Sunday January 18, 2004, today’s ride was attended by four of us Bob, Pete, Rich and David. I know I said this same thing last week, but it is true again so I am restating it, this was our coldest ride yet. The temperature was 15°F when we started and the wind was blowing so we had a wind chill that made it even colder. A bright sunny day with clear skies was the one thing that offset the cold and made this another beautiful day for a bike ride. Those of you that live around the Detroit Michigan area know we had a large snow fall on Wednesday this week. We got approximately 12 inches of snow in the Rochester area and another 3 to 4 inches yesterday, Saturday January 17. Needless to say the most difficult weather factor that we had to deal with this week was snow. The cold is not a problem, as I have stated before, a few layers of the proper clothing overcomes the cold. Riding in the snow, although fun, is hard work and tiring, and we rode in a lot of snow today.
We went south searching for passable sidewalks or side streets. I just don't feel comfortable riding in the street on main roads with cars. Drivers today just don't pay enough attention and it is too dangerous in my opinion to assume the cars will avoid us. Riding bikes over the past few months has made me think more about the need to pay close attention when driving a car and take just an extra few seconds to look for bicycles or walkers before making a turn or going into or out of a parking lot. One thing the guys on the Ice Bike web site talk about is riding in clean snow when ever possible, it is much easier than trying to ride through already traveled snow. We found this to be true first hand today. At times we were actually riding in snow anywhere from 3 inches to12 inches deep. We rode a lot in the 3 to 4 inch range and only for a couple short stretches in the real deep stuff. There were a couple times when we had to walk our bikes just because it was too difficult to ride on some of the heavily covered side walks. Thank you to the people that took a couple extra minutes and cleared the walk ways in front of their homes or establishments, we really appreciated it today.
The ride today may seem short in miles, but in energy expended it was immense. I had the good old speedometer working today and following are the statistics from the ride. Total distance 13.3 miles, maximum speed 17.6 mph, average speed 7.0 mph and a total riding (and walking) time of 1 hour 49 minutes. I think everyone agreed that this was one of our most difficult rides from an effort required point of view. It was also one of the most beautiful days with clear sky, bright sun and white snow covering almost everything.
I am sorry to report nothing overly funny or unusual happened today. I think we were all so busy working extremely hard just to keep moving and not injure ourselves that we stuck to the business riding. We did ride through Rochester Park near the police station and even took our bikes out onto the frozen pond. There were a couple people skating so we figured it must be frozen solid. Pete slowly walked with his bike out to the middle of the pond, but he quickly came back to the side when he started hearing cracking noises below his feet. If you are a regular follower of our adventures I know what you were thinking when you started reading the last sentence, "oh no Pete didn't fall into the pond did he." It would have made for a more interesting story, but I am sorry (I mean glad) that Pete did not get wet. Speaking of getting wet, Pete wasn't taking any chances and the rest of us left the pond as well for security of solid ground. Robert and his wife Felicity (I hope I spelled that correctly) passed us in their SUV on a side street near downtown. We decided since it was so much work riding in today's conditions we would go the Rochester Mills Beer Co. on Water street for lunch, since it isn't quite as far as Hamlin Pub and quite frankly I don't care for the quality of the food or atmosphere (too smoky) of Mr. B's which was another suggestion for lunch. We gave them a club sticker and Bob attempted to get a 10% discount for the club, but they wouldn't cut us a break. The waitress was nice enough to give us the business cards of both the manager and owner so we could contact them directly, which I think we will. We all had good meals and I am happy to report the diet coke was very good, above average.
Since I mentioned the club logo stickers I think this is a good time to give everyone an update. The demand for stickers has been overwhelming. We have already had two printings and are about to undertake our third. Since the stickers have been such a success I am proud to report we are able to lower the price to $2.25 each based on economy of scale. Again, if you think that is too much we do consider all offers. I never thought the demand for stickers would take off like it has. For those of you who have placed orders and have not yet received your stickers, please be patient we are filling the orders as quickly as we can. Pete has graciously volunteered to post the stickers for sale on Ebay, I am a little hesitant in agreeing to this move at this time. I am concerned that the additional demand from Ebay may be more than we can handle. I am also happy to report that the potential recall of stickers from the first half of the first printing is not going to happen. The Federal Consumer Coalition has told us the reported quality problem turned out to be hoax apparently fabricated by a jealous member of a different bike club. Who knew this attempt at a little publicity by offering club logo stickers could turn into such a fiasco. I think this website and our stickers are starting to do the trick. I think we are stating to be recognized out in public because we sure got a lot of strange looks today and I figure that must be because of our bike club notoriety.
Back to today's ride. After lunch we worked hard pedaling home. Since today was Bob's official birthday we decided to stop off at one of Bob's favorite places, Maggie Moos, and treat him to a malt. Just what we needed on a brisk winter day, a cold ice cream drink. It did taste good, I got a straight chocolate shake, Bob got a chocolate malt and Pete got a vanilla malt. Rich passed and just sat with us while we finished our drinks.
The rest of the ride home was just good old fashion hard work. Don't forget next week is our special ride to the Red Coat Tavern on Woodward in Royal Oak. If you are planning to meet us there for lunch check the web site before you leave just to make sure we haven't made any last minute changes caused by the weather. Due to a rumor that a Krispy Kreme Doughnut place may be opening up near The Oakland Mall we may be planning another special ride in the future for doughnuts, stay tuned we will keep you posted. Thanks for stopping in, check back next week for the report on our ride to Red Coat Tavern.