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Newspaper Article 1

Moped traveler likes to see the country

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This is an article that appeared in the Peace River newspaper "The Record-Gazette", July 5, 1978.
By Al Strange



For Walter Muma, traveling to Alaska from Toronto, nothing beats being able to go slowly and see the country by moped.

"This is the fourth summer for this kind of travel", noted the 21-year-old resident of downtown Toronto in pointing out it provides the best way of seeing the country. He says he owns a car that stays in Toronto.

"I want to see more of the north land, because it's changing so rapidly....I want to get there before the changes," indicated Walter, who was through the Peace River area hitch hiking in 1974 and has traveled through the Maritimes on a moped.

The two horse-power-driven moped currently being used by Walter is a French-made model, which he describes "as an extremely reliable bike". The last one he owned went 22,500 miles, with a new moped taking over this year.

On the third week of his travels this summer, when going through Peace River Walter says he does run into the occasional problem with the power-driven bicycle. Extra weight on the tires slowed him up briefly in Fox Creek during this excursion, forcing him to wait two and a half days for a new tire to be sent up from Edmonton. A similar concern stopped him in Peace River, but a search failed to locate an extra, just-in-case, wheel.

Highway regulations also hampered the current trip, with Manitoba not allowing the vehicles on the main roads.

Walter said he was forced to travel the back road route through Manitoba, which fortunately was the only province where he experienced what he would call good weather.

Rainy or unbearably hot conditions have caused some uncomfortable feelings in the experienced traveler, who is well prepared for his trips, carrying 50 pounds of gear on the 120 pound bike.

This year's road to Alaska has been well planned by Walter, who notes he's been organizing it for two years.

The 3,000 mile trip doesn't pass very quickly either, as Walter points out the moped can only reach a top speed of about 30 miles per hour, while he usually moves at between 25 and 30 mph.

Fortunately, pedaling the moped has not been necessary said Walter, noting it has been able to take him up hills pretty steadily, without having to resort to the extra work.

The moped method of travel is also handy to Walter with respect to his new hobby.

"I'm into photography now," points out Walter, who again returns to his main reason for traveling by moped.

"I like the wilderness and being able to see it as I go."


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