we did something a little different. In preparation for attending the
Ryder Cup golf matches out at
Oakland Hills Pete had the idea of loading our bikes in his van and
driving out to that area and then riding around to check out possible
areas to park. So, Saturday morning September 11, 2004 Pete, Steve and I
drove out to Birmingham Seaholm High School where we unloaded our bikes.
We rode around the area for a little while before heading over to Oakland
When I wait
too long to document our rides I tend to forget the details. We stopped
for breakfast at a nice small deli type restaurant, I canít remember the
name of the restaurant. Iím not sure where it was located either, it was
in a shopping center at the corner of a couple main roads in Birmingham I
believe. I ordered a breakfast sandwich even though they didnít have one
on the menu. Steve ordered some sort of omelet that was very flat and
Pete ordered a nasty looking meal, which I have totally forgotten, other
than it looked nasty. The more I think about it, this restaurant may have
been like a Greek Coney Island type place. Since Steveís birthday was
recently Pete and I bought Steveís meal. Now that I think about
birthdayís I donít recall getting a free meal during a bike ride in mid
August, oh well maybe next year.
we got back on our bikes and rode around a bit more before arriving at
Oakland Hills. We noticed what appeared to be temporary signs everywhere
restricting parking on all side streets and in the shopping center parking
lots. Looks like the city has planned for people like Pete planning to
park near by and walk.
worth noting is that the people driving around Birmingham are actually
worse than what we typically experience in Rochester Hills. They were
very rude and paid virtually no attention to us on our bikes trying to
cross the streets at traffic lights. I had to use my air horn a few times
to get the attention of drivers to avoid being hit while we had the right
We rode around
the entire perimeter of Oakland Hills Golf Course. We were able to see
all the equipment necessary to broadcast the Ryder Cup, which is a
worldwide event. There were temporary tents, more like building than
tents, all over the place. In one parking lot there were a couple dozen
semi trailers from the various media companies covering this event. In
another parking lot there a bunch of generators set up and running to
provide power. Every gate we passed had security guards on duty. All in
all it was quite impressive how much work had been done in preparation for
this event. Some of the streets surrounding the course had big beautiful
homes, the multi-multi-million dollar types.
the place we came to the entrance where people were allowed to enter to
visit the gift shop. This gift shop was an impressive structure itself.
The place was huge and once inside you felt like you were in a
well-appointed store at your local shopping mall. They had everything you
can imagine with the Ryder Cup logo, and I mean everything. They even had
Ryder Cup dog biscuits and dog collars. People were buying stuff like it
was a fire sale, but the difference being everything was at least twice
and usually three times the normal price for the same item without a Ryder
Cup logo. People were walking out of the gift shop with a full shopping
bag in each hand. There was a line of about 200 hundred people waiting
for a bus to take them back to their cars after shopping at the gift
tent. At first I thought it was kind of crazy to open the gift tent the
weekend before the event, but based on the number of people dying to buy
stuff I must be wrong.
The three of
us actually rode our bikes through he gate onto the course where everyone
else was walking in. I thought it was strange that they let us enter on
our bikes. Later Pete told me he heard someone yelling at us as we rode
in, but he just ignored the yell. We parked our bikes next to a frozen
lemon aid cart and locked them together before entering the gift tent.
Steve had his camera and was taking pictures as usual. Inside the gift
tent Steve and I were taking pictures as well. We ran a cross a
professional photographer from the Detroit News, I believe his name was
Morris Richardson II. Morris had a few cameras hanging around his neck
and Steve introduced the PCT Bicycle Club to Morris and told him we had
ridden our bikes all the way from Rochester Hills that morning. Morris
took a picture of the three of us pretending to be shopping. He commented
that we looked too posed. He took down our names, I think just to be nice
and make us think our picture might actually end up in the Detroit News.
Check out the
article in the Detroit News the next day. Steve was
actually taking a picture of Morris the photographer while he was taking
the picture that ended up in the paper. That doesnít happen everyday.
Check out the pictures
Steve took while shopping in the Ryder Cup
finished goofing around the gift tent we headed out back to our bikes for
our ride back to the school where Pete left his van. On our way a
security guard ran up to us and asked how we got our bikes in there. I
was tempted to tell him that we got dropped off by a helicopter, but
instead I told him we just rode in exactly where we were riding out. He
was very concerned that we had somehow gotten past the security, but since
we were on our way out he let us go making sure we understood no bikes
allowed. After a short ride back to the van we loaded our bikes back in
for the ride home.
mention earlier that the weather was again just perfect this day.
Following are the statistics from this ride. Total miles 10.7, max speed
23.5 mph, average speed of 8.2 mph with a total time moving on bikes of 1
hour and 17 minutes.
Bob and I are again coaching our
sons Mark and Jonathan in the Rochester
Youth Soccer League (RYSL) boys U14 division. I will provide
updates on the season as we progress.
Thanks for checking in.