This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Monday, April 10, 2017


     A  frustrating week of torrential rain finally came to a close and provided a weekend of incomparable sunshine and intoxicating temperatures.  It was time for a little bike ride.  I had wanted to use the entire spring break for a camping trip, but the train kept me from doing it locally and I did not have enough time for a multi-modal trip I'd considered.  That will all have to fit in at another time.  I loaded up the Hunq in  about 30 minutes and set off for the lake shore.   It's a fifty mile afternoon ride to get to the state park and the wind was a little helpful since I took a southern approach.     My goal was to ride a section of rail trail I hadn't been on so I took a westward exit from home on the Red Arrow Highway to the trail head.  The Van Buren Trail state park runs from Hartford north west just short of Lake Michigan south of Sough Haven.  I knew it wasn't paved and expected a crushed limestone or packed gravel trail.

I was a bit disappointed to find it overrun with grass.  
It's really an abandoned two track running between farms,
except for this exquisite piece of real estate which was in hot competition with the city dump.
        I rode along, lucky to top off 8 MPH on the mushy overgrown mess.  It appeared there was no decent surface for riding and I bailed onto the county roads to meander to the State Park.  After leaving the lame excuse for an MUP (dump some snow on it and run back and forth on a snowmobile, but forget anything else) it was a leisurely trip to the state park where the campground was sparsely inhabited.  
    After setting up camp, I made a run to the grocery store for provisions and kicked back with a couple of beers at the campfire for the evening.   A few of the sparse neighbors stopped by, tentatively,  but made for some convivial company after they got over the absence of a car.
     Being the early spring, I had brought a heavier sleeping bag which I did not need.  Despite the wind, the temps stayed in the 60's throughout the night.  I slept like the dead.   I woke up late, got in no hurry breaking camp after breakfast, and finally left the state park in time for lunch.   After a great Reuben sandwich at the Phoenix Inn in South Haven, I headed out for the Kal-Haven trail.    There's not much to say about the afternoon going back.  The wind was greater and more gusty than Saturday so I stuck to the trail.  The wind was crossing from the South and the roads ultimately lead up greater grades directly into it, so I toughed out the predictable 1_1.5% grade and cross wind on the trail.  It was still a test of patience but a pleasant day and good overnight shake down trip to start the season.


  1. I love the Kal-Haven trail. One of my earliest rides of any distance was on that trail. The funny thing was that I didn't notice the slight downhill grade on the way to the lake, which made the constant, slight uphill grade on the way back all the more frustrating. Somehow the next-to-last mile marker had been pulled out of the ground, and I had no computer on the bike in those days. I had been pedaling along thinking desperate for the ride to be over, thinking "how much farther could it possibly be to the next mile marker?!" when suddenly I spotted the parking lot. Let's just say there was a loud and off-key hallelujah chorus on the trial that day!

    It's funny to think that a 35-mile round trip used to seem like a long way to me.

    1. You must have been doing better than you thought. It's 35 miles each way to the lake. And the ride going east is much more difficult.


    2. I must have gotten on somewhere at the mid-point of the trail on that particular day. I'm pretty sure I recall it being a little over 17 miles each way. I know I wasn't up to 70 miles in a day back then. And, yes, the return trip (going east) was more challeging!

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