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Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

September 11, 2004
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This weekend 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 Hills. 

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.

After eating 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.  

One thing 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 away.

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.

After circling 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 gift tent.

After we 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.  

I didnít 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.

David Lindquist 

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