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Rochester Hills PCT Bike Club 2/14/2004
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This weekendís ride was originally scheduled for Sunday February 15, 2004 but we switched it to Saturday based on the weather forecast.  It was 22įF when we started at 9:00 am on Saturday and at the same time the next day it was 5įF.  We had a full turnout of the regular participants, Bob, Rich, Pete, Steve and myself.  We are hoping more members attend this spring when the temperature goes up.  My brother Tom has just recently moved back to the area and I am hoping he will attend a few of the rides with us.  For the time being we will continue to alternate between Saturdays and Sundays unless we have a reason to deviate.  In addition to being a little warmer than the past few weeks the sun was out again keeping our streak of perfect days for a bike ride in tact.

This week Bob reported that his knee is feeling much better.  Pete was a bit sore this morning, apparently he banged up his shoulder playing hockey the previous night.  Knowing that his shoulder is sore I assume Pete will be extra cautious today, bad assumption.  Steve brought his camera again this week so we have lots of pictures to share, click here to see this week's pictures compliments of Steve.  When we were riding we talked about possibly fitting Steve with a helmet video camera to capture real time the activity of one of our rides.  

Since the sidewalks/bike paths and side streets are clear we headed south again this week.  We rode even more side streets than normal, which made for very easy riding.  The one thing we are going to have to work on as a group is our riding formation.  We have a couple club members who have trouble staying on the right side of the street and obeying traffic signals and stop signs.  Rich our safety coordinator is going to have to get this situation under control.  We must remember we are safer on the roads if we are all on the same side of the street and we expect to be given the right of way when it is ours so we must pay attention and stop when other traffic has the right of way.  Enough of the lecture.  I hate going to the press with internal club issues, but our safety is of utmost importance.  I am also sorry to report that one club member was placed on probation this week based on a somewhat disputed action against another member.  I will expand on this issue shortly. 

Quick report on our promotional items.  Iím sure you have all noticed that our first international advertising venture was consummated with the French government.  We worked out a deal to have our club logo flash on the Eiffel Tower.  Our publicity department is currently in negotiation with other countries and landmarks for more of this type advertising, so stay tuned.  I am also happy to report we are still mailing out a lot of logo stickers, coasters, door hangers and logo magnets.  We also have just recently introduced a new item, window decals.  These decals mount to the inside of your car windshield and are readable from the outside.  This is a great way to support the club, so get your orders in early for window decals.  We can also make these decals so that they can be read from the same side as mounted, and they can be special ordered this way, just let us know when you place your order. 

Back to the issue that caused Steve to be placed on probation.  Before you jump to any conclusions about Steve just keep in mind the infraction is in dispute.  We were riding down Wabash Street heading east toward Rochester road.  This is a fairly wide side street in good condition.  It appears the paving on this road may only be a few years old, very nice condition.  We were riding at a nice pace, not too fast and not too slow.  Pete was on the right side right next to the curb that was hidden by about 18 inches of plowed snow and ice.  I was just to the left of Pete and slightly ahead of him.  Steve was right behind me and he was closing on us.  Pete was in the middle of a sentence and all of a sudden I heard a funny noise like something digging into the snow bank.  I quickly turned to my right to see Pete flying off his bike and rolling sideways into the front yard of the house we were passing at the time.  It was almost too much to believe.  How someone could go from just leisurely riding along a perfectly clear rode to flying through the air again is beyond me.  Steve immediately pulled over and whipped out his camera and started taking pictures.  Iím not sure but I think it was Rich that made comment about this being an interesting way for Pete to treat his already sore shoulder.  Personally I couldnít do anything but laugh.  Bob actually pulled up over close to Pete, Iím not sure if he was checking to see if Pete was OK or just getting a good closer look at the wreckage.  At least Pete was laughing with the rest of us so he couldnít be hurt too bad.  Now for the controversy.  Pete claims he was slightly bumped by Steve who was pulling up next to him at the time.  When approached with this accusation Steve said his wasnít really sure what happened.  Steve did admit that his hockey instincts may have taken over and seeing Pete up against that snow bank he may have extended his right foot just a little.  Well, again safety is a concern in this club so we had no other option but to put Steve on probation.  The good news is Pete is fine and remarkably his bike is fine as well.  As I have stated in the past, I knew Peteís bike was going to be put through a good durability test, I just never imagined it would be so soon in its lifecycle.  Remember the earlier comment about documenting our rides with a helmet cam, well if we do this I donít think we will mount it to Steveís helmet.  I think we would a lot better footage if it was mounted to Peteís helmet.  The concern is since Pete actually uses his helmet to protect his head the camera might not fare to well.  Since we have all taken the lead from Rich and starting wearing helmets, I think it is interesting that we have had three incidents where a helmet has come into play during a fall and they have all happened with the same club member.  Ponder that. 

We started this ride earlier than normal because Bob needed to be home by noon.  In doing so we ended up at the Hamlin Pub at about 10:15 or so.  We were debating whether to go to the Hamlin Pub for an English soccer breakfast or to the Rams Horn, which is in the same general area for a more traditional brunch.  When the Pub wasnít open yet our decision was easy.  The Rams Horn was actually very busy.  They packed us into a corner booth in the smoking section.  We had a great time in the restaurant.  Bob ordered a tuna pita sandwich, which turned out to be light in the tuna.  Bob promptly finished his sandwich and when the waitress, Linda not Sue (Sue is her sister) came by, Bob jokingly told her he was ready for the other half of his sandwich.  I had french toast and ham, canít remember what Rich and Pete ordered, but I do remember Peteís order was very specific with a lot of key questions before he would actually order the items.  Steve ordered an omelet and I not only witnessed it going into his mouth but I also saw a fair amount of it come back out as he told us all a very interesting story about a waitress passing out in his lap.  Steveís story was very animated in addition to food flying everywhere at one point he stood up and acted out parts.  The story was very funny and Steveís story telling style had us all laughing very hard.  Before I leave this subject I must report the diet coke at the Rams Horn was very good. 

After brunch we suited back up and headed home.  Again we took a combination of sidewalks and side streets as we headed north and west.  I still couldnít get my speedometer working, I may end up having to get a new one.  I think when I broke the wires I didnít get them spliced back together proper so this might be my problem.  I can only estimate again this week that we went about 16 or 17 miles total.  The home made rear fender extension to the rack on the back of my new bike is working great, no more dirt and water on my back.  I also added a homemade front fender mounted to my bike frame.  This worked very good as well, no water coming from the front tire.  Steve got a couple good pictures of Pete from behind that show the result of not having a fender. 

Thanks again for checking in and donít forget to check out the pictures from this weeks ride.

David Lindquist