Sunday December 24, 2006 was
Christmas Eve day and Pete and I were looking to get outside for some
exercise. You will never guess what we decided to do, yep you got it, a
bike ride. We have talked and planned for when the bad weather comes and
bike riding is just too difficult to be fun. Our solution is to go on
hikes or snow shoe walks. So far this winter we havenít had to resort to
our backup plan.
Our plan for this day was a simple
ride to one of our favorite lunch spots, the Hamlin Pub. We figured if we
waited to leave around 11:30 am we would end up at the pub in time to
watch some of the Detroit Lions football game on the many TVs at the pub.
Even though the Lions stink and there doesnít appear to be any hope in the
near future, they are still my team and I enjoy watching their games.
I changed jobs recently within my
company. I used to be in product engineering for automotive suspension
components, specifically ball joints. I have transferred to a different
division within the same company, so I maintained my seniority and
benefits, which is nice. I am now a program manager working in the
occupant safety systems group, specifically seat belts. This is a major
change for me, not only am I switching type of products but I am also
switching the type of job. It has been a little over a month at the time
of the Holiday break. I can tell it is going to be a lot of long hours
and stressful days trying to get up to speed. I know in the long run this
move was the right thing to do, but having to go through this initial
period is going to be difficult.
The reason I brought up my job is
because I wanted to mention that the small group of guys I used to work
with were also Lions fans and we used to have some good conversations
about the team. The good thing about my old group is that they moved to
the same location as I transferred a few weeks after I moved. They are
located in another building as me separated by a parking lot, so it is
easy to visit and with email easy to stay in contact. I told my old group
two years ago the Bears were the team to watch out for because they were
building a team the proper way, through good solid defense. They laughed
at me back then, but when the Bears won the central division I got a
chance to point out how I was right. Before this past year started I told
them the bears werenít a fluke and I predicted they would not only win the
division again, but would probably end up in the super bowl. Needless to
say I got laughed at again. Only time will tell, but once I am right
again maybe I will start to get some respect.
Anyhow, the Lions were playing the
Bears this day and Pete and I got to the pub sooner than we planned. We
forget how quickly we can get places on our bikes. After I rode over and
picked up Pete at his house it only took us about 45 or 50 minutes to get
to the pub. We had time to relax and order our diet cokes and place our
lunch order while we waited for the game to start.
While we were waiting, Mike the
manager of the pub stopped by our table and sat down for a couple minutes
to tease Pete about still not buying a large screen TV. This happens
every time we go to the pub. Mike doesnít even bother to ask Pete anymore
if he got one yet. He is so used to Pete telling him he is still shopping
that he automatically starts in on Pete shortly after we sit down. Today
was no exception.
Our meals came and game finally
started. As usual on both fronts, the food was great and the Lions were
terrible. We got a good laugh out of the Lions blunders as the game
progressed. The Bears actually didnít play all that well, and against any
other team they should have been beaten this day, but not my Lions they
played just bad enough to allow the Bears to win. It was a nice gift
wrapped Christmas present the Lions gave the Bears.
After we finished our lunch and
spent some more time sitting around watching the whole first half of the
game, it was time for the ride home. It was cool outside, in the low to
mid 30s, but not what I would consider cold. We put our layers back on
for the uphill ride home. It was a very enjoyable ride on the way home.
We stopped at a store, I canít
remember which one, but I do know that Pete bought some Christmas wrapping
paper. On the way home Pete was trying to figure out a way to carry the
wrapping paper on his bike. He finally came up with the idea to stick the
roll of paper in the back of his winter jacket he was wearing. I thought
he was joking and just trying to get me to take a picture of him with the
roll of paper sticking part way out from the back of his coat. I did take
a couple pictures, but Pete wasnít joking. He rode the entire rest of the
way home this way. It looked uncomfortable, but it must not have been too
bad because Pete kept it there. Pete made it all the way without a flat
tire, so this was a successful ride.
Following are the statistics from this ride, 15.6 miles
total, 21.0 max, 1 hour and 26 minutes of ride time with an average speed
of 10.8 mph.