MARQUETTE - The youngest of entrants at the criterium bicycle races in downtown Marquette on Friday night didn't always know the course, but they knew they wanted to race.
"I ran on the sidewalk down there," said Travis Link, 4, pointing to a spot around the corner from the start-finish line in the 100 block of West Washington Street.
The son of June and Mark Link of Marquette, the preschooler "rides his bike every day," according to his mom.
Connor Devonshire, 21 months, of Marquette approaches the Washington Street Bike Jam finish line with a little help from his father, Chad, during the Kids Crit race on the course in downtown Marquette on Friday evening. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
"We started him on a Strider bike when he was 2, and he's been going ever since," June Link added. The Strider looks just like a regular mountain bike, but doesn't have a chain or pedals and is powered by pushing along the ground.
"They were all my size," Travis Link said about his fellow racers, which sound courageous considering some of his fellow competitors were teens.
Another racer was Everett Sherry, 6, of Negaunee, whose parents, Dana and Kari Sherry, brought along his BMX bike for the course.
If you go:
Marquette Bike Jam schedule of events
10 a.m., Trail Jam (cross country and mountain bikes), 12- and 25-mile events, South Marquette Trailhead. Also, Gravity Jam practice, Marquette Mountain.
Noon: Trail Jam (kids).
1 p.m., Gravity Jam, downhill start, Marquette Mountain
4 p.m., Gravity Jam, downhill and dual slalom start
10 a.m., Traffic Jam, 50- and 100-kilometer noncompetitive Grand Fondo, Marquette Mountain
1 p.m., Family Fondo, 25K, Marquette YMCA
For more information on Bike Jam, visit mqtbikejam.com
- Bike Jam criterium coverage in Sports.
"Tomorrow is my favorite race," Everett said Friday about today's Trail Jam races for kids that start at noon on the South Marquette Trails just north of Marquette Mountain.
He's tried his hand just once on the Marquette BMX track at the Kaufman Sports Complex in north Marquette.
"He likes the 'whoop-de-doo' (up-and-down bumps) and the jumps," Dana Sherry said, with a particularly vigorous nod of the head by Everett when the jumps were mentioned.
The top multi-geared bike racer among youths was Ian Devere, 8, who is visiting with his family from California.
"I like to do triathlons, too," he said about his racing back home.
His older sister, Karen Devere, 15, won the Chicks race for adult women, not surprising considering you competed in the nationally ranked racer and will participate in the finals in Wisconsin in about a week.
Like her brother, she's also a triathlete where she also competed in last year's USA nationals in Cincinnati.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.