Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

January 7, 2006
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Our second ride of the new year was appropriately on the second weekend of the year, Saturday January 7, 2006.  I think Bob was out of town so it was just me, Pete and Steve.  Overall this has been a very mild winter.  I think we have had more snow in the last week of November than we have had the entire month of January.  But, on this January 7 day it was cold and the roads were still a little icy from some freezing rain the day before.  At first I was questioning the safety of riding today.  I went out and checked the condition of street in front of my house and it was OK.  We would have to be careful, but no reason to cancel the scheduled ride.

It was also on the cold side so I was planning to put on an extra layer to stay warm.  On the way over to pick up Pete from his house I was glad I had put a thin pair of gloves on underneath my thick winter gloves because the combination of cold temperature with the wind blowing it was cold out.  I noticed my tires were a little low on air again, it seems in the cool weather my tires tend to lose air pressure more quickly.  It wasn't so bad that I needed to head back to add air, so I just kept on going to Pete's.  If nothing else the tires being a little low would make me work a little harder than normal.

Once I got to Pete's I honked my air horn into his open garage.  Pete must have heard the horn because he was out in just a few seconds finishing getting ready.  Pete asked what the weather was like and I told him it was cold.  He was prepared for the cold temperature as well.  In addition to having on a dew rag, ear muffs and his ski goggles and he also pulled on the hood to his winter jacket over top of everything including his bike helmet.  He looked kind of funny, but the most important thing on a day like today is to stay warm.  I did take a picture of Pete with all his gear on and I will post it with the few other pictures I took with my phone camera.  Pete also had some new gear installed on his bike.  He had his burrito basket and rack that he got for Christmas installed and he also had the bright yellow bike radio installed on his handle bars.  I think Pete has commandeered the radio off his son Paul's bike.  I hope Paul doesn't plan on ever using the radio anymore because it now appears to be a permanent fixture on Pete's bike.  I actually like the radio, it works amazingly well.  Its kind of nice having some background music while we ride.  Pete also has been struggling with a sore hand or wrist over the past few weeks and to help cushion his hand on his handle bar grip he has wrapped a RedWing head band around the grip.  When you look the handle bars on Pete's bike you wonder if there is enough room for his hands with all the bells, horn, radio, speedometer and headband.

Next stop Steve's house.  Steve was ready quickly, he was wearing his ski helmet and prepared for the cold.  From Steve's we got on Dutton and headed down the PCT.  Pete had an errand he wanted to run at Kinkos so we rode into town and made a stop at Kinkos.  Pete only took a couple minutes to make his copies and we were on our way again.  I wanted to check and see if Petsmart carried phosphate pads that I wanted to try out in my large aquarium.  So, we made a quick stop at Petsmart.  I was in the fish supply isle looking for the phosphate pad when I saw Steve coming toward me with his camera drawn ready to take my picture.  He snapped a quick picture and the flash went off drawing the attention of a young lady working at the store.  She quickly approached Steve and told him it was against company policy to allow photographs inside the store.  Well being a law abiding citizen Steve put his camera away and told the young lady he wouldn't take anymore pictures.  It didn't take me long to find out they didn't have what I was looking for, so it was time to head out and continue our ride.

After the pet store we went east of Rochester Road into the Hamlin apartment and condo complex.  They have a nice small 18 hole golf course in the complex and we ended up riding around the golf course on the paved cart paths.  There are a couple places along the perimeter of the course where pine trees were planted in pairs making for a long tunnel of trees side by side.  We actually went off the cart paths at one point just to ride one of these long tree lined paths.  Obviously we were the only ones out on the golf course on this cold windy day, but I am sure this area gets a few walkers during the off season.  I know if I lived near by I would regularly walk this area.

Once we rode around the Hamlin golf course we got the idea to ride over the new subdivision recently built on the old Rochester golf course.  This is the course where Pete got sections of putting green before the course was destroyed in preparation for the subdivision.  We spent quite a bit of time out riding around this golf course once it was shut down.  It felt strange to ride into the old golf course with all the new homes and streets.  We rode around this area for a few minutes before finally heading out toward Hamlin Pub for lunch. 

We locked our bikes out front and walked into the pub.  We got quite a reaction from the employees at the pub.  The manager and a waitress over by the bar yelled out "You've got to be kidding" when they saw and recognized us.  They couldn't believe we were out riding on a day like today.  The manager came over and sat at our table talking with us for quite a while.  He talked about using the new OPC (Old Persons Center) in Rochester.  He just couldn't say enough good things about the OPC.  He also told us about a friend of his from Australia who developed a new type of bike helmet.  We also talked about computers and the internet.  It was quite enjoyable talking to the manager.  I think Steve may have taken a few pictures while in the Pub and at various places and during the ride, as soon as Steve forwards all his pictures I will make a separate page and post all the pictures. 

All three of us had our usual Diet Coke.  I ordered the monte cristo sandwich, Pete had a turkey rueben and Steve got a newyork rueben.  The one constant we can always count on is the quality of the food at the pub.  In addition to the sandwiches tasting good they are also large.  I took half of mine home for dinner.  After a delicious lunch we suited back up and got back on our bikes for the ride home.

There was a light snow falling for the entire ride back.  The temperature was 26 when we started and it had only warmed up to 31 when I got home, but the wind did make it feel cooler.  We took our regular route through the neighbor hoods back home.

Following are the statistics from this ride, 22.5 miles, 18.9 max mph, 8.9 average mph and 2 hours and 30 minutes of time on bike.  The average speed was relatively low for this ride because we had to be careful to avoid random ice patches and we just felt like taking it easy this day.   
David Lindquist 

Pete's bike

Pete ready for the ride

Steve telling Pete he needs 2 minutes

Pete's burrito basket

The handle bars on Pete's bike
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