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Bicycle store owner going bicycling down the coast


September 11, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Roger Gruber poses in front of his business, Havre Bicycle, Tuesday before beginning his month-long bike trek from Vancouver, British Columbia, to the Mexican border near San Diego.

Havre Bicycle Center owner Roger Gruber went on his way Tuesday afternoon to northwest Canada to take a break during his slow season - a break still involving bicycles.

Before leaving town for the west coast, Gruber said he will bike from Canada to the Mexican border.

"I am bicycling from Vancouver, British Columbia, down the Pacific Coast Highway to the south San Diego-Mexican border," Gruber said. "I am basically bicycling along the coast."

He said the route is approximately 1,830 miles and he added that it would probably take him more than a month to complete. He said if he plans on doing 50 miles each day it will take him about 36 days.

"The purpose is to just do it," he said. "I never had the courage to do it and now is the time. I don't have a lot going on, and ... it is not quite winter yet, and I'm not getting any younger. I'm going to do it."

The Havre Bicycle Center will be closed while he is gone, he said, but there will be an emergency number listed on the door if people have to have work done.

He added that as he has worked on many bicycles since 1986 and the cyclists he had met throughout the years sparked his interest for this trip.

"I've had (the idea) for quite awhile, but I always figured that in the fall would be a good time to really take a break and ride somewhere," Gruber said.

  He said this trip goes hand-in-hand along with his business in selling bicycles - it fits him and is something he wants to do right now.

He added that he is looking forward to taking a break from everyday life.

With being on a bicycle, Gruber said some challenges he may come across are not only traveling on a highway, but every day will be an adventure of how far he plans to go and see where plans to stop, pitch a tent, prepare a meal.

He said he will be using Adventure Cycling Maps as a resource to give information about the things listed above such as challenges.

"A person doesn't want to take too much because it will be hard to pedal," he added. "My bike with the racks weighs about 37 pounds, but with everything else it weighs about 75 pounds."

He said he would like to complete in 40 days or less, but is not going to put himself on a strict timeline. 

"The only specific thing I know is that I will be riding on a route," he said.

He added that he has not done any special training for this prior and that, once he reaches San Diego, he will hop on a train and return home to Havre.

"Basically you are camping on a bicycle for a month," Gruber said."I think it's going to be beautiful along there and pitching a tent along the ocean. I have never been to the Pacific coast." 


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