17 Jan Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary – THEN & NOW: PART ONE
Written by Owner Sam Raymond
What a long strange trip it’s been… while celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year, pretty wild to think it’s been 20-years since my first season at the helm of Keweenaw Adventure Company (KAC)! The journey, however, had began several years prior, when I had the hair-brained idea of bringing my passion for mountain biking to Copper Harbor. I had fallen in love with mountain biking when living near Vail, Colorado after college, though as Shelby (my partner in life and in business) says, “Your heart was in Colorado and your soul was in the Harbor.” Having spent my childhood and adolescent summers in the Harbor, such was then true… though I’m happy to report that both my heart & soul are now in the Harbor.
Fueled by my involvement within the MTB culture out west and a vision that Copper Harbor might someday become recognized as “the Moab of the Midwest,” things have come a long way to say the least. In the late 90’s, one could count the number of mountain bikers in town on one hand — and terms such as “silent” or “human-powered” sports were new in the local vocabulary.
Silent Sports were fringe activities in the Keweenaw, compared to the large piece of the tourism pie they represent today. There was little presence of singletrack trails, and mountain biking primarily consisted of riding two track and gravel roads to high point vistas, uninhabited beaches or other places of local intrigue.
When the opportunity to purchase KAC (established in 1994) from Steve Brimm and his former wife Julie arose, I was most thankful. It meshed well with my bike shop plans and without the Lake Superior Sea Kayaking side of the business that the Brimm’s had developed, KAC probably would not have survived those early years.
Through patience and persistence, our awesome employees and legions of loyal customers, and of course the evolution of the trail system and support of the community, KAC continues to grow and improve with each passing season. We look forward to continuing the ride together in the years to come!