MetroParks Mountain Biking Area

Once again I am leaving the beautiful weather of Southern California for the serenity that a spring in South Haven brings. Some have asked why Michigan? My answer is why not? Plus, I scored airline tickets from United for $53.00 round trip from LAX to ORD.

Courtesy of the Marines I departed the Great Lakes state almost 40 years ago and I want to explore all that Michigan has to offer; things I couldn’t do as a child for lack of resources and necessity. I pulled a bucket list off the net that had 50 thing one should do while in Michigan and I thought that will be a great reference point.

My first destination will be to attempt MoMBA in Dayton Ohio. Being from Michigan we all know Ohio State sucks but I have been told that the MoMBA trails are some of the best in the Midwest. To my friends that love “The Bucks” I send my love…

I strongly suggest before attempting strenuous activities you get the green light from your doctors and have your vital health info handy in case of an emergency; I use the Medical ID on my iPhone and the medical app from my health insurance provider.

My second suggestion is to find a qualified guide or if unavailable someone to accompany you. I will definitely ride the beginner trails before attempting the advanced trails and understand even the seasoned riders are vulnerable to accidents and medical emergencies.

The Gear

Most trail heads have a local bicycle livery, more commonly known as a bike shop where you can rent in lieu of purchasing equipment for your adventure. It is a good ideal to rent your bike and safety equipment if this is your first ride. Accumulating your gear can get expensive and wouldn’t it be a shame to find out that off road trails isn’t the experience you were expecting?

I picked up my gear at Rock’n’Road Cycle in South Haven. Since I didn’t have any idea what kind of bike I wanted it was important that I found a shop and owner that I trusted. Scott provided me with both and without breaking the bank. We started with a Giant Talon 27.5 XL, which is in the mid-range price point, helmet, patch kit, air pump, water bottle and gloves. I also suggest eye protection, UV clothing to protect from sunburn and any poison ivy or oak you might come across and for added protection I use a kidney belt for back protection.

Preparation is key, just like we prepared for retirement we need to be vigilant and take into consideration our health, both physically and financially. Stick to your retirement plan and remember that this is stage 2 “The Honeymoon” and “You Earned It, Enjoy It!”