Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

April 13, 2006
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Thursday April 13, 2006 I was off work for the afternoon and it was a beautiful day for a bike ride.  It also happened to be my son Jonathanís birthday and he wanted to take the day off school because they were just going to be watching movies.  I told Jonathan he could stay home if he wasnít missing anything important in school and he would agree to go on a bike ride with me in the afternoon.   I have been trying for a long time to get Jonathan to join the bike club.  Apparently he thought a bike ride was better than having to go to school.   

Once we agreed to do a bike ride we had to select a destination.  If you know Jonathan you know that pizza is his favorite food.  The Sears which used to be a Kmart on Rochester Road near Avon has a Little Caesars pizza station which has always been one of Jonathanís favorite places to eat.  I suggested we ride to Sears and have lunch, Jonathan agreed and we headed out. 

Jonathanís bike is one of those small BMX type bikes which arenít good for distance riding.  Even though this wasnít going to be a real long ride, it was still longer than Jonathan was used to doing so I got down my old spare back up bike for him to ride.  Since Max was the last person to use this bike we had to raise the seat up a little, but overall it worked just fine.  I actually had more problems with my bike on the ride home while Jonathan didnít have any issues at all.  My problem was a flat tire which I will expand on later. 

The weather was very nice.  It was cool, but sunny which made for perfect bike riding weather.  We started out heading south through the neighbor hoods and past Long Meadow School.  I took Jonathan through the secret trail that connects the Long Meadow playground to another subdivision on the other side.  From there we rode over to Walton east to Helen Street just past the Hospital.  We rode through this neighbor hood until we came to a dead end and I showed Jonathan how we carry our bikes through a brushy area over to the Clinton River Trail.  We were only on the trail a short distance until we came to Livernois and cut over to Avon where we headed east toward the shopping center.  I think Jonathan enjoyed the trail, even though he figured out it wasnít the most direct route and he complained a little about the extra riding we did. 

Once we were on Avon it is up hill most all the way to Rochester Road which makes this a fairly difficult stretch.  Jonathan actually did a good job on this stretch and he didnít complain too much.  The nice thing about the end of this uphill stretch is we were at our lunch destination.  We pulled into the Sears parking lot and locked our bikes next to the door.  I took a couple picture of Jonathan both during the ride and at lunch since he is the latest addition to the bike club.  See the bottom of this page for the few pictures I took with my phone during this ride.  The one thing Jonathan didnít have a problem with was eating lunch.  We both enjoyed our lunch and it gave us a chance for a short rest before the ride home. 

I told Jonathan we would take a direct route home, no side trips through trails.  We were making good progress riding at a good pace when we arrived near the intersection of Livernois and Walton.  As we slowed down to make a tight turn I could hear a hissing noise.  I have relatively good hearing and I picked up the hissing noise early in its existence.  I was hoping the noise wasnít what I suspected, no luck it was definitely air leaking from my rear tire.  Obviously I must have run something over, which created a slow leak.  By the time I stopped to check out the situation and look things over quite a bit of air had leaked out and the tire was close to flat.  I took out the portable hand air pump from my burrito basket and tried filling it up to see how long it took for the tire to go flat again hoping I could ride a decent distance and maybe be able to do this four or five times and still be able to ride home.  At this point were approximately 4 miles from the entrance to our subdivision.  I was able to get almost a half mile before the tire was so low that I had to stop and fill it up again.  At this point I didnít even bother putting the pump away, I just held it in my left hand as I rode along to save time by being able to hop right on my bike and start pedaling right after filling the tire.  This way I could maximize my time before the tire lost pressure again.  This worked well the first few times, but the time between refilling was getting less each stop. 

This was quite a work out having to pump as much air as I could into the tire each stop with that small hand pump.  Then once I got back on my bike I rode as fast as I could to get as far as I could before having to stop again.  Jonathan just paced himself to get a little behind when I first would take off and then catch up when I would have to stop to refill.  I have to admit I was very tired after this ride.  I probably had to stop about ten times to add air to the tire. 

We got to Adams High School when I made my final refilling stop.  I only got a couple hundred feet before the tire was flat again, the slow leak was quickly turning into a fast leak.  This time I just walked the rest of the way home which was only about one mile, no big deal.  It was actually just as good a day for a walk as a bike ride, so I didnít mind.  Jonathan walked part way with me to keep me company and then he rode the last quarter mile or so home. 

I know what you are thinking, why didnít I just take out the spare inner tube I carry in my burrito basket and fix the flat.  I thought of this as well and I decided it is always better to take your time properly fixing a flat making sure you find the source of the problem otherwise you will just end up puncturing the new tube.  When I got home I did just that, I took my time and removed the tire and tube.  I quickly found the small hole in the tube.  It took me a few minutes but I eventually found the source of the puncture.  It was a very thin piece of metal about 1/32 of an inch thick and about 3/16 of an inch long.  I had to use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull it out of the tire.  After removing the problem I put the new tube in and installed the tire back on the rim and then onto my bike.  I was back in business ready for my next ride.    

Even with the flat tire on the ride home I found this to be a very enjoyable ride with Jonathan.  Hopefully I will be able to talk Jonathan into riding with me again some day.     

Following are the statistics from this ride, 14.6 miles total, 28.0 max mph, 1 hour and 29 min time on bikes and 10.1 average mph.
David Lindquist 


Jonathan on ride

Jonathan catching up

During ride

Jonathan doing what he does best eat pizza

Jonathan finishing lunch
 
           
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