Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

July 7, 2006
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Friday July 7, 2006 Pete and I did another evening ride, this time with our friend Gary who is a fellow club member and lives in Royal Oak.  Gary drove out to Peteís house to do some ceiling drywall repair work in Peteís kitchen.  Gary had so much fun riding with us when Pete and I drove over to Garyís house on July 2 that he couldnít wait to do it again. 

Pete called me the day before and told me he and Gary were planning to do a ride Friday evening, I checked my busy social calendar and surprisingly it was wide open for Friday night, so I was in. 

I rode over and met Pete and Gary at Peteís house around 6:30 pm.  Gary had just finished the drywall repair job so the timing was perfect.  The plan was just a nice simple ride to the Hamlin Pub for dinner and then back home.  This ride is typically a 15 to 16 mile ride depending on the route we take.  It is a relatively easy ride on the way there and a little more difficult on the way home due to the uphill grade. 

We headed over toward Dutton in route for the Paint Creek Trail (PCT) which we planned to take into Rochester.  On our way we stopped at Steveís house.  I canít remember why we stopped.  Maybe Pete had a reason, but it appeared it was just to pop in on Steveís house full of family guests.  Steve and Cheryl were planning a high school graduation party the next day for their oldest daughter Rachel.  We met quite a few of Steve and Cherylís relatives.  Gary and I stayed outside on the deck while Pete went inside to do a quick repair to one of Steveís pinball machines in the basement.  Steveís dad RC shook our hands and invited me and Gary onto the deck and offered us a seat.  We sat down while RC ran inside and got us a can of beer.  I wasnít planning to drink a beer before the ride to the Pub, but I figured one beer couldnít hurt.  RC is a really fun guy to talk with.  He was curious where we had been riding.  We told him we were just starting out and planning to ride to the Pub for dinner.  We also met Steveís sister I believe and after being introduced she asked us if we work with Steve.  Gary and I both said no, just friends through Pete and hockey.  Steveís sister said we were lucky not to be a co-worker of Steveís, I wasnít quite sure what she was getting at, but I think she was taking a jab at Steve.  After a couple minutes Pete reemerged from the house holding a can of beer as well.  Pete loudly announced he had already repaired the pinball machine.  Once you start feeding Pete free beers he tends to make himself comfortable.  I was beginning to think we might not be riding to the Pub after all.  Pete quickly finished his beer and to my surprise we excused ourselves to continue our bike ride.  We said our goodbyes and put our helmets back on and started riding again.  

I was glad we were riding again.  Even though it would have been fun to stay and visit with Steve and Cherylís family I was looking forward to the ride.  I also felt like we were kind of barging in over at Steveís house. 

We reached our maximum speed coasting down Dutton hill on our way to the trail.  Pete led the way with Gary second and me last of our small group of three.  At the entrance to the trail we turned right heading south.  Shortly after getting on the trail we noticed some walkers ahead standing looking very intently at something off to the left.  As we approached we could see it was a deer crossing the trail.  We slowed down to allow the deer to cross and then picked up our speed again once it was gone.  We see so many deer, and so often, that we sometimes donít even pay attention anymore.  I figure Pete will either run into a deer or have a deer run into him some day on one of our rides. 

We took the trail route to the Pub.  It was fun riding with Gary and Pete on the way to the Pub.  After the PCT we got on Clinton River Tail (CRT) and took it to Avon.  From Avon we went east to Rochester Road and then south on Rochester Road to Hamlin where the Hamlin Pub is located.  Pete turned on his radio and we had nice conversation as we rode with music playing in the background.   

As we approached the CRT we saw a hot air balloon floating in the not so distant horizon.  When I first moved to the Rochester Hills area we used to see hot air balloons quite frequently.  They were always flying past over head on the weekends, sometimes so close you could yell up to the passengers and they could hear you and communicate back.  The kids even saw a couple land in the near by neighbor hood.  But, as time goes on and the subdivisions expand north we havenít see many hot air balloons over the past couple years.  I took a couple pictures with my phone, but I was looking into the sun and the pictures did not come out at all.    

Once we arrived at the Pub Pete and Gary went inside to get a table while I locked the bikes.  It was fairly crowded but we found a table off in a corner where it typically isnít too smoky.  We ordered drinks and we were looking over the menu when Diane and Elaine walked through the door.  Apparently the girls were out for dinner and they were planning to eat at Outback Steakhouse restaurant which is in the same shopping center as Hamlin Pub.  They didnít have any idea where we were going and when they drove into the shopping center and saw bikes outside the Pub they guessed it was us, so they stopped in to see for sure.  We invited them to join us for dinner and they debated for a minute or two before making up their minds.  They decided to stay and have dinner at the Pub.   

While we were eating dinner Elaine told us an interesting story.  Pete and Elaine have been in the process of removing the shutters on the front of their house.  Pete removed the lower ones a few weeks ago, but the second story ones required a longer ladder than what Pete had.  Pete recently borrowed a longer ladder from someone for the job of removing the second story shutters.  Pete was up near the top of the ladder and Elaine was down below holding it to keep it steady.  Just this set up has the makings of a good story.  Pete was using a power drill to unscrew the shutters from the house.  At some point during this process Pete upset a bee hive on the back side of the shutter he was working on.  Angry bees came buzzing out from behind the shutter, this must have been a sight.  Well one of the bees went directly at Pete and stung him right on his thumb.  Having been stung and now in pain Pete threw the power drill in the air.  Down below Elaine saw Pete throw the drill and not knowing where it might land, Elaine decided it was time to get out of the way.  She let go of the ladder and try to make a quick escape.  She caught her ankle on the ladder and ended up with a couple nice cuts on the side of one foot.  The ladder remained in place and Pete did not fall, I know what youíre thinking, you thought Pete was going to end up falling.  And the drill did not end up falling on Elaine.  When Pete threw the drill he actually thought about Elaineís safety and tossed it on the roof.  It slid down a ways and got stuck in the gutter.  But Elaine had no way of knowing where Pete was throwing it, she just saw it leave his hands and she ran for cover.  So, Elaine actually got the worse of the injuries from this event.

Following is input directly from Pete on this incident.

I did go back up to finish the job on the shutter with the bees. First I sprayed the shutter with bee killer. Then I waited a while and went up with long pants, my winter coat, and a pair of goggles. I zipped up the hood around my face. No problem.

Steve and his father-in-law Oscar stopped by after the incident. Steve volunteered to go up and take down the rest of the shutters. He said he was not scared of heights, but he was scared of bees. Since I was scared of both, it was better for him to go up. Besides that, it was his ladder. He managed to get the last 2 down with only one bee incident. Oscar must have been in charge in his younger days because he did a fine job of telling all of us what to do.

As Elaine was telling this story both Gary and I were laughing, only at the funny parts.  Elaine showed us the cuts on the side of her foot.  Pete quickly held out his hand to show us where the bee stung him, but there wasnít any indication of anything. 

We had a good time at dinner.  It was nice having Diane and Elaine join us.  It seemed like Garyís wife Judy should have been there was well, but the odds of Judy stopping in unannounced all the way from Royal Oak were slim to none.  At least we were thinking about you Judy.   

After dinner we headed outside and it was already starting to get dark.  The majority of this ride home would be in darkness.  Gary has a nice flashing red tail light that lights up very brightly and he also has a head light with white light that flashes as well.  Garyís headlight is designed to be seen, not necessarily provide light to the riding surface in front.  My head light does a nice job of lighting up the road in front of me at night.  I also turned on my light up spoke reflectors, which do a nice job of helping me be seen at night.  Pete has the same head light as me, and if he had it aimed properly Iím sure it would do a nice job of lighting the road in front of him.  Instead, Pete has his light pointed up toward the sky just in case there are any low flying aircraft.  This way the low flying aircraft will see us and hopefully avoid us while we ride in the dark.  

We took our regular route home, knowing it is fairly direct and being that it is getting dark we kind of know what to expect on this route.  This route also minimizes the amount of steep hills.  We still end up going the same amount of elevation but at a more gradual grade which is a bit easier. 

For some one that isnít used to riding around Rochester Hills, Gary did a really good job at keeping up.  Pete set a relatively fast pace on this ride and both Pete and Gary had a couple beers during dinner which couldnít have made the ride home any easier.  I enjoy the faster paced rides, but I understand this faster pace is not easy for someone that isnít used to riding hills.  I was very impressed how well Gary did on this ride.  It was also very enjoyable riding with both Pete and Gary.  By the time we got near home it was very dark.  I was glad the batteries on my headlight were still going strong at the end of the ride.  My head light uses AA batteries and I have never replaced them, they are the original ones I put in when I installed the light.  Iím sure I just jinxed myself and the next time I go to use my light it will be dead.  I might as well just put new batteries in my burrito basket in anticipation.  I donít very often ride in the dark, but when I do it sure is valuable to have a good quality light.  

Following are the statistics from this ride, 17.2 miles total, 25.0 max mph, 1 hour and 26 minutes time on bikes and 11.9 average mph.  
David Lindquist 

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