Biking at NMU

Did you know?

The city of Marquette is certified as a Bicycle Friendly Community™

Commuting by bike is one of the best ways to save money, improve your health, preserve the environment and find new friends. We may get a lot of snow in the winter, but commuting by bike can still be done!  

Michigan Bike Laws*

According to Michigan Bicycle Laws, “Each person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle expect as to the provisions which by their nature do not have application” (MCL 257.657)

  • Here’s what you CAN do on a bike in Michigan:

    • Ride with a helmet, ride side-by-side with one other rider, ride a bike on sidewalks while yielding to pedestrians, except where Marquette City Ordinance prohibits, ride at night with a white lamp on the front of the bike and a red reflector on the rear (see below for safety tips on night riding)

  • Here’s what you CANNOT do on a bike in Michigan:

    • Ride with more riders than the bike can handle, ride a bike on a limited-access highway - for example U.S. Highway 41, carry packages on a bike, ride while attached to a vehicle.

  • According to state law, if you are riding between half-hour after sunset or half-hour before sunrise, your bike must have a white lamp on the front and a red reflector on the rear. You must also have brakes that can make the wheels “skid on dry, level, clean pavement” (MCL 257.662(2)).

*Laws subject to change. Stay updated with local law enforcement for changes. 

Bike Registration

Registering your bike is quick, easy, and free. If your bike is ever lost or stolen, having it registered will assist NMU PD in finding it.

  • Here’s how to register your bike:

    • Log into your MyNMU account

    • Go to the Student Services tab

    • Click on Bicycle Registration (under Police Department Services)

    • Follow the instructions and submit your form

    • You will soon receive a sticker to put on your bike that shows you have registered it with NMU PD.

  • Bicycle registration is permanent and you do not need to register your bike every year.

  • If you own more than one bike, make sure to register each one.

Bike Share Program

NMU is one of the only universities in the world that offers two different free bike rental services for students.

  • ASNMU offers a bike share program in partnership with the Lydia Olson Library. These bikes are for city riding only, no trails. 

  • NMU Recreational Sports, in partnership with the Noquemenon Trail Network (NTN), offers free fat tire bike rentals for students. These bikes can be ridden on all terrain, especially on trail and snow. 

Safety Tips

  • Check your bicycle (and yourself) every time before you ride. This is especially important if you haven’t ridden for a while. Utilize the ABC Quick Check as a guide.

  • Consult with a local Marquette bike shop if you have any questions or concerns about your bike.

  • Check with your physician if you have concerns about starting an exercise program.

  • Search for a safe and efficient route from your home and campus. Try different routes to find one that is best for you. The best bicycling route may not be the same route that you drive. Ask coworkers and students who already bike commute for advice or contact NMU Rec Sports.

  • Dress appropriately. Wear different combinations of layers until you find an outfit that is breathable yet warm. In winter, be sure to cover your ears, hands and face to prevent frostbite. Sunglasses or other eye protection is also encouraged. 

  • Most importantly: wear your helmet! Bicycle accidents happen all the time and for unexpected reasons. Protect your brain because it is the only one you have.

  • When traveling at night:

    • Make sure someone knows where you are and that you are commuting by bike.

    • Michigan law states that if you are riding between half hour after sunset or half hour before sunrise, your bike must have a white lamp on the front and a red reflector on the rear.

    • Bright colored and/or reflective clothing will help make you more visible to motorists.

  • During bad weather: 

    • Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for conditions. Click here for more winter riding tips.

    • Pay attention to weather alerts from NMU Police.

    • Some conditions are unrideable. Do not ride if you are not confident or if weather conditions are escalated.

  • NMU also has a bicycle repair station available for use on campus. Check out the NMU Trailhead for quick fixes!

Bike Routes

Here is how long it takes to get from these common Marquette locations to the Academic Mall on campus:

  • Presque Isle Park: 2.6 mi, 4.2 km, 15 min

  • Superior Dome: 1.0 mi, 1.6 km, 3 min

  • McCarty’s Cove: 2.1 mi, 3.4 km, 10 min

  • Marquette Commons (Downtown Marquette): 1.6 mi, 2.6 km, 10 min

  • South Beach Park: 2.7 mi, 4.3 km, 15 min

  • Sugarloaf : 4.9 mi, 7.9 km, 35 min

Bike Parking 

  • Year round locations (covered bike racks): The Woods, Jamrich Hall, Down Campus Residence Halls
  • Seasonal racks are placed all around campus for student convenience

  • Remember to use a lock when you park your bike to prevent bike theft

  • Bike storage is a free service offered to students living in the residence halls and on-campus apartments that allows for bikes to be stored in a clean, dry and secured place during the winter months.

Bike Impoundment

Bicycles not removed by a specified date each fall semester will be removed by Housing and Residence Life staff and handled as abandoned property in accordance with university policy.


If you have any bicycle-related question, contact NMU Recreational Sports at (906) 227-2519 or NMU Police Department at (906) 227-2151.