Category Archives: Shopping

The Bike Shops of Delta County

The weather is (slowly) warming up in Delta County, and locals are in the process of switching out their skis and snowshoes for hiking boots and mountain bikes. As we gear up for the warm season, we’re taking a look at three local bike shops, each of which takes a slightly different approach to their craft. Spoiler alert: they’re all awesome.

the beaten path escanaba michigan1The Beaten Path

1015 Ludington Street, Escanaba

(906) 789-6220 / beatenpathup@gmail.com

Open Mon-Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Beaten Path is the newest of Delta County’s three bike shops. Opened in March 2011, this place bills itself as the largest disc golf shop in the entire U.P. – and it doesn’t disappoint. According to owner Jon Harris, the Beaten Path has about 500 discs in stock and works with virtually every supplier in the country – from Discraft and Prodigy to smaller and more obscure outfits. Harris is also heavily involved in the local disc golf scene, sponsoring three Escanaba-area courses that have opened in the past year and advocating for the opening of two more. A lifelong skateboarder, his shop is also the best place in Delta County to find a full lineup of skateboard gear.

The Beaten Path is a bike shop too, of course. Harris used to work at Mr. Bike, another Escanaba shop, and maintained a “mini shop” in his garage until opening the Beaten Path. Within the first couple weeks of opening, he had sold several dozen used bikes that he had fixed up, so he started contracting with national brands like Schwinn and GT. These days, he does steady business in new bikes, but the shop sets itself apart as the only Delta County outlet that regularly accepts trade-ins. And since winter will be here again in due time, we’d better mention that the Beaten Path has a huge array of winter sports equipment, including snow bikes, snowshoes, XC skis, skates and snow skates.

Brampton Bike and Ski

910 Delta Avenue, Gladstone

(906) 428-2135 / mikenbike1@charter.net

Open Mon-Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Located in the beautiful town of Gladstone, just up US-2 from Escanaba, Brampton Bike and Ski holds it down for residents of Delta County’s second largest municipality. Like the Beaten Path, Brampton is a full-service shop that features a wide lineup of new bikes and plenty of additional sporting equipment – minus the extensive disc golf selection, of course. When it comes to bikes, they aren’t shy about their offerings: “If it’s got wheels and it looks like a bike,” they say, “we probably have it…and if we don’t have it, we can get it!” That’s reassuring. As the moment, Brampton features full lines of:

  • Specialized
  • Electra
  • Redline
  • Raleigh
  • Diamondback

Those who aren’t into biking – or who aren’t content to spend five months out of the year at the gym – can check out Brampton’s selection of snowboards, downhill skis and winter clothing accessories. For discerning winter sports enthusiasts, the shop’s selection of Atomic, Salomon, Nordica and Fischer – among other brands – is sure to be reassuring. And for those who like to get out on the water when it’s not frozen solid, Brampton’s stocks kayaks from Dagger, Wilderness Systems and other fine brands.

mr bike ski and fitness escanaba michigan2Mr. Bike, Ski and Fitness

1016 Ludington Street, Escanaba

(906) 786-1200 / mrbike@mrbikeonline.com

Open Mon-Wed 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thu 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., Fri 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Mr. Bike is right across the street from the Beaten Path, so it’s not too hard to find. The first Mr. Bike opened way back in 1985, when owner Matt Marenger was fresh out of high school. Fast forward to the mid-2010s and Mr. Marenger finds himself in a sprawling (6,000+ square feet!) location in the heart of downtown Escanaba. When he’s not swimming, biking, hiking or skiing the wilds of the Upper Peninsula, he’s tending to his sizable lineup of mountain and road bikes. Looking for a particular brand? Mr. Bike has:

  • Cannondale
  • Trek
  • Bianchi
  • Giant
  • and many more

Like Delta County’s other two shops, Mr. Bike also stocks a pretty comprehensive lineup of outdoor sporting equipment. Nordic skis? Check. Downhill skis? Check. Snowboards? Check. Snowshoes? Check. (Marenger is an avid snow sports enthusiasts, so engage him in discussion about these things at your own risk!) Mr. Bike also has plenty of fixed fitness equipment and high-end apparel for serious exercise enthusiasts. And if you’re in the area on a Tuesday night, don’t be shy about stopping by at 6:30 p.m. for Tuesday Cycle Night. There’s nothing like a friendly workout on a warm summer evening!

Ten Mile Creek Forge and Gift Shop

ten mile creek forge and gift shop3Ten Mile Creek Forge is a great little gift slash blacksmithing shop tucked away about seven miles from Bark River, MI.

It’s a scenic drive out to Ten Mile Creek, and once there you’ll be rewarded with a true “something for everyone” type of gift shop. From completely handmade knives to locally made pottery, blown glass and dozens of other items, this little gift shop is well worth a stop.

The business is run by George and Maureen Potvin, both local artists. George is a self taught blacksmith and well known for his quality work. Maureen is a potter and photographer who said that these days she spends most of her time running the gift shop, but some of her work is still up on the walls for display.

The Gift Shop

ten mile creek forge and gift shop1When Maureen and George decided they wanted a gift shop, George built it. He was working at the nearby paper mill at the time and built the gift shop in his spare time.

The gift shop is also a gallery of sorts, with the work of over thirty different artists for sale. Most of the items for sale are made by area residents, but there are a few things from out of state or even out of the country.

The Blacksmith Shop

According to Maureen, George does mostly custom work out of his blacksmith shop. Custom work, and knives. George makes different types of knives, including several types of Damascus knives. And unlike many “custom” knife makers, he also crafts the handles (usually from exotic wood or antler) and accompanying leather sheathes.

George is also the head blacksmith at the U.P. steam and gas engine village and does blacksmithing demonstrations for various organizations.

Other things to note: If you want to try your hand at blacksmithing, custom day long lessons (with lunch provided) are available. Just call Ten Mile Creek Forge to schedule your lesson!

Address: 1691 17th Road Bark River, MI 49807

Phone: (906) 466-2276

Hours: M, T, W, F, Sat: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Please call before your visit to verify.)