Touring - four day trip to South Haven
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10-04-09, 01:00 AM
I just finished a 4 day trip to south Haven, and Saugatuck Mi. I took this trip to work out a few wrinkles in my touring style. I have never rode more then 40 miles in a day with a loaded bike. I averaged 64 miles each day of my trip. The second challenge was touring on a mountain bike more then 20 miles. Past this test with great comfort. The third challenge was camping all four days in comfort. I learned on this test, I need a wider sleeping bag for my legs. I over packed for the trip. But the over all experience was good. The Kal Haven trail was nice, and easy to ride. I only did half of the trail because I was meeting friends later in the day. I cycled most the time around Saugatuck, and the country side. I did learn Michigan does have a few hills. Some long hills on the western side of the state. I had two beautiful days to ride, and two very autumn-like days. But, I have learned to dress for all kinds of weather with my winter riding. I even dealt with the head-winds with a good attitude. The best part of the trip was the people I met. They were very respectful, and kind. A great four days. I am uploading a few pics of the trail.
10-04-09, 01:15 AM
I am uploading my bike, I used, and some other pics of the trip.
10-04-09, 02:55 AM
Thanks for posting. Love Western Michigan.. I have not known of the Kal Haven Trail.. Do know the South Haven area quite well.. There are other trails paralleling Lake Michigan. One's I recall are paved..
Would you say this trail works for road tires. It looks like it's pretty hard packed. ?
10-04-09, 08:42 AM
It's hard pack. I saw many people on road bikes, hybrids, mountain bikes. I would put liners in my tires during the fall season. To much debris from the trees, because I pulled a thorn from my front tire. There was a few chipmunk holes in several places hidden under the leaves. But the trail was great to travel, because they have water pumps, and vaulted toilets along the path. It is a long trail running between South Haven, and Kalamazoo. Next year, I want to run the whole trail. Plus, you can take a lot of the the back roads from South Haven to Saugatuck. The have a lot of wineries, and orchards. I did not know South Haven very well, so I did some research, and explored a lot. I use the state parks alot. Plus, I ride around three oaks every weekend between 40 to 50 miles a day. I learned a lot about western Michigan from fellow cyclists. It is my Zen, a way of life for this old man.
10-08-09, 01:38 AM
It is a long trail running between South Haven, and Kalamazoo. Next year, I want to run the whole trail.
I live 20 minutes from the Kalamazoo trail head. Contact me when you are ready and you may have a ride partner.
10-08-09, 02:10 AM
The Kalamazoo -South Haven trail. Is it paved.. ?. One thing I love about the trails adjacent Lake Michigan, the smell of sassafras. It can be overwhelming.
10-08-09, 05:33 AM
Congrats on your tour- I am getting close to striking out on my shakedown tour and I like reading about other folks initial experience. Trying to minimize the ugly surprises- although I know there will be some. Still, that's part of the fun and learning experience.
You might want to check out Big Agnes sleeping bags- they make a line of bags called "Park" that are long and wide. The Park line has temp ranges from -15 to 40 degrees and are available in synthetic and down. Park bags are here: http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/ProductFinder/Bag/filters/6
Also Thermarest offers a down comforter that integrates with their fitted sheet/sleeping pads- in fact REI will offer them on sale (20%) starting Friday-I'm buying one of them. I think these will be ideal for big guy/warm weather camping. I can't get comfy inside a bag unless its cold out. Thermarest quilt is here: http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/sleep-systems/trek-and-travel-sleep-systems/category
10-08-09, 01:29 PM
The Kalamazoo -South Haven trail. Is it paved.. ?.
One thing I love about the trails adjacent Lake Michigan, the smell of sassafras. It can be overwhelming.
From downtown Kalamazoo west the first 3 miles or so are paved. The remainder is hard packed gravel. Not suitable for a skinny tire road bike but I rode it just fine on my Raleigh hybrid with its 35mm tires.
The smell of mint near mentha is quite powerful, too.
10-09-09, 04:33 PM
cb400bill I will take you up on the offer next spring. I will be heading up there for the tulip fest in Holland.
10-09-09, 04:35 PM
bobframe thanks for the link. I will look at those bags this winter.
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