt of Copper Harbor does a successful jump from the
"Finale" he designed and built along with Tony Schwenn of Copper
Harbor and other friends, two years in a row. Sommerfeldt works for Sam Raymond
at the Keweenaw Adventure Company in Copper Harbor. (Photo © 2004 Michele Anderson)
In the Women's Time Trials, the best in her age group and overall was Lori
Hauswirth, 30, Keweenaw Chain Drive Festival co-director with Christine Young.
Lori's time was 0:09:22. Hauswirth has done the Time Trials three years in a
"They added additional stunts with go-around routes (this year),"
Lori Hauswirth of Houghton held her own in the Time Trials again this year,
with the best overall time for women: 0:09:22, beating John Durocher of Atlantic
Mine, who was the best local participant in the same age group for men.
Durocher's time was 0:09:23, fifth place after competitors from Marquette,
Negaunee and Duluth.* (Photo © 2004 Adam Johnson)
First in the Women's 19-29 Time Trial, with a time of 0:10:34, was Kari
Dalquist of Hancock, daughter of Dan and Bobbi Dalquist. Dan
Dalquist, has been active in the Chain Drive Festival for several years.
This year he served as Support Services Coordinator.
Home from Dartmouth for the summer, Karla Kingsley, 21, of Hancock, was first
in her age group and fourth overall in the Women's 32-mile race, with a time of
3:13:44. Karla also participated in the Time Trials, coming in third in her age
group, with a time of 0:10:51.
Proud Mom Sue Ellen Kingsley took this photo of daughter Karla at the start
of the Time Trial course at the MTU Trails on Sunday, June 20. (Photo © 2004
Sue Ellen Kingsley.)
Karla's Mom, Sue Ellen Kingsley, and Terry Kinzel, owners of Churning Rapids,
contribute these trails on their property as part of the Maasto Hiihto trail
system; and the biking clubs help maintain the Churning Rapids trails. Last year
Terry and Karla entered the Father's Day Challenge as a father/daughter team,
but this year Terry was unable to participate because of a recent biking
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