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Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

August 14, 2004
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On Saturday, August 14, 2004, Pete and I were the only members available for a ride.  Since Pete was out of town last weekend when Bob and I rode to Royal Oak and had lunch at the Red Coat Tavern, he thought it might be a good idea to do it again this Saturday morning.   

I rode over to Peteís house and that is where we started from around 8:00 am.  I know I sound like a broken record, but the weather was perfect again.  For those of you too young to know what the expression ďbroken recordĒ means, many years ago when music was played on record players sometimes the record would skip and repeat the same thing over and over.  This is where the expression ďbroken recordĒ comes from.  For those of you who donít know what a record is, it is kind of like a big CD.  It was relatively cool for the middle of August, in the low 60s when we started and it had only gone up to the mid 70s by the time we finished six hours later.  I know six hours sounds like a long time, but we made quite a few stops and we also squeezed in lunch.     

Since Crooks worked out so well last week we decided to ride along Crooks again heading toward Royal Oak.  We stopped at the same bagel place near 16 Mile Road and Pete got a quick snack.  I had eaten breakfast before I left so I just drank my water during this break.  Troy has a nice system of wide sidewalks all the way along Crooks, which makes it nice for us, this way we donít have to ride on busy main roads.  You do have to be careful while riding along these sidewalks because there are low hanging branches from mature trees that you have to duck under as you ride past.  

As we got closer to Royal Oak Pete suggested we cut over and ride down the street he grew up on in Royal Oak, Vermont.  I canít recall exactly how were got there, but we did go through and past Red Run Park on the way.  I personally hadnít been on Vermont Street for quite a few years and what stood out was the size of the trees along both sides of the roads.  Now that I think about it, we also went past Kimball High School and the Warden Ice Arena on the way to Peteís old street.  Royal Oak has a lot of very nice neighborhoods that are enjoyable to ride through.  Since we had checked out Kimball High School earlier we thought it would be interesting to ride past our old high school Dondero.  Since our friend Gary lives so close to Dondero we rode by Garyís house, but there werenít any cars in the driveway so we didnít stop.  Next we rode through the backside of Dondero back near the football field and tennis courts.  The football team was out practicing and the booster club had a table set up selling tee shirts and sweat shirts.  Pete rode over toward the school and I followed.  A first floor door was propped open and Pete just kept right on peddling right inside the school.  I thought it would be fun to be able to say we rode our bikes inside our old high school so I again followed right behind.  We did a quick tour on our bikes.  We couldnít go very far because we were confronted with stairs quickly in both directions.  After a short ride around the inside of the school we headed back out and continued our ride the more traditional way, on sidewalks and side streets.

Again, being so close to my parents house we decided to stop by for a quick visit before heading over to the Red Coat for lunch.  On the way from Dondero to my parentís house we went down Hilldale past Carol and Barryís first house.  It looked different and Iím not sure I singled out the correct house since the big bushes on both sides of the steps to the front porch appeared to be gone.  When we got to my parentís house only my Dad was home.  My Mother had gone to a funeral with good friend and next-door neighbor Mrs. K.  We visited with my Dad for a few minutes and he reminded Pete and I of a story we had both forgotten, the time Pete and I, mostly Pete, garbage picked a bowling ball and rolled it down the isle at the local Cunningham Drug Store up on Woodward.  Being a gracious host my Dad offered us some cookies and we split a 20 oz diet Pepsi.  Pete was wearing one of his famous dew rags as usual and my Dad complemented him on how stylish he looked with the rag on his head.  We visited for about half an hour before we decided it was time to head out.  Just as Pete and I hopped on our bikes we noticed my Mom and Mrs. K had just gotten back from the funeral.  We rode next door to Mrs. Kís house and visited with them on the sidewalk for a few minutes.  Pete just couldnít resist and he leaned over and pushed the button to the air horn on my bike.  Both my Mom and Mrs. K appeared slightly startled at the extremely loud noise.  After a couple minutes we all got our hearing back and we finished our visit.

Next stop the Red Coat Tavern.  We cut through on Vinseta and Greenleaf on our way to Woodward.  We took Woodward north to the Red Coat.  The same guy was still painting the outside of the building when we arrived around 11:30 am.  The painter had finished the back and was now working on the southern side.  If he was getting paid by the hour I think he would be making out quite well, my guess is he is getting paid for the entire job and the people at the Red Coat are beginning to wonder if the job is ever going to end.  As we walked past the painter I commented that the paint job looked good, even though it really didnít, but I figured a small compliment from a patron might inspire him to actually finish the job.  When we entered the Red Coat they asked us if we wanted a booth or table, I quickly responded table, I learned my lesson from last week.  Once seated Pete and I ordered Diet Cokes and then ordered lunch.  As you should all know by now, if you are a regular follower of the bike club, the Red Coat is famous for their hamburgers.  Well Pete claims the ham and cheese sandwiches are even better than the burgers and he proceeded to order a ham and cheese while I ordered a burger with provolone cheese, minus the onions of course.  I guess one of these days I will have to try a ham and cheese, but it is so hard not to order a cheeseburger knowing their quality.   

 After lunch we decided to head back over to Crooks for the ride north back toward home.  On the way we went past Normandy Oaks golf course.  Dave W. another guy Pete and I went to high school with lives very close to Normandy Oaks.  I havenít seen Dave in many years and I think Pete said it has been three years or so since he has seen Dave.  We rode right past Daveís house but he wasnít outside so we didnít stop.  Maybe next time we ride by we will stop and ring the doorbell. 

There were quite a few garage sales as we rode through the side streets of Royal Oak.  Pete is always looking for an old pinball machine at garages sales, so we stopped by a couple and just slowed down for a couple more.  We didnít buy anything and sorry to report did not find any pinball machines for sale.  

I canít remember what rode we took, but we ended up back on Crooks.  Again this week our plan was to take Auburn to Squirrel because we know Squirrel has a very bicycle friendly overpass going over M59 freeway.  Once we got on Squirrel it was pretty much a direct path north to home.  Pete was checking his speedometer for our mileage from todayís ride.  Something wasnít right because only a few miles from home and Pete reported we had gone 28 miles.  I knew this couldnít be correct since last week Bob and I had gone just over 40 miles and I was sure we had traveled further today.  Once Pete got home he realized his mistake, he was reading the overall odometer not the trip odometer.  This ride turned out to be 46 miles total, not bad for a nice Saturday ride.  The longest one-day ride the club has done to date. 

Thanks for checking in.

David Lindquist 

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