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Rochester Hills PCT Bike Club 7/4/2004
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This weekend was the July 4 holiday and we had Monday off work for an extra day to ride.  Pete and I actually rode all three days, Saturday July 3, Sunday July 4 and Monday July 5, 2004.  Steve rode with us on the Sunday ride.  Saturday and Monday were very nice days weather wise.  Sunday we had to dodge a few raindrops and even find shelter a couple times when the rain was coming down hard, but luckily the hard rain never lasted long and we did a nice ride.  The temperature was still cool for this time of year, the low 70ís most of the time, which is really perfect for riding.  This story is relatively long due to the fact it is covering three rides.

Since it was only Pete and I on Friday we decided to ride over to the old Rochester Golf Course that is currently shut down and is being turned into a subdivision.  Pete and I had ridden over there a couple weeks ago and found it interesting so we went back again.  It is a weird feeling riding around an abandoned gold course.  The fairway grass has grown high and if you werenít paying attention and if you didnít know the history of the area you might not even notice it used to be a golf course.  Apparently Pete has always had a desire to have a real putting green in his backyard.  A couple weeks ago when we rode through the old course we started talking about the feasibility of moving sections of sod from the old greens before the bulldozers make way for the new homes.  Pete went to the developer office and asked if it would be OK to take some sod from a green.  They gave Pete approval to take as much sod as he wanted.  This has now turned into a mission for Pete, he is determined to move a green to his backyard.

On Saturday Pete and I started out early and stopped at the Greek Island for breakfast before heading over to the gold course.  We like the breakfast specials at this place.  With a full stomach we headed south to the course.  Once there we rode around checking out the various putting greens that still remain to identify the ones with the best quality grass.  Pete thinks it is either number 8 or number 17 green that we chose to take our first sample.  Using my small pocket knife I cut a small section of sod approximately eight inches in diameter and put in a plastic bag and then into my burrito basket on the back of my bike.  Once Pete got this small sample home and carefully placed in his lawn the whole plan was being developed in Peteís mind.  Pete had a few frustrating moments repairing his speedometer cable, but it is now fixed and working.  We recorded a new club record speed on the way home of 36.1 mph.  We also rode approximately 22 miles this day.

On Sunday Steve joined Pete and I for the ride.  Our destination again was the golf course, and our goal was to get more sections of putting green sod.  The three of us brought back packs with the intent of putting a couple pieces of sod in each one and then riding home with sod on our backs.  Since it was raining off and on we had to stop a couple times to wait out the heavy stuff.  We got a later start this day leaving just a little before noon.  Almost to our destination we decided to stop off for a quick lunch at Subway to wait out some more rain and also recharged before hauling sod.  Steve put on an impressive display of eating his entire sub before Pete had consumed a quarter of his and I had only taken two bites myself.  This was an incredible display unmatched until Kobayashi ate his batch of 54 hot dogs later in the day. 

After lunch we headed over to the golf course with our backpacks.  Pete actually brought a medium size duffle bag larger than a backpack.  Since Steve hadnít ridden around the golf course before we did a quick tour before settling in on our mission for the day.  Pete had a disassembled spade shovel in his duffel bag.  Once we got to the putting green of choice Pete put the spade back together and he started slicing sod in rectangular sections of about 10 inches by 18 inches, which may not sound like much but being 3 to 3 Ĺ inches thick of a very dense fine quality dirt and sand, they were heavy.  I was able to get two slabs in my backpack and I estimate it weight about 40 lbs.  Steve also got two slabs in his backpack of about the same size as mine.  Peteís duffle bag allowed for a little larger slab and we were able to get three slabs in the duffle bag.  At this point we were still planning to strap these bags over our shoulders and ride our bikes the 8 miles home.  It only took Steve and I a few minutes of walking around with the sod on our backs to realize this wasnít a good idea.  Pete thought we should give it a try.  Based on the fact that Pete actually had one more slab than me, I think it would have been fun watching him try to ride home with over 60 lbs of dirt and grass hanging over his shoulders.  Collectively we came to our senses in time and we did not attempt to ride home with our sections of putting green.  We decided to place the bags in an area where Pete could drive over in his van and pick up the bags.  Once we made this decision Pete rushed over and cut one more slab to set on top of his duffle bag.  Pete hid the spade in a pine tree before we mounted our bikes for the ride home.

I had plans to head over to Huntington Woods to my sisterís and fellow club member brother-in-law Barryís house for a July 4 party and then city fireworks that night, so I needed to get home.  Once we started riding I thought we were going to go straight home, but apparently Steve ate his sub so fast his body didnít get a chance to register that he had eaten and he was still hungry so we stopped off at Taco Bell.  After the longest wait on record for a simple burrito Steve and Pete both had a bean burrito.  Again, Steve ate his so fast Iím not sure if actually chewed any of it, I think he just swallowed it whole.  Pete apparently ordered his burrito without the red sauce, but of course it came with the red sauce.  There was no way Pete was going to take his burrito back in after the long wait.  Pete opened his burrito and poured on this special green sauce.  Before Pete took his first bite he tipped his burrito sideways and spilled the green sauce all over his bike.  He got sauce on the frame, rear tire and rim, brake pad and chain derailer.  Who knows maybe Pete discovered a new bicycle chain lubricant, green burrito sauce from Taco Bell.  Finally, we were back on our bikes heading north.  We almost made it home without stopping again.  We got to the shopping center on Walton just west of Livernois where Pete had to stop to buy a soft drink.  We ran into another club member Robert who hasnít ridden with us in a long time due to a sore knee.  Robert was carrying a large bag of ice on his shoulder and was with his wife Felicity and we visited with them for a few minutes.  Seeing Robert carrying that bag of ice reminded me of how glad I was that I didnít have 40 lbs of dirt and grass on my back.  We had to stop one more time before we got out away form this shopping center due to rain again.  While we were waiting out the rain a PCT Bicycle Club fan approached us and asked if we were the real PCT Bike Club.  We gave this gentleman a club logo sticker and he walked away happy.

The only other thing worth noting on the ride home is that Steve took another small spill at the entrance to the secret shortcut bypass trail leading into Long Meadow School.  I was out front so I didnít witness the spill and Steve was still riding so hopefully he didnít hurt himself too bad.

On Monday July 5, 2004 it was just Pete and I again.  If you know Pete at all, he tends to become obsessed once he gets an idea in his head.  Now that the putting green is starting to come together in his back yard his thirst for more sections of putting green sod is all consuming.  Iíll let you guess our destination for this ride.  You got it, the old Rochester Golf Course.  Armed with even more bags than the day before we headed straight to the course.  We started out earlier this day, leaving around 8:45 am.  It was a perfect day for bike riding, a little cloudy and cool with the temperature in the mid 60ís when we started.  We never stopped heading right to the course.  Once there we checked out a couple other greens and then headed to our green of choice.  After retrieving the spade from the pine tree Pete started cutting sections.  As Pete cut I would peel back the sod until he sliced it clean from the ground.  We then placed the sections of sod into the various backpacks and duffle bags Pete brought along.  After a few minutes of hard work we had filled all the bags to the point of overflowing.  We moved the bags to the pick up area with the intent of driving Peteís van back once we get home from our ride.

After leaving the golf course we had worked up an appetite and decide to eat lunch at Penn Station Subs north on Rochester Road.  After a very delicious monthly special Italian sub we were back on our bikes heading home.

Stay tuned the PCT Bicycle Club web site is in the process of being updated.  The home page will be more compact and easier to use. 

Thanks for reading about our latest ride.  Steve did take pictures on Saturday and I will be uploading these shortly, so be sure to check back for the pictures.

David Lindquist 

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