Rochester Hills PCT Bike & Hike Club

Aug 18, 2007
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Saturday Aug 18, 2007 Pete, Bob, Steve and I went on a long bike ride.  Again, we didn’t have firm plans when we started out, but we knew we wanted to do a fairly long ride this day.  The weather was very nice, warm and sunny. 

Plan was for me and Bob to ride over and meet Pete and Steve at Pete’s house.  We heard through the grapevine that Steve had finally received a new bike.  We were all excited to check out Steve’s new bike.  Pete went out a couple days earlier and bought an air horn like the one both Pete and I have attached to our bikes.  All three of us chipped in to pay for this gift for Steve.  Pete was going to surprise Steve by giving him the air horn when he rode over on his new bike.  But, the real surprise was on Pete. 

When we first started our bike club a few years ago Pete was riding a very old brownish orange colored bike that he had from his late childhood.  This bike just couldn’t hold up to the abuse and miles that Pete handed out and it started to fall apart slowly as we continued to ride every weekend.  We knick named Pete “Spokes” because Pete was slowly breaking spokes on the wheels of this old bike.  It got to the point where the old bike was just to worn down and no longer useable.  Pete finally got a new bike.  Elaine bought him a nice Trek 7300 which he still rides.  Apparently Pete put his old bike out for the garbage a couple years ago when he got his new bike. 

Bob and I arrived at Pete’s house and Pete was ready to go, but Steve hadn’t arrived yet.  This isn’t normal, Steve is usually on time.  Pete called Steve to find out where he was, Steve said he was on his way.  As Steve was riding down the street to Pete’s driveway we were all looking to see his new bike.  To our surprise Steve was actually riding the old bike that Pete had thrown out with the trash a few years ago.   You could tell Steve was having trouble riding this old bike, it was in such bad shape.  The look on Pete’s face was priceless, he couldn’t believe what he had just witnessed.  This was a great practical joke that Steve pulled off.  He had retrieved the old bike from the trash and stored it out of sight at his house for a couple years waiting for the perfect opportunity to spring the surprise on Pete.  It was a perfect setup.  As Steve coasted into the driveway he said “How do like my new bike, I got a great deal on it on Ebay.”  We were all laughing, but none as hard as Pete.  Pete laughed quite a while and it took a long time for the smile to leave Pete’s face.  I took a couple pictures of Pete and Steve with the old bike.  I will post all the pictures form this day at the bottom of this page.  

This ride was off to a good start.  We followed Steve back to his house so he could get his real new bike.  We then gave Steve his present, the air horn.  Steve thanked us and it was finally time to get on with some riding.  If I remember correctly I believe Steve’s new bike, given to him as a birthday present from his wife Cheryl, was a Trek 7300.  One  notch above my 7200 and just a newer model than Pete’s 7300.  Very similar to the Treks Pete and I use.  After the ride Steve set an email thanking us again for the present.  He included some pictures in his note, big surprise, pictures from Steve.  I included the pictures Steve sent and also the pictures I took this day at the bottom of this page. 

To start out our ride we headed over to PCT and we took the trail south to Tienken Road.  We went east on Tienken to Rochester.  Pete needed to take care of some business at the Post Office so that was going to be our first destination.  On our way we stopped at North Hill Tire to get air for our tires.  It didn’t take Pete long at the Post Office.  Once he was done we rode over to the Clinton River Trail (CRT).  We took this trail west all the way to Crooks.  Once we got to Crooks we decided to go south all the way to Royal Oak. 

Today was the official day of the Dream Cruise down Woodward between Ferndale and Birmingham.  It might even go all the way north to Pontiac now.  This is a major event for the area and it has kind of gotten out of control over the years.  Even though this day was the official cruise, it had been going on for a couple weeks now escalating each day closer to today.  We figured it would easier to get around on our bikes instead of a car.  We planned to ride up to Woodward at some point just to look at some of the classic cars out cruising.   

On our way to Royal Oak we were hungry and we wanted to stop somewhere for an early lunch.  Steve told us about a new fast food place called Del Taco.  Steve thought it was located near 14 Mile and Crooks.  It was easy to find and we stopped for a snack.  There was road construction in the area so it was somewhat congested.  We had to be careful and it was somewhat complicated to get on the right side of the street.  Once inside Steve recommended a bean and cheese burrito which was reasonably priced.  I have to admit the food was good and they also had hamburgers and fries on the menu, they had more than just Mexican fast food.  I think this chain might do well in our area.  In the pictures Steve sent he included one of his receipt from Del Taco, see below. 

After our short stop at Del Taco we headed back south on Crooks headed to Royal Oak.  Near Webster I mentioned that as a youngster growing up in Royal Oak I used to ride part way on a trail near railroad tracks from my house on the way to Warden Park to play baseball.  I couldn’t remember where the entrance to the trail started and ended.  It seemed to me that it was down a short dead end street in a neighbor hood just west of Crooks and south of Webster.  We decided to ride into the subdivision to see if we could stumble across the trail entrance.  My sense of direction is horrible, I can barely remember how to get to places I’ve been the past few months, let alone remember some where I was 30 years ago.  We rode down a few streets and nothing looked familiar to me.  I was ready to give up and just continue on.  Bob came across a dead end street and as we got closer to the end of the street we came across a narrow opening that was almost completely covered by bushes, but still  passable.  We had actually found the entrance to the trail next to the railroad tracks.  I couldn’t believe it, I never thought we might actually stumble across this trail. 

We all walked our bikes through the narrow passage way and in a minute we were on a stone trail next to the railroad tracks.  It was a really cool trail riding along side the elevated tracks.  We stayed on this trail all the way until we saw Dondero High School off to one side.  We stopped to look around and Steve got off his bike and laid on the railroad tracks pretending to be tied up like an old western movie.  There were other people riding bikes going the opposite direction that we past in this area.  We looked around and found a place to be able to walk our bikes down to the street level.  Pete and I pointed out to Steve that Dondero was the High School where Pete and I met in tenth grade, must have been in Sep 1974.  Hard to believe it was 33 years ago. 

Now we were close to Gary’s house so a visit to Gary was in order.  Gary was having a Dream Cruise party later in the day so he might be too busy to ride with us.  We sat in the lawn chairs Gary had set up in his back yard.  It was a nice rest stop for a few minutes while we visited with Gary and Judy. 

Next stop was my parent’s house on our way to Woodward.  After we left Gary’s we ended up on the east sidewalk on Woodward watching the dream cruise in full swing.  We stopped at a couple parking lots to check out the displays set up.  In the Murray’s parking lot they were giving out free bottles of water and helium balloons on strings.  Pete and Bob tied the balloons to the back of their bikes.  When we got to Catalpa we headed to visit my parents.  Mrs. K was outside talking to my Mom when we rode up.  Pete blasted the air horn on his bike as we went past my Mom and Mrs. K just to see if he could startle them.  For some reason Steve and Bob got a couple blocks behind and Steve wasn’t sure where my parents lived so he called one of our cell phones to ask for directions.  After a couple minutes Steve pulled up and we were all together again.  We visited with my Mom and Dad for a few minutes before we continued on our ride. 

We went back to Catalpa back to Woodward.  This time we decided the sidewalks were just too crowded to ride our bikes.  We were spending more time walking than riding on the sidewalks.  As slow as the traffic was right on Woodward we figured we could ride right in the street along the curb without any problem.  For a portion of our trip along Woodward we were actually passing the cars because they were going so slow.  Bob and I got ahead of Pete and Steve and for a couple miles we lost sight of each other.  No big deal we decided to meet up at Adams.  We saw a lot of strange cars, trucks and every type of vehicle you could imagine.  It wasn’t dangerous riding in Woodward this day.  We did have to battle with a bus that passed us then we would pass it and this happened quite a few times.  But, other than the bus we didn’t have trouble with any other vehicles.   

We came across a guy who was standing by the side of the road holding something.  As we got closer we could see they were small American flags.  Pete thought the guy was giving them out for free and he grabbed one as we rode next to him.  The guy was actually selling them so Pete had to give it back when the guy yelled at him that they cost a dollar.   

Once we got to Adams Bob and I pulled off and waited for Pete and Steve.  After we all got together again we took Adams heading north toward home.  On our way home we were hungry again and this time we were ready for a second lunch.  It might seem like an unusual place to stop for lunch, but we did go to the Somerset Mall food court.  We locked our bikes outside and went in to find the food court.  We each got something to eat to give us energy for the rest of the ride home.   

On the way out Bob stopped at the rest room and Pete and Steve took off a couple minutes ahead of us.  Apparently we didn’t go the same direction as Pete and Steve because we ended up separated again.  Bob and I rode up Northfield Parkway before cutting back to Crooks and meeting up with Pete and Steve again a few miles down the rode.  The rest of the ride home was rather uneventful, we had already had very busy day with many adventures on this ride.  At Walton Bob and I headed west and Pete and Steve east on our way to our respective homes.  This was a very fun and enjoyable bike ride. 

Following are the ride statistics from this day.  46.7 miles total, 22.5 mph max speed, average speed 10.5 mph with time on bikes of 4 hours and 26 minutes.
David Lindquist 

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