Rochester Hills PCT Bike & Hike Club

July 15, 2007
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Sunday July 15, 2007 was a great day from a weather perspective.  My son Jonathan and Bobís son Mark had signed up to ref 3v3 soccer games at the Warren Community Center this weekend.  Jonathan had reffed 14 games on Saturday and Mark had done 12 games.  Bob and I decided we could put our bikes on the back of his van and while the boys were doing their reffing we could do a nice long bike ride out to Metro Beach. 

Our goal was to ride out to the point at Metro Beach and then turn around and ride back.  We figured this would take a few hours and if we timed it correctly the boys would be done about the time we returned.  It was definitely going to be a decent ride.  We had ridden to the point of Metro Beach a couple times before starting from different locations.  One time we started from Stoney Creek Metro Park and called this the Park to Park ride.  We knew the path along 16 Mile Road (Metroparkway) was setup up well for riding and our previous experience gave us confidence this would be a safe easy ride.  I am always equipped with a camera as long as I remember to bring my cell phone.  So, in case we run across something interesting I am ready to whip out my phone and document the item or event with a couple photographs. 

Once we got to the Community Center we hung around a couple minutes to make sure the boys got their schedules for the day and to also get an idea how many games they would be doing.  This way Bob and I would have a feel for what time we should plan to get back.  They both would be doing less games than the day before, but each had 6 scheduled with a couple small breaks so we had plenty of time to do our ride.  We walked around watching a few of the games get started and as soon as both Mark and Jonathan were under way we headed back to the car to get our bikes and get our ride started.  

It didnít take long to take our bikes down from the car rack and within a few short minutes our ride had started.  It is always interesting to start a ride from a new area.  Usually we always start near home and the first part of the ride is something we have done many times.  Starting from a new area gives the whole ride a new feel of adventure, never quite sure what to expect.  Most of the ride would be on 16 mile road and like I stated earlier we are somewhat familiar with 16 Mile Road.  Getting to 16 Mile was different and new for a few miles.   

After riding along the paved bike path along 16 Mile for a short distance we noticed police cars as approached Utica Road.  It appeared the police had shut down 16 Mile and they werenít allowing road traffic to go any further east on 16 Mile past Utica.  Because Bob and I were on bikes and riding on the bike path we were able to proceed.  At first we couldnít see why the road was closed.  We had to ride about a half mile or so before we came upon a rather large accident in the middle of the street.  It appeared three vehicles were involved and one of the vehicles which was a white van or SUV was standing on end balancing on top of another car which was involved in the accident.  It was a strange sight, I donít think I ever saw a vehicle in this position before.  We stopped to watch for a minute.  The ambulances were already gone by the time we got there and there didnít appear to be any injured people around.  At this point the fireman were surveying the situation trying to figure out the best way to get the vehicles out of the middle of the street so they could open the road again.  This was going to be a little tricky with that one vehicle standing on end.  There was a senior residence on one side of the street right near the accident.  Quite a few of the senior citizens had made their way outside and were standing and sitting around in wheel chairs watching the whole scene.  I think some of the seniors had decided to spend the rest of the morning watching the impromptu show.  After I took a few pictures Bob and I decided to keep riding, it didnít appear they were even close to attempting to untangle the vehicles any time soon.  The pictures are posted at the bottom of this page. 

Liberty Park is also located on 16 Mile out in this area and as we rode past we noticed some activity happening on the park grounds.  It seemed kind of early for a show at Liberty Park.  We rode our bikes into the parking lot toward the activity area.  People were setting up for a Polish Festival and Craft show.  No one seemed to mind that we were riding around  when the place technically wasnít open to the public.  You can get a lot of places on a bike that you canít in a car and it also seems on a bike usually we are left alone as we slowly ride through.    

Once we left Liberty and rode a few miles closer to Metro Beach we both commented about getting hungry and we agreed we should stop to get something for lunch to take with us to the beach.  Based on our previous experience there isnít much in the way of food at metro Beach other then maybe a hot dog at a concession stand.  We found a Subway and we stopped and each purchased a sub.  As we were coming out of the Subway I got a phone call from Jonathan.  Apparently there was some sort of scheduling confusion and Jonathan was already done with all his games for the day.  He had only done four games, but all that was left for him was the championship game of kids his same age.  The organizers decided they didnít think it would be fair to ask Jonathan to ref kids his same age so they re-assigned his last couple games to an adult.  Mark still had a couple games left to do.  Jonathan ask where we were and wondered if we could ride back to take him somewhere to get some lunch.  We told him it would take sometime but we would turn around now and head back.  Bob and I ate our subs in the parking lot and as soon as we were done eating we started riding back to the community center. 

It did take us a little over an hour to get back because we were about 13 miles away.  When we got back Jonathan was just sitting down relaxing.  He told us Mark had just gotten off a break as well but still had two more games to go.  We put our bikes back on the van and we took Jonathan to get something to eat.  I think Jonathan was just glad to have someone to hang out with once he was done reffing.  Bob offered to drive me and Jonathan back home while Mark completed his last games.  We told Bob this wasnít necessary and we all waited together for mark to complete his last games.  Jonathan only ended up doing four games this day and Mark got 6.  So they both ended up doing 18 games for the weekend.     

Jonathan had already turned in his game tickets and had gotten paid.  Mark quickly did the same thing after his last game and before we knew it we were heading back home.  Bob and I didnít end up riding as far as we planned, but it was still a good distance and we enjoyed our ride.  Following are the ride statistics.  27.3 miles total, max speed 16.4 mph, average speed 10.3 mph with time on bikes of 2 hours and 38 minutes.  
David Lindquist 

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