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Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

August 7, 2004
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On Saturday August 7, 2004 Bob and I were the only core members in town, everyone else was off traveling around the country and world either on vacation or traveling for business. 

Bob and I started out just a couple minutes before 8:00 am this Saturday morning.  Overall we have had very nice weather for the vast majority of rides since spring and summer.  I can honestly report that this may have been the absolutely nicest day we have ever had for a bike ride.  The temperature was perfect starting out in the mid 60ís and only reaching the low 70ís.  The humidity was even reasonable.  There were clouds in the sky but no threat of rain.  Based on such a perfect day Bob suggested a longer than normal ride.  I didnít have any plans so I agreed and we set off without any particular destination in mind. 

We went through the back of the subdivision out to Tienken and then down Adams to Walton.  We briefly considered stopping for breakfast at the Greek Island, but we didnít, we continued on over to Old Perch and took that road to Avon.  We donít typically ride on Crooks, so we decided to try something new and cut over and head south on Crooks.  The sidewalks and bike baths on Crooks are actually a good way to travel.  There were only a couple of very short distances where we had to ride in the street when the bike paths temporarily ended.  Once we started going south on Crooks we just kept going.  Before we knew it we were in the heart of the business section of Troy around 16 Mile Road.  We stopped and split a bagel and had a small carton of chocolate milk.  This gave us a nice break and also some energy before continuing our ride.  At this point we were so far south we decided we might as well keep going and visit my parents in Royal Oak and then stop for an early lunch at the Red Coat Tavern. 

As we continued on Bob suggested we stop and visit his brother in law Bobby, who has a house in Clawson.  If I remember correctly we cut over on 14 mile Road and Bobbyís place was just off the main road a short distance.  Clawson is a very nice community, the homes on the couple side streets we traveled had large mature trees and the homes were all well kept.  We rode up to Bobbyís house and parked our bikes right next to a side door.  Bob started knocking on the door and announced himself as a police officer as a joke.  We could just see a crack in the blinds on the door as if someone inside was peeking out to see who was knocking.  When Bobby opened the door he was surprised to see us instead of the local authorities.  Apparently with the burrito pouches on the back of our bikes they look similar to the bicycles the local police use when out on bicycle patrol.  Even though Bobby obviously was not wanted by the police, he was somewhat concerned for a brief moment when he actually thought the police were calling him out.  We had a nice short visit with Bobby, he showed us the vegetable garden one of his tenants is caring for out behind the house.  We invited Bobby to ride with us any weekend. 

After visiting with Bobby we headed over to Rochester Road and continued south.  We turned right on Twelve Mile and came in to my parentsí house the back way off 12 Mile Road.  Currently neither Bob nor I have a speedometer on our bikes so we did not have any way of keeping track of our mileage this day.  I estimate we rode approximately 17 or 18 miles to this point.  When we got to my parentsí house we knocked on the front door, but no one answered so we started to head toward the back yard to see if they would answer the kitchen door.  As we were walking away my Dad opened the front door and quickly stepped out on to the front porch.  I think he was trying to catch us before we went through the gate.  He was moving so fast he tripped on the doormat and went head over heels off the porch and did a complete one and a half somersault in the tucked position.  He popped right up and brushed himself off, no worse for wear.  I was amazed that he didnít get hurt.  We visited with my Mom and Dad for a few minutes, telling them the route we traveled that morning on the way to their house.  We had a small snack of toast with my Motherís homemade strawberry jelly.  Bob had lemonade and I just had water with my toast.  I showed off my new Trek bicycle and after a nice visit we were back on our bikes again.  Based on my Motherís recommendation we took Vinsetta Blvd over to 12 Mile Road to check out a new million dollar plus house that is currently being build on a lot where the previous house was torn down.  Even though it is early in construction it appears they are trying to make this new large house fit into the general architecture of the neighborhood.

Heading west on 12 Mile with the intent of taking Woodward north to the Red Coat Tavern, we passed Shrine of the Little Flower church.  I commented to Bob that this is the church where Diane and I were married 20 years ago, the end of July.  Bob was curious to see the inside of the church so we stopped and locked our bikes to a rail and went inside.  It has been a long time since I just walked around the Shrine looking at the building, the various artwork and furnishings.  It is actually a very beautiful place.  We walked around the entire perimeter of the main level.  A gentleman was playing the organ in the balcony the entire time we walked around.  There wasnít anything formal happening inside at the time, only about half a dozen people in addition to Bob and I also visiting while we were there.  I remembered some of the information from tours of many years ago that I was forced to attend while I went to Shrine Grade School for a couple years in the early 1970ís.  In addition to my few comments Bob was also able to see some of the history of this church in a small room that I had never seen before.  The sole purpose of this small room is provide a place to share the history of the church, very similar to what you would see in a museum or a historical tourist site.  I was impressed with this little room and the way the information was presented.  I found it very interesting.  We then walked through the baptism area finishing our short walking tour.

After our tour of the Shrine we got back on our bikes heading north on Woodward.  Woodward is a very busy street and it is difficult to ride a bike along the sidewalk.  You have to ride slow watching out for cars turning in and out of the many strip malls along the way.  We stayed on Woodward to just past 13 Mile Road, which is where we stopped for an early lunch at the Red Coat Tavern.  It was quite by chance that we ended up at the Red Coat this day.  We had been discussing and planning a trip to the Red Coat for a long time and it now seems appropriate that Bob and I did a preview trip to make sure it is worth doing again with the entire club.  The burgers at the Red Coat are the best.  Bob enjoyed his burger as well and we will be making this trip again in the future.  There was a guy rolling on a coat of fresh red paint on the backside of the Red Coat Tavern when we pulled up.  The painter saw us looking for a place to park our bikes out of the way.  He yelled over that he was going to be out there all afternoon painting and he would keep an eye on our bikes.  Even though we had the comfort of security offered by the painter, who seemed half in the bag already by 11:15 am Saturday morning, we locked our bikes to a structural rail of the building across the parking lot.  As we passed the painter on our way into the restaurant we thanked him for his offer.  When you first enter the Red Coat it is extremely difficult to see due to the lighting.  It takes a few minutes for your eyes to adjust to the low level lights shinning through the red glass shades.  We were seated in a booth that was somewhat tight, not a whole lot of extra space between the table right in front of your midsection and your back against a high back booth seat.  Once you settle in and donít move around the booth ends up being bearable.  If you ever visit the Red Coat you might want to request a table instead of a booth.  The burgers are excellent, no questioning the quality of the burgers.  Since we had already had half a bagel and toast and jelly we ordered just burgers, no fries this day.

After lunch we were happy to see that our bicycles hadnít been painted red and started our trip home.  We only traveled a very short distance before we cut over to take side streets to get off Woodward.  We ended up on Eton Road going through Birmingham for a ways until we ended up on Coolidge Road.  Coolidge was a good route, nice sidewalks all the way until the road dead ends at South Blvd.  We then took South to Adams and Adams to Auburn.  Our plan was to take Auburn to Squirrel because we know Squirrel has a very bicycle friendly overpass going over M59 freeway.  Before we got to Squirrel we stopped at a party store to buy a Diet Pepsi and rest for a couple minutes on a wrought iron bench in front of the stores on Auburn right in main business section of the city of Auburn Hills.  Once we got on Squirrel it was pretty much a direct path north to home. 

Again, I am not sure but I would estimate todayís ride was approximately 33 to 35 miles total.  Not bad for an impromptu Saturday morning bicycle ride.  Now that I think about it, I believe we travel through six different cities along todayís ride, some of them more than once.  1.) Rochester Hills,  2.) Auburn Hills,  3.) Troy,   4.) Clawson,  5.) Royal Oak,  6.) Birmingham,  7.) Troy again,  8.) Auburn Hills again and then finally back to  9.) Rochester Hills.  This was a very enjoyable ride, I think we will have to do this route again. 

Thanks for checking in.

David Lindquist 

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