Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

Jan 1, 2005
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For the first time in a very long time the bike club went two consecutive weekends without a ride.  We skipped the last two weekends in December 2004.  Everyone was just too busy with the holiday coming up and on Christmas weekend the sidewalks and side streets were still covered from the eight inch snow fall we received on Wednesday December 22, 2004.  The plows didnít get out to my street until the following Monday.  One cool thing about living in Rochester Hills is they plow the sidewalk / bike paths along the major roads.  By Monday most of the bike paths were passable.  

I did a couple solo rides, one on Tuesday December 28 and a second on Friday December 31, 2004.  Then on Saturday the club started out the New Year proper with a new years day ride on January 1, 2005.  All three rides will be reported in this one article.  I will put a heading for each ride so you can jump to that particular date. 

One thing I forgot to mention in my last article is a big thank you to Pete aka zpinaddict, Spokes, Spike and or Roscoe, for his contribution of web domain space that now houses our bike club web site.  You have probably noticed that we no longer have that annoying advertisement on the right side of the web pages.  By using Peteís space it is not necessary to have the banner ad that was previously on the right side, so our website is now much friendlier.  You may also have noticed we added banner at the bottom of each page with a link to Peteís Excellent Home Page, this is a small trade off for using Peteís space, thanks again Pete. 

Thursday December 28, 2004

On Monday December 27, 2004 I bought myself a holiday present, a new larger fish tank.  I have been having fun over the past few months with the 20 gallon aquarium, so I decided to get a bigger tank and expand this hobby a little.  I canít expand too much or I wonít have enough time for my two other hobbies, pinball and bike riding.   

While I was setting up the new 60 gallon aquarium I realized I needed an electrical power strip.  A perfect excuse for a short bike ride, a trip to the local hardware store.  When I left my house I was considering a trip to ACO which is relatively close or to Damman which is a little further.  I figured I would make my decision based on the condition of the roads and bike paths.  Even though they had been plowed, there was still a fair amount of loose snow making bike riding difficult, so I decided to go to ACO.   It was also a bit chilly, 18įF that morning which typically isnít a problem.  I put on a few layers and headed out.  The only problem with such a short ride is you donít have time for your body to warm up before it is time to stop.  

I never considered what time the hardware stores open, I just assumed if I was up and about then the stores should be open.  Luckily it was open when I got there so I was able to do my shopping right away.  I found a really neat power strip that has a built in 24 hour timer.  Four of the eight total outlets in the strip are controlled by the timer and the other four are not affected by the timer.  I like to put the lights on a timer and run the air pump, heater and power filter all the time, so this power strip is ideal.  It cost more than just a simple power strip, but it is about the same price if you were to buy the strip and timer separately and you can control more items than a typical timer.  Overall it has worked out quite well and I highly recommend it for other fish tank owners.  Once I get the new tank established I will post some pictures for those interested in keeping updated on my third favorite hobby.   

As I stated earlier this was a short solo ride without much interesting to report about the actual ride.  I was one of the few people out walking or riding that morning.  I did not see even one other bike tire path, other than my own on the way home.  This was the second time I had ridden my latest bike, Trek 7200 with an appreciable amount of snow already on the ground.  It handled quite well, even with its relatively thin tires.  I have to remember to keep sitting while riding because it is important to keep weight on the back tire to maintain traction.  I like to stand up periodically while I ride and in the snow this is not a good idea since the rear tire will spin with out my body weight applying pressure.  Following are the statistics from this ride; 5.4 total miles, 17.9 max mph, 9.3 average mph and 35 minutes total time moving on bike.  I am actually proud of the average time for this ride, I had to work hard to keep up even this pace under the weather circumstances. 

Friday December 31, 2004

On this day I did another solo ride again related to my new fish tank.  I had spent a good portion of the past few days getting the tank set up and running.  I also spent sometime reinforcing the counter top where the new tank is located.  Even thought it seemed sturdy I felt better after putting in place a few structural reinforcements.  Who knows, some day I may come down into my basement and find even with the reinforcements the counter gives way due to the excessive amount of weight created by the large quantity of water.  I hope not.  One of the decorations we had purchased for the tank needed to be returned.  We got it from Petsmart at the shopping center on Rochester and Avon.  It was one of those clams that has an air hose hooked up to the back and when enough air gets inside the top half of the clam opens up and releases the air and then closes again.  In concept it is a neat decoration, but in reality it was not practical.  The quantity of air was so much that it caused a lot of large bubbles to go rushing to the top of the tank every few seconds making that area of the tank too turbulent for fish to occupy.  We decided to return this clam and get something different. 

The return to Petsmart gave me a destination for another solo bike ride.  It was quite a bit warmer this day than my previous ride.  The forecast for the day was for temperatures in the high 40s and it was around 40 at the start of this ride.  I even considered wearing shorts for this ride, but it was still just a little too cool.  The warm weather was causing all the snow to melt at a rapid pace.  All the streets and bike paths were wet and in some places muddy from runoff.  I was glad to have my home made fender extender and rubber mud flap on the back, it did a nice job of keeping water and dirt off my back. 

This was another nice ride, but I do prefer when I have company, it is always more fun to ride in groups than solo.  The clam fit nicely my burrito basket and the new plastic plants I picked up with the money back from the clam also fit after a little bit of jamming and folding of the packaging.  I did come across a few people walking while on this ride, but again no other bicyclists.  I did have to use my air horn on a couple typical rude motorists that just donít seem to understand who has the right of way at intersections or driveway exits.  It was nice to ride with only my helmet and no other covering for my ears or head.  It sort of felt like a cool spring day.  Once I got out of Petsmart I remembered I had a check in my wallet that needed to be cashed so I rode over the bank in the same shopping center and took care of some banking.  If I had a deposit slip already filled out I would have ridden through the drive through, but since I had to go inside to fill out the deposit slip I just did my banking inside.  After the bank it was a ride straight home.  

Following are the statistics from this ride; 13.9 total miles, 25.0 max mph, 11.4 average mph and 1 hour and 12 minutes total time moving on bike.  This was a nicely paced ride and I felt I got a decent work out from this very enjoyable activity. 

Saturday January 1, 2005

The first day of the New Year and I spent a good portion of the day out on my bike with the Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club.  I had made plans with Tom to ride this day and I assumed it would be just me and Tom.  I was pleasantly surprised when Tom pulled up in his Durango with a bike attached to the rack on back.  I knew it couldnít be Tomís bike because he had left his bike at my house after our last ride.  When the door to the Durango opened and Barry stepped out the mystery was solved.  I always enjoy Barryís company, whether it is a walk through his neighborhood after a holiday dinner or a bike ride with the PCT Bicycle Club.   

On this day I had the pleasure of being joined by both my brother Tom and brother in law Barry and core club member Pete.  Pete was a late addition to this ride.  The three of us were just about ready to head out when Pete called and said he wanted to join us.  Pete had just gotten home from the airport after his flight back from a vacation with his family in Hawaii.  This shows you the resiliency of PCT club members, a little jet lag wasnít going to stop Pete from attending.  Bob had also just returned home with his family the day before, but he had more than just jet lag, he was sick and in no condition to ride a bike.  Hope Bob is feeling better soon.  Steve didnít join us because it was his wife Cherylís birthday and they had plans.  We actually ran across Steve and Cheryl near the end of our ride, they were out taking a nice walk on the bike path heading east on the south side of Dutton.  We passed them after dropping off Pete at his house.  I never did hear from Rich, so I assume he was busy with New Years day plans and did not join us.  

Until Pete called I was planning a ride over to Squirrel  and then south to Auburn where we would then head east all the way to Rochester Road.  At that point I was thinking we could go north to the downtown area and have lunch at the Penn Station.  But when Pete called he needed a few minutes to get ready so we rode over to Peteís house to pick him up.  It is a nice warm up ride of 2.2 miles from my house to Peteís house.  Once we got to Peteís we changed our plans to a ride to Hamlin Pub for lunch, this would still be a nice ride. 

The four of us left Peteís neighbor hood headed for the pub.  We went past my old house in Fairview Farms.  We took a nice downhill route and avoided the big hill on Rochester Road.  The four of us hadnít been together as a group since our night out curling at the Detroit Curling Club.  It was fun to rehash some of the events and we laughed about the various things we did that evening, mostly the stuff Tom and Pete did.  While at lunch Pete again claimed that I incorrectly reported the result of our curling match.  I thought we had lost to our opponents which was a team including two females.  According to Pete we were behind and on the verge of losing when Barry made an incredible shot with his last stone.  Pete tried to take credit for the outcome of Barryís shot by saying that it was the sweeping that he and Tom provided on the shot that resulted in the accuracy.  Either way, apparently Barryís last incredible shot won that end and we tied the match, we did not lose.  There, I have now set the record straight.  I took a few pictures the night we went curling and one of these days I will make a separate page with the pictures from this fun event.  Stay tuned and I will provide a link on the main page once the pictures are posted. 

For the first time ever my meal at the Hamlin Pub was not perfect.  The bread on my Monte Cristo sandwich was slightly burned.  Normally I would have sent a sandwich in this condition back, but being we are regulars at the Pub and the quality is typically a high standard I figured everyone is allowed to have one bad day.  Maybe their normal cook was off due to the holiday.  Tom had a Rueben and Barry had a Turkey Rueben.  Pete ate lunch before he called us, so he just dank beer without a sandwich this day. 

Pete told us a story about snorkeling in Hawaii.  Ironically when he was snorkeling he found a functioning watch at the bottom of the ocean.  The funny thing about this story is this is the second time Pete has snorkeled in Hawaii and he found a functioning watch the first time as well.  So, if you have ever snorkeled  in Hawaii and lost a watch I have a pretty good idea where you might be able to find it.  See the end of this report for a picture of the watch and a couple other pictures I took with my camera phone on this day.  

After lunch I convinced the group to stop at Petsmart.  I wanted to pick up a couple more plastic plants for my new aquarium.  Again, I squashed the packages into my burrito basket for the ride home.  After Petsmart we rode straight home.  On the way home I told Pete to take one of the secret trails that dumps you out in the back of a school.  This trail is not paved and it has low hanging braches that you must avoid.  It also has a fairly steep up hill and the start and end.  I slipped at the start and lost all my momentum.  Barry was right behind me and he had to stop to avoid running into me at the start.  Pete and Tom had gone ahead of us and they were waiting once Barry and I came out.  This trail is actually quite short, but the two up hills make it a fairly difficult ride.  After a short rest on the school grounds we were back riding toward home.  When we got about a half mile or so from Peteís house we were going to part company with Pete, and head to my house.  Tom wanted to check out a house for sale across the street from Peteís so we continued on with Pete to his house.  Once we got to Peteís we went inside so Tom could see Peteís pinball machine collection in the basement.  This was a good time for another short rest before the final 2.2 miles to my house.  After looking at Peteís games we played a couple matches of foosball.  It was Pete and Tom against me and Barry.  Pete and Tom got lucky and won the first game with a come back after the handle fell off my midfielderís control bar.  Barry and I had the lead for almost the entire game until a couple lucky shots tied the game, we would have easily won if it wasnít for the faulty equipment.  We decided to play another quick game, first to five wins.  I have no excuses on this second game, we got spanked.  Iím sure if there was a third game Barry and I would have evened things up.   

After a quick visit Tom, Barry and I got back on our bikes for the ride to my house.  It is a bit more up hill than down on the return trip home.  I tried to take the most gradual way home, but we were still tired once we finally got home.  This was a nice enjoyable ride.  Tom told us about a nice trail along the river on the Windsor side in Canada.  I think we will have to schedule a club ride along the river in Windsor in the near future.  It will be our first sanctioned ride outside of the country.  It is about time the club became international.  Stay tuned and I will post the date for our Canadian ride. 

Following are the statistics from this ride; 17.9 total miles, 20.5 max mph, 9.4 average mph and 1 hour and 53 minutes total time moving on bike. 

Thanks for checking in.

David Lindquist 


Watch Pete found snorkeling

Barry and Tom after secret trail short cut
   
pete03.jpg (1043 bytes) Please don't forget to visit Pete's Excellent Home Page - www.zpinaddict.com
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