eBike’s for Heavier/Overweight Riders over 350lbs (Updated 2022)

If you are heavy (obese) or just overweight, you may be looking for a way to get in better shape. Riding a bike is a great way to get into shape! The problem when you overweight or morbidly obese, many bikes have weight limits which means that you can’t ride them. The list below has ebike’s for heavier/overweight riders that have a weight limit over 350lbs and is part of our guides to help people find the information that they are looking for on the Web.

This is a comprehensive list (and growing) of available eBike’s for Heavier/Overweight Riders that have a weight capacity over 350lbs.

Why are eBike’s great for heavier/overweight riders?

eBike’s are like a dream for someone trying to get into better shape. They have a motor which can either assist with pedaling or do the pedaling for you when you get tired or exhausted. The problem is that many eBike’s have low weight limits.

That’s where this list comes in. I’m compiling this list of eBike’s for Heavier/Overweight Riders that have a weight limit for riders over 350lbs and for others like me who might be looking for an eBike and they are a heavier rider. This list is not exhaustive and I will be adding eBike’s as I become aware of others. If you don’t find an option that works for you, you can also buy a regular bike and a conversion kit and add an electric motor to it.

Comprehensive list of eBike’s for heavier/overweight riders


Himiway ebikes offer a number of different models that have a weight capacity over 350lbs. In fact, several models feature a weight limit over 400lbs. This gives any prospective buyer a wide choice of models with different features and sizes. They all feature an aluminum frame with a 48v battery but come in a range of capacities. Prices are reasonable considering what you get . Models that exceed a 350lb capacity include:

Himiway Cruiser
  • Himiway Cruiser
  • Cruiser Step-Thru
  • Himiway Zebra/Step-Thru (400lbs)
  • Himiway Big Dog (400lbs)
  • Himiway Cobra (400lbs)
  • Himiway Cobra Pro (400lbs)

Cyrusher XF800

The Cyrusher XF800The Cyrusher XF800 is a 1000 watt 48v eBike with a weight limit of 360lbs. It has a range of 25 miles on all electric mode but can go 50 miles with pedal assist. High Quality Aluminum Alloy Frame, Fitted with the Oil Spring Suspension Fork with Lockout, Kiwigambling ,A Larger 5-inch LCD Screen That Clearly Displays Vital Information Like Battery Charge Level, Speed, and Trip Distance. You Can Control Your Speed and Monitor Your Mileage.

It’s not cheap, but it is an option if you weigh up to 360lbs.

Ariel Rider M-Class ebike

The Ariel Rider M-Class ebike

The Ariel Rider M-Class ebike is a 500 watt 48v folding eBike with a weight limit of 370lbs. It has a range of 70 miles and features multiple baskets for carrying groceries or other items on your journey.


RadWagon This 750 watt 48v RadWagon can go 25-40 miles at 20mph. It features a 350lb weight limit but is designed for 120lbs of cargo.

Day6 Samson

The Day6 SamsonThe Day6 Samson is the first on the list from Day6 and it has a capacity of 400lbs. It comes with a 750 or 1000 watt mid-drive motor and has a 25-30 mile range at 17mph. It’s slightly above average for heavy weight ebike’s but it does have a 400lb capacity.

Day 6 Behemoth

The Day 6 BehemothThe Day 6 Behemoth is the second Day 6 eBike to make the list. It has a weight capacity of 350lbs so it makes the list. If you have or get sore backs riding, this bike might be an option for you with a seat back. It features a 1000 watt motor so it’s sure to have plenty of power.

29ER MAX 2.0

The 29ER MAX 2.0The 29ER MAX 2.0 from Zize Bike’s has a weight limit of 400lbs and is a reasonable contender for having a high weight capacity and relatively low price. I say that as most eBikes with a weight capacity around 400lbs are $3K or more. This bike could be a good choice if you’re looking for a traditional bike with extra capacity.

Juggernaut Ultra 1000

Juggernaut Ultra 1000With a capacity of 400lbs, the Juggernaut Ultra 1000 has a nice capacity for heavier riders. This is a mid-drive motor (more efficient than hub motors) can go 25-60 miles up to 35mph.

Addmotor MOTAN M-5500 Watt Electric Bicycle 

The  MOTAN M-5500With a weight capacity of “only” 350lbs, the Addmotor MOTAN 1000 Watt Electric Bicycle barely makes the list. The MOTAN M-5500 is a 1000 watt 48v system that has a range of 40-50 miles of assist.

Juggernaut Ultra FS

Juggernaut Ultra FSAlso on the expensive side and only having a 350lb capacity, the Juggernaut Ultra FS does meet the criteria for the list but it can be on the pricier side. It is however, probably one of the best built full-suspension ebikes available.

Trike eBike Options

If the eBike options above don’t work for you, perhaps a trike ebike might work. The following Trike ebike’s have a high weight capacity.

Liberty Trike

The Liberty TrikeThe Liberty Trike is a cross between a bike and a scooter but it does have a 400lb weight capacity so it might be a viable choice for larger riders looking for a “cheaper” option.

EW-29 Electric Trike

The EW-29 Electric TrikeThe EW-29 Electric Trike is another Trike option for a heavier rider and it’s on the lower end of the spectrum. With a speed of up to 15 mph, it can go 20 miles on a single charge.

Other Options

ebike conversion kit option

If you already have a bike or the above options do not fit your budget, another option for having an ebike is to buy a conversion kit that includes a motor, battery and controllers. These kits can turn a regular bike designed for riders over 350lbs and convert it to an ebike sometimes for less than the cost of buying an ebike outright.

If you know of an eBike for Heavier/Overweight Riders that has a weight limit over 350lbs that should be added to the list, please email me the model information and I will add it to the list.

10 Places you can legally cross the U.S./Canada Border without going through Customs

Before 9/11 crossing the U.S./Canada border wasn’t that big of a deal. You still needed to be be officially checked in but in a lot of places (like Beebe Plain, VT) residents could easily cross without too much hassle. Now crossing the border can be a complex process, unless you’re just looking get on Canadian or U.S. soil temporarily and then there are some loopholes that let you do that without going through customs.

How you say? Well let’s just start with the fact that in all of these cases you’re entering the other country and then coming right back. You’re not staying and going that far. If you did, then you’d be breaking the law. However, you are technically in another country at that moment. So here’s 10 places you can legally cross the U.S./Canada Border without going through Customs. We’ll go from the east to the west.

The Aroostock Valley Country Club

The parking lot for the country club in Fairfield, ME is located in the U.S. but the club and the greens are in Canada. For U.S. residents you are allowed to play in Canada and technically be in Canada as long as you return to the U.S. This allows you to enter Canada, play a round of golf, interact with some Canadians and not have to go through customs. How many people can say they’ve played golf in two countries on the same day?

The Aroostock Valley Country Club allows you to be on Canadian soil without going through Customs

Escourt Station, Maine

Parc de la Frontiere allows one to go between the U.S. and Customs without going through Customs.

This is one of the places for Canadians looking to be technically in the U.S. without going through Customs. If you happen to be in eastern Quebec, you can head to the town of Pohenegamook. At the northern end of the aptly named rue de la Frontière you will find the again aptly named Parc de la frontière. There is an obelisk marking the border making it clear which side is Canada and which side in the United States. There’s a picnic table with a view of the river so you can spent time in both countries! There’s also a bathroom so they have thought of everything here.

Escourt Station, Maine has a place where Canadians can be temporarily in the U.S. without going through Customs

Pittsburg, NH – Fourth Connecticut Lake Hiking Trail

This one is a little trickier and you literally just walk past the Customs station and cross into Canada – several times! Care needs to be taken to park in the right parking spots across from the border crossing checkpoint. Walk along the fence and follow the signs to the hiking trail. You might even feel like you’re sneaking into the country just walking past the border patrol like that but don’t worry. Lots of people do this hike and it affords you the opportunity to be technically on Canadian soil while the trail meanders north and south of the border on it’s 1.2 mile journey to The Fourth Connecticut Lake which is the head waters for the 400+ mile long Connecticut River.

The Fourth Connecticut Lake Hiking Trail let’s you just walk past Customs and on Canadian soil.

The Haskell Free Library and Opera House – Derby Line, VT

This is probably the most famous place on our list. The towns of Derby Line and Rock Island sit next to each other, each on either side of the border. They’ve probably been more affected by the increased border security than any other place. It literally divides the same town. But, it gives us a unique opportunity in the Haskell Free Library. Park in front of the library (if there’s a spot available) and walk right in. Cross the black line on the floor and you’re in Canada. Literally just walk right in.

The Haskell Free Library straddles the U.S./Canada Border

East Richford, VT

This one is as easy as driving in. East Richford Slide Road in Richford, VT crossing the border for a decent stretch. There’s even the East Richford Cemetery where you could stop and take a walk around in Canada before returning back to the U.S.

East Richford Slide Road in Richford, VT crosses into Canada without a stop at Customs

Province Point, Lake Champlain

Here’s a second place for Canadians looking to be in the United States but it’s also one of those “can’t get there from here” type places. It is part of the United States that is only accessible by land from Canada. You need to cross private land to get there so this might be the hardest place to access on the list. According to reports, you can get there by walking but it’s not recommended. Visit at your own risk.

Province Point is part of the U.S. only accessible from Canada by land

Sault Ste Marie, MI

We jump west to Michigan for our next opportunity to cross into Canada without going through Customs. This is a water crossing and you’ll have to boarding a boat tour. The tour will take you out on the Saint Mary’s River and through both the American and Canadian locks. That means you’ll be in Canada while you go through the Canadian lock.

A boat tour of the Sault Ste Marie Locks will take you into Canada without going through Customs

Dunseith, ND – International Peace Garden

This one is a little different from all the others on the list. The International Peace Garden in Dunseith, ND gives people a unique opportunity to experience the border as an open garden. You can wander back and forth as you wish. It’s accessible from either Canada or the United States. To get there, you do have to pass by a Customs station and the entrance to the park is between the two. Once inside, you are free to roam about as you wish. If you want to be in Canada, be in Canada. Want to be in the U.S.? Go there! There are no Customs stations required. However, when you do leave, you will have to stop at Customs and report that you went to the Peace Garden so while you can cross the border without Customs, you eventually do.

The International Peace Park allows you to cross the border back and forth without stopping at Customs (while inside the park).

Portal, ND – Gateway Cities Golf Club

Here’s another opportunity to enter Canada, do some recreation and not have to go through Customs. It’s the second golf course on our list and let’s you tee off in the U.S. and putt in Canada. In fact, most of the course is in Canada but the club house is in the United States. Canadians will need to go through Customs to get to the clubhouse but American’s can play through!

Gateway Cities Golf Course is one of two golf courses in the United States that lets you play golf in Canada without going through Customs.

Peace Arch State Park – Blaine, WA & Peace Arch Provincial Park – Surrey, BC

This crossing is almost an honorable mention because unlike all the others there is police and Border Patrol presence in this park. You’ll also need to check ahead and verify that both sides of the park are open. The Washington and British Columbia parks are operated separately and have their own rules. When both sides are open you can cross from the U.S. into Canada and Canada into the U.S. without going through Customs. On the U.S. side you just need to cross the road to get to the Peace Arch at the border. Both parks do charge and admission fee.

The Peace Arch Parks give you the option of walking between the U.S. and Canada without going through Canada

Honorable Mentions

There’s some other quirky locations that are bits of land accessible only from one country or the other. I think they are worth mentioning to make this a comprehensive list of places where you can technically be in one country or the other without going through Customs.

  • Elm Point, MN – An exclave of the U.S., this spit of land is only accessible by land near Buffalo Point, Manitoba. There are no trails and the land is private. There’s also a small bit of marshy land to the west that is also technically in the U.S. but only accessible by water.
  • Hyder, AK – This is Alaska’s southern most town and it’s only accessible from British Columbia. You can enter without going through Customs but you’ll still need to check back in with Canadian Customs on the way out. So you can get there without Customs but not all the way
  • Niagara Falls, NY – It’s a shorter and more crowded version of the Sault Ste Marie Locks tour mentioned above but you can board a Maid of the Mist tour and be taken into Canadian waters.


Crossing the border is a big deal. You’re entering a foreign country. We’ve listed 10 (12 if you count the honorable mentions) places where you can technically cross the border and be on foreign soil without going through customs. However, your visit is very limited and not official. These are fun trivial places but you still need to follow the law if you plan on visiting either country. We have a great relationship with our neighbors and we should keep it that way!

Did we miss any places where you can cross the U.S./Canada Border without going through Customs? Email us! We’d love to hear from you. Check out our other Guides for helpful and fun information!

Massachusetts is South of Connecticut and other Geographical Oddities

Looking a map of the United States reveals some quirky oddities. For example it is possible to drive north from Massachusetts into Connecticut. We’ve all heard of different oddities like the Lake of the Woods in Minnesota or that Canada is south of Detroit. Here’s a list of some other improbably geographical oddities that you can check out next time you’re out traveling.

Driving South from Massachusetts into Connecticut

Everyone knows that Massachusetts is north of Connecticut, right? What someone told you that you can drive north from Massachusetts and enter Connecticut? Normally it would not be possible but there is a jog in the Massachusetts/Connecticut border that makes this possible. Looking at a map makes it look like this jog is a square but looking at it closely, it’s much more nuanced.

Map showing Connecticut being north of Massachusetts
Route 168 travels northeast/southwest between Connecticut and Massachusetts

The border follows the eastern shoreline of the Congamond Lakes but there is a causeway that divides the lakes and the causeway is angled northeast/southwest and route 168 crosses here. This takes someone driving on an easterly direction to more northeasterly in order to enter Connecticut.

New York is South of Vermont?

Everyone knows that Vermont is a New England state and that New York state is west of New England but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel south out of Vermont into New York. Vermont includes Lake Champlain all the way south to a point near Whitehall, NY.

Map showing New York state surrounded by Vermont.
Vermont extends north of New York south of Lake Champaign

This area extends into New York giving a traveler the opportunity to travel south from Vermont into New York state.

Part of Illinois is WEST of the Mississippi River

Here’s another geographical oddity. This one sounds a little crazy because Illinois is east of the Mississippi River but part of it did move west of the river in 1881. Flooding caused the channel of the Mississippi River to change leaving the town of Kaskaskia to be west of the Mississippi and the rest of Illinois.

Parts of Illinois are west of the Mississippi River
Part of Illinois is West of the Mississippi River

Kaskaskia is actually the original capital of Illinois before 1819 and was originally settled by the French in the early 1700s.

Montana is north of South Dakota?

Yes, most of Montana lies north of South Dakota but we typically think of North Dakota as the state that lies north of South Dakota but how about Montana? It’s true! Part of Montana extends east over Wyoming allowing a traveler to travel north from South Dakota and enter Montana:

Map showing Montana north of South Dakota
Montana extends east of Wyoming making it possible to travel north from South Dakota into Montana

Florida is West of Georgia

The next two are a pair of geographical oddities. I know what you’re thinking – Alabama is west of Georgia but what if I told you that part of Florida is actually west of it? For several miles in the Florida panhandle, Florida bumps north into Alabama, making it west of Georgia and not Alabama:

Map showing Florida west of Georgia
In this portion of the Florida Panhandle, Florida is west of Georgia

Florida is East of Georgia

I know we just demonstrated how part of Florida is due west of Georgia but it’s also true part of Florida is due east of Florida. So how can Florida be both east and west of Georgia? Easy! Over on the eastern side of Florida there is a jog in the Florida/Georgia border much like the Connecticut/Massachusetts border where part of Florida sticks north into Georgia around the Saint Mary’s River. Here it’s possible to travel east from St George, Georgia and enter Florida.

Map showing Georgia west of of Florida
Florida is both east and west of Georgia

Where else could you reach 5 states in under an hour?

No, we are not talking about smaller eastern states because technically there are single points where you could reach 5 states in an hour but there’s an easier place where you can do that – the Panhandle of Oklahoma. That port of Oklahoma is surrounded by 5 states making the feat much easier.

Map showing the 5 states within an hour of the Oklahoma Panhandle
The Oklahoma Panhandle is surrounded by 4 other states

Kentucky is West of Indiana

This is another one of those anomalies caused by bends in a river but while we think of Kentucky as being south a Indiana, it is possible to travel west in Indiana and enter Kentucky. The Ohio Rivers twists and turns to make the south border of Indiana and in Cannelton the river flows north giving us the geographical oddity that we can travel west across the river on route 69 and enter Kentucky to the west.

Map showing Kentucky west of Indiana
Route 69 travels southwest from Indiana to Kentucky

Texas is so big, it’s West of Denver

Everyone knows that Texas is big but it’s easy to forget how big it is. It’s eastern border is along the gulf of Mexico but many forget how far west the western border goes. Texas’s western border is so far west that it’s actually west of Denver and much of Colorado and New Mexico. It’s actually possible to make a day trip from Tucson to El Paso and back.

Map showing Denver is east of parts of Texas
Texas’s Western Border is West of Denver

Tennessee is East of Virginia

Tennessee borders 8 different states and shares that distinction with Missouri. It’s shaped like a parallelogram and most people think that Virginia is one of it’s neighbors to its north. While it does share a border with Virginia to its north, it’s possible to travel east of Tennessee and enter Virginia.

Map showing Tennessee is east of Virginia
East of Bristol the Tennessee border takes a jog to the north


So there you have it. 10 geographic oddities that you can explore and do things that normally you wouldn’t be able to. Check out our other Guides and informative articles!

Easy Hikes

Most people enjoy the outdoors and taking hikes in nature but sometimes you just want to take a leisurely walk and be bothered with long strenuous hikes. For some people who may not be in the greatest physical fitness health they want to get out but are not sure where they can go. That’s where this exclusive Guide to Easy Hikes comes into play.

For heavy, out of shape and over weight hikers, we’ve created Guides for hiking gear designed for heavier people. We’ve also created Guides for eBikes for Heavier Riders as well as regular bikes for riders over 350lbs. Hopefully this Guide helps people find easy walks in nature no matter where they are!

Criteria for Easy Hikes

This Guide focuses on hikes that are less than 2 miles round trip and has an elevation change of less than 200′. Most hikes are shorter than that and stay fairly flat but that’s where we draw the line for an easy hike.

If you know an easy hike that should be included on this list, please email Dave Broer at dbroer@lincon.com for consideration to add the hike to this list.


Runway Markings

Any pilot needs to understand the markings around an airport, particularly runway markings. It’s important to understand runway markings so that you can avoid sensitive areas and operate according to FAA regulations.

Understanding runway markings is important no matter what type of aviator you are. Whether you are a passenger or a pilot – be that of a larger jet or a drone/UAV. In fact, UAV pilots testing for their Part 107 commercial license can be tested on runway markings so it’s important to understand what these markings mean.

Satellite picture of a runway with markings

Above is a satellite image of an a runway along with the taxiway and the markings on the runway. You can see a plane in the taxiway having moved from the terminal apron and it is making it’s approach to the runway.

Runway Diagram with Markings

Here’s a look at a runway and it’s diagram. You can see the same markings above on a real runway. Let’s start breaking down these markings to understand how a runway is marked.

Runway diagram with markings

The left most edge with the yellow chevrons is called the Blast Pad or Overrun Area. This zone is an area built at that the end of runway to allow for jet blasts or for planes that did not stop by the end of the runway. Use of the Blast Pad or Overrun Area for taxiing, take off or landing is not permitted.

Blast Pad marking on a runway
The Blast Pad or Overrun Area

The next section is the Displaced Threshold. Not every airport has one as you can see from the runway markings at the above airport. Displaced Thresholds can be used for takeoffs but not landings. However, landing aircraft can use the Displaced Threshold for roll outs.

Displaced Threshold marking on a runway.

Next up is the Runway Threshold. This marks the beginning of the runway available for landings. After the threshold is a runway number. The number represents the compass degree that the runway is orientated. In the example below, the “09” represents a runway oriented 90 degrees. In the real world example above the runway is orientated to 330 degrees. Optionally if there are parallel runways, the runway can be marked with an R, C or L for Right, Center or Left.

Runway Touchdown Zone markings

Following the runway name, the Touch Down Zone begins. It is marked by a series of Fixed Distance Marks. Down the middle is the Center Line and two solid white bars that mark the Landing Target Zone.

Taxiway enhanced markings

Just off the runway are taxiways that lead to the runway. It’s important to understand these markings as they connect with the runway. They are marked by parallel yellow lines and dashed yellow lines marking a warning zone to pilots that they are approaching the runway and that they need to stop unless they have obtained prior permission from the ATC to proceed.

Runway Regulations

Runway markings are highly regulated and consistent from one airport to the next. The FAA has a publication which outlines the markings and how they are to be done. In addition to runway markings, the regulations specify the taxiways, approaches and other markings at airports. Some regulations vary in different country, most are the same across the globe to provide uniformity.

Hopefully this guide has been helpful. It’s part of our exclusive Guides so check out out other exclusive Guides here on LincOn.com.

Ship Tracking – American Phoenix

Ship tracking is a way of tracking ships anywhere in the world. The American Phoenix is a popular vessel to track because it is one of the largest ships sailing under a U.S. flag. Ship Tracking American Phoenix can be done on a number of sites including Vessel Finder, MarineTraffic.com and others. Here’s the latest position courtesy of Vessel Finder:

The American Phoenix is an apt name because this tank ship started as Jones Act tanker (see below) but Shell abandoned the project. Years later it was resurrected and “Phoenix” once again rose from the ashes.

What is the Jones Act

The American Phoenix is a vessel built under the guise of the Jones Act. The Jones act was passed in 1920 and requires that all vessels carrying traffic between American ports need to owned and crewed by Americans and the ship needed to have been built in the U.S. This protects the U.S. Maritime industry and vessels like the American Phoenix are proof of that.

American Phoenix

About the American Phoenix

As mentioned above, the American Phoenix was a ship whose construction was started by Shell Oil but the project was later abandoned. The tanker project was later resumed. At the time of launching in 2012 it was the largest ship ever launched in Alabama. It features twin engines, individual crew quarters and meets all engineering standards for vessels of its type.

Ship Tracking

Ship tracking ships like the American Phoenix is made easy by only tools that receive location information from hundreds of thousands of vessels on waterways across the globe. Ship tracking American Phoenix can be done via Websites that relay this information. These ship tracking sites include:

These sites let you see all shipping traffic on waterways around the world. This includes commercial and private vessels. The map below is a live tracking map of shipping around the United States. Use the interactive map to track vessels like the American Phoenix:

Hopefully this information has been helpful. Be sure to check out our other exclusive Guides found only on LincOn.com

Why is Amtrak so expensive

Anyone looking at Amtrak’s fares might do a double take, particularly when looking at long distance overnight accommodations. So why is Amtrak so expensive? There are a number of factors to consider starting with the fact that Amtrak needs to cover all of its expenses and receives few subsidies to support itself. This means what it charges for its services need to cover all its expenses including fuel, equipment, facilities and personnel needed to operate all of those including retired personnel.

Amtrak Train

Operating Expenses

Amtrak has a number of operating expenses from the fuel that they use to power locomotives, the personnel who operate and maintain them and the facilities in which they operate in. All of these need to be factored in when thinking about the per mile cost to operate.

Mile per mile, Amtrak’s operations in the Northeast pay for themselves and even make a profit for the railroad. However, those aren’t there only operations. They have trains that they operate all across the country.


The fuel that Amtrak uses to power its locomotives is going to be one of their larger expenses. Outside the Northeast Corridor, most of the trains are powered by diesel locomotives. Believe it or not, they are technically electric because giant engines generate electricity and power electric motors that in turn drive the wheels. They also supply power to the entire train or consist.

In the Northeast Corridor the “fuel” that Amtrak consumes is electricity and a lot of it. From Boston to Washington the lines are electric. Instead of generating the electricity to drive the motors, they draw the electricity from the grid. As a commercial user, they draw large amounts of electricity that needs to be paid for.

Once all expenses are accounted for, Amtrak can then look at their income opportunities and forecast how much they expect from each of those along with how much the market will bear.


Many employees of Amtrak work behind the scenes
Many Amtrak employees work behind the scenes.

Amtrak employs a wide variety of staff for their operations:

  • Conductors
  • Engineers
  • Baggage Handlers
  • Ticketing staff
  • Police
  • Mechanics
  • Cleaners
  • Track Maintainer
  • Markerting
  • Human Resources
  • Office Staff
  • Painters
  • Metal Shop
  • Signal Operations


Amtrak doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Its trains operate out of stations and staff need to operate out of offices and maintenance facilities. All of these need to paid for, whether they are leased or owned by the railroad.

Amtrak staff cleaning trains
Amtrak staff have extra cleaning duties.


Both the facilities and the equipment that Amtrak uses need to be maintained. This requires personnel or hiring contractors to come in an performed the required tasks.

Income Opportunities

There’s a number of income opportunities for Amtrak. These include their Rail Operations and Facility Leasing.

Rail Operations

Amtrak’s rail operations are their bread and butter. They own their own lines in the Northeast but elsewhere they need to lease the use of the lines from freight companies. The freight companies take priority and so it can delay Amtrak’s operations in these areas.

Amtrak passengers in the dinning car
Amtrak’s passenger service is its primary means of income

Passenger Service

Amtrak’s primary service is obviously passenger service.. This includes moving passengers on their own inter-city lines or acting as an operator for some regional rail like Connecticut’s CT Rail line. In addition to passenger fares they can take in income from ancillary services like meals, drinks and overnight accommodations on longer trains.

Shipping Services

Amtrak currently offers shipping services for products loaded at one station and having someone else take them off at another station.

Rail Rentals

Amtrak also allows people to pay to have their privately owned rail cars towed from destination to destination.

Facility Leasing

Amtrak owns several stations that it operates out of and so can lease space to other other operators such as regional rail and bus lines like Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. This presents another income opportunity for the railroad.


Once Amtrak know how much their expenses are, they can look their income opportunities and determine what the rates should be. It’s a simple equation at this point – divide the miles that they operate by expenses and determine the cost to operate by mile. From there you can figure out the fare between stations but you have to keep what the market will bear for different segments. For example, if they charged what it really cost for a 1000+ mile journey, few people would take it but if you increase your cost on other more well traveled lines, you can lower your cost on those longer lines and have more passengers.

There’s a lot of different things that get factored in to make Amtrak’s fares what they are but when you think about why is Amtrak so expensive and everything that they do, their fares do make sense.

Does this answer your question? Hopefully it does. Please check out our other exclusive Guides found only on LincOn.com.

Soapstone Mountain

Soapstone Mountain is a mountain in Somers, CT. The summit is 1075′ (328m). It’s located in the 7000+ acre Shenipsit State Forest which is located in the towns of Somers, Stafford and Ellington, CT. It’s a popular spot with the only observation tower in Eastern Connecticut. Although the summit is not that high, it is prominent over the surrounding terrain and an observation tower on its summit provides a commanding view that includes four states.

The view from Soapstone Mountain
The view from Soapstone Mountain includes 4 states – Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont


Soapstone Mountain gets its name from the historic quarry that was located on its slopes. The remains of the quarry can still be seen today along the Quarry Trail located on the eastern slope. The trail leads from the summit area to the base parking area.

The trail and the mountain get their name from an old quarry that mined soapstone. Soapstone was used in many homes in the colonial days and thus the quarry provided an important resource. Little information is know about the quarry but it certainly did exist!

Soapstone Mountain is where the surrounding Shenipsit State Forest started. It was purchased by the state in 1927 to erect a fire tower. That fire tower remained until the late 1970s when it was removed.

Recreation Options

The Soapstone Mountain area is full of recreational opportunities. The area is popular with hikers, mountain bike riders, picnicking and other outdoor activities.

An annual race takes place on the mountain. The 24km race has been run since the 1970s and uses the mountains terrain to add to race.

Summit Facilities

There is an auto road which leads to the summit off Gulf Road in Somers. The summit area features a small parking area and so if it is full you will need to park at the base and hike up. Beware that the site can become crowded on weekends and both parking areas can be full.

Surrounding the summit area are several picnic sites with a view looking to the north and east. One is located just off the summit and offers a great view to the east.

As you walk from the summit area parking lot to the actual summit, there is a fenced in area which houses a tower that was the former Bradley International Airport National Weather Service office’s weather radar. That tower is where the former fire tower was located. The for radar tower now holds antenna’s for the State Police and Tolland County Fire Departments. There is also a building located in the fenced in area that houses the transmitter equipment.

Near the fenced in area is the obvious high point and a rock with a USGS marker indicating the actual summit.

Observation tower on top of Soapstone Mountain.
The observation tower on top of Soapstone Mountain has a commanding view of the area

Also on the summit is the observation platform. Closed for several years due to vandalism, it re-opened in 2018. It features a commanding view of the Connecticut River Valley and the surrounding hills. From the platform to can see Mount Greylock in Massachusetts, Hogback Mountain in Vermont and Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. All three are over 60 miles away. Springfield, Massachusetts is also in view.

Considering that the view takes in four states, it’s a great place to take in New England’s fall foliage!

Surrounding Forest

The Shenipsit Trail passes around Soapstone Mountain
The Shenipsit Trail passes around Soapstone Mountain

Soapstone Mountain is located in the middle of the nearly 7000 acre Shenipsit State Forest. The forest includes many forest roads and trails for different outdoor enthusiasts.

The surrounding forest consists of miles of trails. The extensive trail system is used by hikers and mountain bikers. Trails include a variety of terrain from steep sections to relatively flat ones. The trails can either be accessed from the summit area or the base parking area.

The Northeast States CCC Museum in Stafford is located in the Shenipsit State Forest Headquarters
The Northeast States CCC Museum in Stafford is located in the Shenipsit State Forest Headquarters not far from Soapstone Mountain

The regional state forest headquarters is located in Shenipsit State Forest and features the Northeast States CCC Museum. The headquarters are a former CCC Camp and the buildings are setup to show how life was when the CCC was active. They helped plant trees, build roads, picnic and other facilities in forests across the country.

Surrounding Area

The state forest is connected to other conservation areas such as Bald Mountain in Somers which is the highest point along the eastern Connecticut River Valley in Massachusetts. It also connects to several local land trust parcels allowing one to hike from the center of town to the summit on conservation land.


Soapstone Mountain is great place to get out and enjoy nature, even from the comfort of your car or spending an entire day hiking around with rewarding views.

I hope this information on Soapstone was helpful. Check out our other exclusive Guides on LincOn.com.

Snowmobiles for Heavy Riders

Snowmobiling or sledding is a great activity to get out and explore nature in winter. If you’re a heavy rider, there a few things that you should look for in a sled before you hit the trails. Here are some snowmobiles for heavy riders and a few suggestions of features to look for when buying a new machine.

Snowmobiles for Heavy Riders
Even large people can ride snowmobiles for fun!

Features to look for in a sled for heavy riders

There’s several features that you’ll want to look for in snowmobile. These include the springs and shocks, length, engine performance and weight.

Springs and Shocks

Features to look for start at the base. You’ll want a sled or snow machine with heavy duty springs and shocks. These will absorb the extra weight and flex as you hit different terrain. These can be added to an older sled so you don’t have to buy a new sled. Talk to a local shop and ask about heavy duty springs and re-building shocks to accommodate a heavy rider. Air shocks are easier to adjust than gas shocks and some models like the Yamaha Apex X-TX come with them from the factory. Fox Float shocks can be added to models if they don’t come from the factory with the,


Another feature to look at is length, With a longer sled, you have more surface area for the machine to grip the snow and support you if you’re off-trail. Look for a model that has a length longer than 151″ for best performance.

Engine Performance

Engine performance is another thing that you’ll want to consider. The more power that you have the easier it is for the sled will be able to pull itself and the rider through the snow, especially if it’s not groomed. Look for a n 800cc engine. 700cc would be the minimum but 800cc will give you enough power.


Weight is another factor. Most newer (2017+) snowmobiles are lighter than their predecessors. Combined with generally more powerful engines, a lighter sled will handle a heavy rider just as if it was a heavier sled with a lighter rider. Being lighter means being able to float better on top of the snow instead of sinking and allow the engine to work more smoothly.

Models to Consider

Here is a list of models that are well suited for larger/overweight riders looking for a good experience on a day out sledding!

Arctic Cat M Hardcore Alpha One

Arctic Cat M Hardcore Alpha One
Arctic Cat M Hardcore Alpha One

The Arctic Cat M Hardcore Alpha One is a good contender for a snowmobile for a big rider. It features a near 800cc motor which will give you plenty of power and is available in 154″ & 165″ lengths. You can also order it right from the factory with Fox Float shocks. The Mountain Cat Alpha One is another model by Arctic Cat with the longer length as well.

Polaris Pro RMK 174

Polaris Pro RMK 174
Polaris Pro RMK 174

The Polaris Pro RMK 174 features a 174″ track and is a great machine for climbing hills and going off trail. It has an 840cc engine which is certainly going to give you enough power to get through any terrain. Air shocks are not available from the factory but, as we’ve discussed, they can be added aftermarket.

Ski Doo Summit X

Ski Doo Summit X
Ski Doo Summit X

The Ski Doo Summit X features a 175″ length making it one of the longest sleds available. It comes with an 850cc engine so it has plenty of power to take you where you want to go, whether on-trail or not.

Yamaha Mountain Max LE 154

Yamaha Mountain Max LE 154
Yamaha Mountain Max LE 154

The Yamaha Mountain Max LE 154 has a 154″ track so it’s one of the shorter models on our list. It features a 794cc engine so it has plenty of power to get you through the deepest snow. It features Fox 2.0 Zero shocks as standard so no need to add them as an option or add them on later.

Other Options for riding in the snow for heavy riders

Polaris Ranger with Track System
Polaris Ranger with Track System

In addition to snowmobiles for heavy riders, you can consider other modes of transportation in the snow. There are several companies that sell conversion kits that allow you to add tracks to any ATV, UTV or side-by-side making them very capable machines in the snow. Companies like Camso sell after market conversion kits so you can replace your summer wheels for winter tracks and hit the trails year round.

Some manufacturers also sell kits as an option. Polaris, Arctic Cat and Can Am all sell units that they manufacture for their ATV’s, UTV’s or side-by-sides so if the idea of a snowmobile is intimidating or doesn’t sound comfortable, there are options out there for heavy riders.

Concluding thoughts on snowmobiles for heavy riders

Snowmobiling is a fun sport that allows everyone to get out into nature and enjoy the sites and sounds and have fun at the same time. Hopefully this Guide has helped you and given you ideas on what to look for in a snowmobile for heavy riders. Do you have any suggestions for other models on this list? Be sure to email Dave at dbroer@lincon.com with your suggestion and we’ll consider adding it to the list.

This Guide is part of a series of guides on for heavier people to get out and enjoy the world around them! Be sure to check out our other Guides such as ebkes for heavy people, bikes for heavy people, hiking gear for heavy people and a guide to RVs for heavy people.

How to make paper in Minecraft

Paper is a useful item in Minecraft. Paper can be used to make maps, banners and other useful items. To make paper you need sugarcane. It can also be found in looting chests such as those found in Shipwrecks or Cartographers chests.

How to make paper in Minecraft

How to make paper in Minecraft
How to make paper in Minecraft

Paper starts as sugarcane in Minecraft. Place three pieces of sugarcane on the crafting table and it will produce paper. The sugarcane can be found naturally along water edges and can also be farmed.

Where to find paper

In addition to making paper, paper can also be found in a few places as you explore around the world. It can be found in Supply or Map Chests in Shipwrecks, in Library Chests in Strongholds and in a Cartographers Chest in Villages.

Uses for paper

As I mentioned, paper has a number of uses. One of the primary uses is in creating an empty locator map but it can also be used to create different banners, books, maps and firework rockets.


Hopefully you found this helpful. This is our second Guide on Minecraft. We originally posted some simple design ideas that anyone could implement in Minecraft. If you have any tips that you would like to share, please email Dave at dbroer@linon.com.