Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Kal-Haven is a Bike Maven's Haven

South Haven, MI    High:  76   Low: 53

skinny tires on the Trek 7300
How about that blog title for today?  :-)  In case inquiring minds want to know, a  "maven" is an "expert or knowledgeable enthusiast"...Sparky is definitely a bike enthusiast, but NOT an expert.  The enthusiast part really fits now since she has a different bike, the Trek 7300 hybrid. The 7300 is a lighter weight than our old Trek 3.0 "comfort" bikes which makes it a lot easier to load them on the bike rack. It has skinnier tires, inflated to a higher pressure, which makes for less rolling resistance. (Sparky is doing her best to get the "expert" label to fit, explains E.) Naw, we just have learned a lot in checking out new bikes...Eldy's the expert here. He just explained to me that the Trek 7300 runs a 700 X 35 tire...????? Whatever that means, Sparky has no clue! (E. says, it's a bigger, skinnier tire than a comfort bike, that's all you need to know, hon.) The tires are supposedly almost puncture proof and have an interesting side, "dig in" groove so you don't slide around in gravel.

All she knows is, the bike rides like a dream...The shifter shifts like a's a trigger shifter, as opposed to a wrist twisting shifter, a LOT easier on the hands...going uphill is a LOT easier now.
Time to get some riding in on the Kal-Haven Bike Trail....about a 34 mile rails to trails, one of Michigan's first rails-to-trails, from South Haven to Kalamazoo MI. Sparky headed out yesterday for a ten mile bike ride....The scenery was farmlands along the stretch Sparky took yesterday.....In this case, a STINKY portion of farmland, the blowers were really blowing out the smell! Chickens? Cows? Pigs? It didn't last long, the wind was blowing it quickly away.

There's a little bit of forest, small towns, residential areas, cornfields and fields of goldenrod or yarrow.....

Queen Anne's Lace was waving in the breeze....
It was a beautiful, shady ride for much of the trail....

Guess there are six bridges along the way, but Sparky didn't see any on the section from where she got on to the loop back. There's even a ghost town in Menta along the trail, wherever that is! Sparky thinks that is closer to Kalamazoo.

The trees are definitely starting to change into a kaleidoscope of colors....

Mother Nature is painting swaths of color throughout the forest.....Just swatches here and there....

There is a trail fee pass, it's either 2.00 or 3.00. If you head towards South Haven, there's a little toll booth right as you come into town off the trail. It's a small fee to pay for riding a great surfaced trail. Sparky happened to go the opposite direction and did not encounter a place to pay.

You see lots of different things on a trail ride....Here's a wood sculpture right by the edge of the trail in a neighbor's yard.....
And along the trail, an enterprising resident  had this sign out....A small cooler with cold water was on the other side of the fence within easy reach.

A cluster of money plants were in just one small section of trail. Sparky didn't see any more the rest of the ride. That's the first time Sparky has seen these plants out in nature and not in a Michael's craft store. (She leads a sheltered life, explains E.) :-)

There were LOTS of people out on the trail today...great weather, a great ride....Sparky will probably turn around and do it again tomorrow! See you later.....


  1. Wonderful time. Again, great pics that show us where you went.



  2. We love the rails to trails too. The goldenrod, not so much...aaaachooo!

  3. My mother used to call that a silver dollar plant, and grew some in our bag yard in Chicago.

    Some enterprising kids should open a lemonade stand along the trail.

  4. You might want to check with a bike shop to see if they can put new tires on the other bike that are more narrow than the mountain bike tires. They also have puncture resistant tubes for bikes. Do not use fix-a-flat on bike tires, it gums up the valve so you can not get air in.

    Be careful on the road

  5. Okay. . .after all your posts on great bike rides. . .I've convinced myself I want a bicycle for my birthday present. . .what to do. . .what to do. . .LOL!


  6. One good reason to bike are the places you can go to, like the route you took on your biking escapade! Great images! Hope to see more bike trails soon!