The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
Multimedia Editor

Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Twin brothers know adventure in Marquette

From mountain biking to DJ-ing to kiteboarding, Twin brothers Kyle and Matt Bloch are involved in many organizations and sports in the Marquette area.

Matt, a senior business management major and employee at Lakeshore Bike, is president of the NMU Northern Spokes group. Kyle, a senior mechanical engineering major and freelance DJ, is a student brand manager for Red Bull and is an active member in Northern Spokes.

Business management major and President of Northern Spokes Matt Bloch kiteboards in the mouth of Marquette’s Dead River earlier this fall. (Kristen Koehler NW)
Business management major and President of Northern Spokes Matt Bloch kiteboards in the mouth of Marquette’s Dead River earlier this fall. (Kristen Koehler NW)

Both are kiteboarders, skiers and bikers, and enjoy getting other students excited about the sports they love while getting on the water, trails and snow as much as possible.

Amanda Monthei, managing editor at the North Wind, sat down with the pair to talk about biking, kiteboarding and some of their worst “kite-mares.”

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NW: So, you guys are collectively involved in quite a bit both on campus and off. What inspires you to be so involved?

Matt: I think it’s the setting of NMU, it’s a smaller community and that’s why I think I came up here for school.

I have a good sense of community here which has made me want to get involved with my passions like mountain biking and that sort of thing.

Kyle: We’ve always been very active and outdoorsy, and this is the perfect setting for that kind of thing so I guess we just kind of jumped into all of it and wanted to take it all in and got really involved.

NW: Why are you guys so drawn to mountain biking and similar sports?

Kyle: We grew up in an active family, my dad was a pretty extreme guy and raced motorcycles growing up and was a professional, so he always pushed us. He kiteboards too with us, so a lot of [our passion] has to do with our dad and our mom being very active. Growing up we never had TV or video games, we had motorcycles and kiteboards instead.

Matt: Two wheels have definitely been in our lives more than kiteboarding, it’s kind of in our blood. The speed and discipline you need for biking and certain skill sets you need are attractive for us.

NW: What are your goals for the mountain biking club, what are you working towards?

Matt: We are just trying to get kids involved. We’ve had a successful fall.

Kyle: It’s growing really fast, we have a lot of new guys that are really stoked to ride.

Matt: We’ve got freshmen coming to Northern that haven’t seen these trails and they come on our rides and it really opens their eyes. You can definitely tell that they are very excited and come back every week. Then they’re going into the local bike shops, supporting the community, buying bikes, doing races and coming to our events, it’s cool to see that one ride can change someone’s mentality about a town or sport.

Kyle: Trails are hard to find sometimes too, so getting people out there and showing them where they are and then they tell people about it, it gets their friends out — it’s a snowball effect.

NW: So what’s been your best adventure recently?

Matt: The enduro, which was the last race we did, was super fun. It was Saturday, Sept. 29.

Kyle: An enduro is where you race downhill but you have to do these stages and a lot of them aren’t timed. It’s a different element of racing.

Matt: You’re not timed so you can ride with all your friends to the stages and I think that was huge. The entire mountain bike community came out for that day — it was cool to see everyone riding of the same thing.

NW: So on the contrary, any bad falls in recent memory?

Kyle: Falls go along with it. In the past, we’ve had a couple ‘kite-mares’. I’ve ended up in the hospital probably five times.

NW: What does a kite-mare typically entail?

Kyle: One of my lines got folded and I lost control. If you’ve ever seen on Presque Bay (near the pavilion), there’s a kite shredded up and hanging in the trees. Yeah, that was mine.

Matt: A kite-mare usually entails a near-death experience.

Kyle: I was on the beach and got launched, a hard gust of wind lifted me up, slammed me on the beach and thankfully the kite hit the trees and I managed to pull my safety but it was really scary. That was a bad day.

NW: So is Northern Spokes open to beginners?

Matt: That’s a misconception that we have. We try to be very open, but mountain biking is intimidating sometimes. But there are new trails that are beginner friendly (in Marquette) and I want to make sure that people are aware of that. If we need it, we’ll have two rides, a beginner and an intermediate to advanced ride. We try to cater to all levels. We’re also just trying to grow the club more, trying to get more students involved.

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