On Friday March 26 I got off work a little early and Bob and I decided to do an afternoon ride. We considered a lot of locations for a late lunch and we finally settled on going to downtown Utica. We werenít sure where we would eat but we knew there were a few choices so we headed that direction. We ended up at a place called Shamrock Pub, which turned out very good. It is just a small bar where they have a limited menu, but the food was good and the Diet Coke was good as well. It ended up being a bit further than we planned and by the time we got back home we had traveled over 30 miles.
Our scheduled club ride this weekend was held on Sunday March 28, 2004, which also happened to be my Motherís Birthday, so I needed to make sure I got home from the ride in time to fire up the grill for a birthday cookout. Rich was camping so he couldnít join us, but we had the rest of the regulars, Bob, Pete, Steve and myself. We picked Sunday this week because it was supposed to be nice and warm. It did warm up much later in the day once the sun finally came out, but it was chilly for this ride. The temperature was in the low to mid 40ís with a decent wind chill making it feel a little cooler. We decided to head over to Stony Creek Metro Park. We met Jason at Stony High School and then we all rode over to the park. Once we got to the park we rode around for a couple minutes. Since I had to get back for the birthday party and Bob was a bit sore he and I headed over to the Stony Creek Roadhouse to get a head start on lunch. Pete, Steve and Jason planned to ride a bit longer and then meet up with us at the restaurant. Well Steve showed up shortly after Bob and I sat down. Steve had a rear tire problem and actually had to walk the short distance from the park to the restaurant. Luckily Steve found someone in the restaurant parking lot doing some work and he barrowed a tool and fixed the rubbing tire problem. Not knowing how long Pete and Jason were going to take the three of us decided to order lunch. Just a few minutes after ordering we got a call from Pete phoning in his lunch order. Jason did not join us for lunch.
After lunch we mounted our trusty steeds and headed into the sunset. Well it was actually too early for sunset, but we did head west. We took a combination of bike path and side streets home. Going through one new subdivision that is still under construction Bob was able to find a furnace vent cover he needed laying by the side of the rode. So, technically it wasnít garbage picking it was more like helping clean up the environment by picking up litter by the side of the road. There was quite a mixture of stuff in the pile where Bob found the vent cover. Steve took a lot of pictures of the junk, it will be interesting to see how these pictures turn out.
Early during the return ride, I think it was leaving the restaurant parking lot, we had the option of back tracking about 50 feet to exit through a drive way or cutting across the grass and through a small drainage area, you know the kind of ditch that parallels the street in an area without a sewer system for runoff water. All of us chose the driveway except Pete. Pete went across the grass heading for the drainage ditch. It wasnít a particularly deep ditch, maybe four of five feet at the most. And it didnít have much water in it either, maybe five or six inches of standing water. It was really a rather unassuming ditch, which did look very passable on bike. As Pete was approaching the ditch I thought to myself, if I were going to attempt to ride through it I would attack it from an angle so that as I went into it and then exited I wouldnít get wedge in between the two inclines. Well Pete obviously didnít have the same thought because he rode straight at it, dead on. As he proceeded further I envisioned the front tire of Peteís bike getting wedged straight into the opposite incline and then Pete being hurled forward over his handle bars onto the awaiting cement road. And depending on timing of oncoming traffic he then could Ö well my vision stopped here because I ran out of time before reality took over. What ended up happening is one of his pedals got stuck into the side hill and he jumped off the side of his bike without ever really falling to the ground. So, overall it was again a rather mild incident based on the potential of Pete. I donít think Pete got hurt and I believe the extent of this mishap was maybe just one muddy foot and pedal. I think Steve had time to pull out his camera, this one will also be interesting to see how much Steve caught on film.
The rest of the ride home was uneventful. Steve left us part way during the return trip. He went to visit friends in a subdivision that we passed. The three of us continued west on Tienken toward home. We turned in on Grandview and rode with Pete until Bob and I spilt off going west again and Pete kept north toward his neighborhood. Our regular route from this point to get to across to Adams and then to our neighborhood is to cut through on the path along the side of the school to the street on the other opposite side. It was about half past two when we got to Brewster and I remembered that my youngest, Max, had baseball practice. Bob and I rode over the soggy grass to the top of a hill over looking the baseball fields. We waited for Max noticed us, and with the help of a quick shout by Bob, Max looked our way. After a quick wave we headed out again.
For our next ride we decided to do an early Saturday morning breakfast ride. We will be meeting at 7:00 am with the intent of finishing no later than 10:30am.
Following are the ride statistics from this ride, 21.3 total miles, 28.3 mph max speed, 10.4 mph average speed.
Thanks again for checking in on us. Our trusty photographer, Steve, had his camera and was snapping pictures like crazy, so at some point I will have pictures to post, check back later for the pictures from todayís ride. Check out this link for pictures.