Sunday July 16, 2006 was a very hot
and humid day, maybe the hottest in combination with the humidity. It got
up to 96°F by mid ride. But we traditionally do not let the weather stop
us from riding our bikes. I do admit I find riding in the heat harder
than riding in the cold.
Tom came out for a ride this day and
Pete’s cousin Mark was still in town ready to ride again. This would make
three days in a row for Mark riding with us. When you ride this many
times in a row with the Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club I am told you
might actually experience emotional side effects when you finally miss a
Pete and Mark had another high
school graduation party to attend this day and Pete came up with a good
idea for attending the party and still getting in a bike ride. The party
was for one of Pete’s sister Julie’s sons. They live in the metro Detroit
area just a bit south and east of us, approximately 25 miles away. Pete
and Mark planned to ride to the party and have Elaine drive Mark’s car
with a bike rack. This way they could put their bikes on the rack and
drive home with Elaine and the kids after the party.
Tom and I didn’t have any firm plans
on where to ride, so we decided to join Pete and Mark and ride with them
about half way to their destination and then turn around and ride home
just the two of us. I figured this way we would end up with approximately
the same amount of miles, around 25 miles.
Pete set a fairly good pace and at
one point I was concerned maybe it was too fast for Tom and Mark. A
couple times Pete and I got out front of these two guys by a small
distance and I told Pete to slow it down a little to give them time to
catch up. Pete sent me a write up documenting the remaining portion of
their ride after Tom and I split off and turned back. The following
section is the input from Pete, word for word, I did not use my editorial
privileges to change anything. I will put Pete’s comments in a different
color and font so they stand out and you will know where his comments
start and end.
Following is the start of Pete’s input to this ride story.
Once Dave and Tom headed
back, Mark and I headed west on Auburn Road. It turned out to be a good
choice because the sidewalk pretty much took us all the way across M-59 to
We picked the pace back up
right away. Mark commented about the fact that Tom was really struggling
on this ride. He said he was staying back with him especially on the hill
climb back on John R south of Bloomer park. I am sure Mark was right
about that. Right after that climb, we were on a new stretch of Hamlin
road and Tom hardly said a word. This is not like him at all. I think he
was trying to get some air in his lungs.
I told Mark that Tom is one
of those guys who loves his job and works long hours. He was probably
tired from working late the night before. I didn't want to tell him that
it was more likely that Tom was out partying the night before and had
probably barely made it out of bed and over to Dave's for the ride. We
will probably never know the truth, but hopefully Dave took it easy on him
the rest of the way. It is bad enough that it was all uphill back to
Dave's house, but if Dave wanted to make Tom suffer, it would have been
I don't know if Tom reads
these stories, but someone who does should tell him that he needs to start
getting in better shape. I think Tom is about 10 years younger than Dave
and whenever he comes along, we have to ride much slower. I think you
could check the statistics to verify that I'm correct. Don't get me
wrong, we are always glad to have him. Even though he slows us down, the
rides are more fun when he shows up. Besides, I think he even bought
lunch one time.
Back to our ride. We stayed
on Utica all the way to the park at the corner of Dodge Park and Utica
road. We stopped here for a drink of water and a short rest. Mark could
not stop talking about poor Tom. He was worried that Tom would not be
able to make it back or that he would keel over from the heat. I told him
that Tom would be smart enough to admit that he was tired and since he had
a bike rack, Diane would have went to pick him up. He wanted me to call
Dave on my cell phone to check, but Dave never answered. He must have had
his phone off.
After our short rest, we took
Dodge Park all the way to Metro Parkway. This is a good way to go the
next time we decide to bike to Metro beach. There were sidewalks all the
way. When we went past Freedom Hill, Mark noticed that they were having a
Polish Festival. Later in the day, he told his brother-in-law about it
since he is Polish.
much happened the rest of the way. We picked Utica back up and Metro
Parkway and rode down to 14 mile and then to my nephew's party at my
sister's house. It was a very easy ride, flat or downhill most of the
way. We arrived at about 1:45. I would give you statistics, but I
accidentally reset my trip computer when I was checking our average
speed. A boneheaded move. Here is a link to the ride:
It is about 12 miles. About all I can guarantee is that our average speed
was much faster than Dave and his boat anchor brother.
This is the end of Pete’s
contribution; the following to end is the finish of the ride story by
Before we left Mark and Pete while we were riding along the new freshly
paved section of Hamlin Pete started complaining about his tires feeling
like they were going flat. I was riding right next to Pete and Tom
and Mark were right behind us at this point. After a couple minutes
Pete again complained about his tires possibly losing air. What I
didn't know at the time was Tom had pulled up very close behind Pete and
was hanging onto the back of Pete's bike. Pete's tires weren't going
flat it was just the extra weight of pulling Tom that was giving Pete the
impression that his tires were going flat. I never noticed this
happening, but Tom told me about it after we split off.
Once Tom and I turned back we stayed
on Auburn Road for a ways heading west. We stopped at a gas station with
a convenience store attached. Tom wanted to get a cold drink, he bought
an orange Gatorade and a candy bar. I used this opportunity to refill my
water bottle which was almost empty with fresh cold water from the pop
dispenser. We stood outside the store and relaxed for a couple minutes
before starting our ride back home. It was so hot this day I think I had
a constant sweat going, it was important to remember to keep drinking as
we went along.
I think the heat was starting to get
to Tom a little because he was starting to tire out which normally never
happens with Tom. I am always surprised how well Tom does keeping up with
us when he only rides with us occasionally. But, I think this day the
high heat and high humidity was taking its toll. We slowed the pace down
a little for the rest of the ride home, but we still ended up with an
average speed of over 11 mph which is faster than our normal, even though
what I consider normal appears to be slowly increasing over the past few
Another thing unusual about this
ride was did not stop for lunch in the middle which is our club
tradition. The timing of this ride was such that we started later than
normal and once Tom and I started riding home it was just an odd time for
a meal, so we never did stop for anything to eat.
We ended up taking John R north to
Avon. Before we got to Avon I took Tom through the parking lot of the Zen
Center. Not many people know about this Zen Center. It is out of the way
and they try to keep it low key. We just circled around the parking lot
before getting back on the bike path heading to Avon. You don't want to
hang around the Zen Center too long, you never know when they might send
out a Samurai to confront you. We headed west on Avon and then just
rode pretty much straight home.
Even thought it was quite warm it was still a fun ride.
Following are the statistics from
this ride, 23.9 miles total, 29.0 max mph, 2 hour and 8 minutes time on
bikes and 11.2 average mph.