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  1. #1
    Senior Member kingnutterrick's Avatar
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    four day trip to South Haven

    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.
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    Last edited by kingnutterrick; 10-04-09 at 12:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kingnutterrick's Avatar
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    I am uploading my bike, I used, and some other pics of the trip.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    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. ?
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









    ^ Since June 16, 2011

  4. #4
    Senior Member kingnutterrick's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    Lanterne Rouge cb400bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingnutterrick View Post
    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 10-08-09 at 01:13 AM.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









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  7. #7
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    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/Pro.../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-re...stems/category
    Last edited by bobframe; 10-08-09 at 04:37 AM.

  8. #8
    Lanterne Rouge cb400bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kingnutterrick's Avatar
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    cb400bill I will take you up on the offer next spring. I will be heading up there for the tulip fest in Holland.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kingnutterrick's Avatar
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    bobframe thanks for the link. I will look at those bags this winter.

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