Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

Jan 8 & 9, 2005
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Again, this past weekend we rode on both Saturday and Sunday.   

On Saturday I rode with Pete and Steve and On Sunday I rode with Tom.  Both rides will be reported in this one article.  I will put a heading for each ride so you can jump to that particular date. 

Saturday January 8, 2005
Saturday morning I awoke to about two inches of new snow on the ground.  The streets and bike paths has just recently become clear.  I am not sure if this latest snow had been predicted, but it surprised me when I looked out the window at 7:00 am.  Pete and I planned to ride at 10:00 am, so I had plenty of time before heading over to Pete’s house.  It was a beautiful morning and looking for a reason to be outside, I shoveled my driveway and walk way leading to the front porch.  I suggest everyone ask themselves the following question, “When was the last time I went for a walk or bike ride outside?”  If you can’t remember, then it has been too long.  I still can’t understand the mentality of joining a health club and giving your hard earned money to someone for the opportunity to exercise.  Why not just go outside for some free exercise and either walk, jog or ride a bike.  Free exercise is all a person really needs.  

It was a fairly difficult ride over to Pete’s house.  Some of the side streets were plowed earlier in the week and others weren’t.  The ones that never got plowed were very difficult to ride.  The new snow mixed with the old snow caused both the front and rear bike tires to slip side to side.  I think I did more fish tailing that morning than the entire population of both my aquariums.  By the time I got to Pete’s I was sweating like crazy, lucky for me I had on the proper wicking clothes to maintain a proper comfort level.  I got to Pete’s house a little before 10:00 am.  Elaine answered the door and Pete looked like he had just woken up.  Pete asked what the weather was like and I told him not too bad, a little cool, temp was around 28°F, I also told him he would warm up quickly riding today. 

As I stood next to my bike in the driveway waiting for Pete to get ready I was amused watching Pete.  Pete was wearing his standard issue beat up old tennis shoes that he typically uses year round, except when he wears his sandals in warm weather.  He was already wearing a winter jacket when he came out in the garage.  His dew rag, ear muffs, ski goggles and bike helmet were the next things that Pete needed to get in place to be ready to head over to pick up Steve.  I had to laugh as I watched Pete attempt to put his dew rag on over top of his ear muffs.  After a minute of struggling he realized the reason his dew rag wouldn’t go on is because of the ear muffs.  He took off his ear muffs and then put on his ski goggles before attempting again to put on his dew rag.  After another minute he realized his latest mistake and took off his goggles and finally got his dew rag in place.  At this point I figured that Pete must still be half asleep.  I just stood back and continued to watch.  After he finally got his dew rag on he put on his helmet and then tried to put on his goggles.  He quickly noticed his goggles wouldn’t go on so he took off his helmet and put on his goggles before putting the helmet back on top of his head.  He was feeling pretty good at this point because he thought he was finally ready until he noticed he was still holding his ear muffs.  Needless to say at this point I had to say something and I think my comments may have startled him out of his drowsy state.  He finally took off his helmet and got the ear muffs in place and the helmet installed.  The reason I know Pete must have been half asleep is because if he was awake in his normal state one of those items would have been tossed against the wall of the garage after the first couple mistakes.   

After watching Pete get ready I had time to catch my breath after the ride from my house.  Steve’s house is just a few blocks from Pete’s.  Steve was waiting for us when we arrived.  We warned Steve not to wear too many layers today.  He thanked us later in the ride.   

With the streets being full of snow I knew even a short ride today would be a good work out.   We decided to ride over to PCT and head south toward Rochester.  I suggested Penn Station would be a good goal for lunch.  Pete was optimistic and suggested Hamlin Pub or maybe even Pizza Papalis.  

To get to the trail from Steve’s house we have to go down Dutton hill.  Since Dutton was partially snow and water covered and with it being a dirt road I was planning to be extra cautious going down hill.  I was out front, which is against one of my basic rules when Pete is on the ride because you never know when Pete is going to do something crazy, and if you are out front you might miss it, which is exactly what happened.  Part way down the hill I was feeling comfortable so I relaxed on my brakes and started to increase speed coasting down hill.  I did take my feet off my pedals and stuck my legs out to the side just above the ground to act as stabilizers in case I was to slip to one side or the other.  I got up to 19.7 mph while coasting down hill.  

Apparently Pete got up to 17.4 mph when a car from behind startled him and caused him to try and steer over closer to the side of the road.  Since I didn’t actually see the event I can only report Pete’s account.  Somehow he lost control and he flew over his handle bars into a snow bank on the shoulder while traveling 17.4 mph.  After waiting a couple minutes for Pete and Steve to show up at the entrance to the trail I was beginning to wonder what was happening.  While I waited for the other two guys I tried riding on the trail which was very difficult to almost not passable on bike.  When Pete and Steve arrived Pete told me right away about his most recent fall.  Apparently it happened too fast for Steve to take any pictures.  Luckily Pete appeared to be OK, a little sore but no broken bones or open wounds. 

We should have known better than to attempt the trail during the winter.  Last winter we couldn’t ride on the trail due to the irregular surface caused by frozen foot steps.  The trail does not get plowed, so snow also builds up making riding extremely hard.  We certainly weren’t going to head back up the hill from where we came so we starting walking with our bikes next to us.  It sure seems a lot longer from Dutton to Tienken on the trail when you are walking in six inches of snow pulling a bike along.  Every once in a while someone would either walk or jog past which gave Pete the opportunity to ask them “where is your bike”.  This brought out smiles and funny comments in return, most of the comments related to our sanity. 

After walking for about a half mile and listening to Pete complain about how difficult it was pulling his bike we stopped for a rest and a couple pictures.  One of the nice things about Steve attending is we will have some nice pictures to post shortly.  Before we started walking again Pete made comment that his front brakes weren’t acting normal after the fall.  Well, it turns out his front wheel and handle bars had spun completely 360° during the fall.  The front cable was stretched to the point where it was applying the front brakes all the time.  No wonder Pete was complaining while walking his bike, his front brakes were on the whole time.  After rotating the front end back into position the brakes were back to normal.  These things only happen to one person. 

Once we got to Tienken we stayed on the bike path which was passable.  We took this all the way to Rochester Road.  As we started to head south on Rochester we noticed the sidewalks we not plowed.  At this point we decided to have lunch at George’s Coney Island in the shopping center on the south west corner.  We all ordered the Gyro combo with fries and salad.  This is a lot of food for one meal.  Steve and I ordered our salads with extra beats and Pete ordered his without beats. 

After lunch we just headed home.  We knew the ride home would be difficult enough that we didn’t need to go any further this day.  Following are the statistics from this ride; 10.2 total miles, 19.7 max mph, 6.3 average mph and 1 hour and 36 minutes total time moving on or next to bike.  This was a very slow pace due to the need to walk for quite a ways. 

Sunday January 9, 2005
On this day I rode with my brother Tom.  Tom has now attended quite a few rides lately and based on his activity with the club we have created a new bobble head in his likeness.  You may have already noticed his bobble head since it has been posted on the home page for a few days now.  Tom kind of has a large rectangular shaped head which lends well to a bobble head.  I thought Tom’s bobble head turned out quite well if I do say so myself. 

My plans for Tom and I this day was to head over to Squirrel and head south behind the Chrysler headquarters.  Since Tom is a devout Chrysler employee I thought he would enjoy this ride.  We went through the back of my sub to get to Dutton Road and headed west on Dutton to Squirrel.  We rode south part way on Squirrel in the street which isn’t too busy and then tried to ride on the bike path on the west side of the road.  Auburn Hills does not plow the bike paths like Rochester Hills, so riding on the deep snow covered paths is almost impossible.  Due to the lack of passable bike paths Tom and I changed our plans.  

We cut over to Oakland University and took the side streets on the campus property heading east to get back to Adams Road.  Once we got back to Adams we were on Walton and we continued east toward town.  We went down some side streets, through Mount Avon Cemetery.  When we got to the opposite side of the cemetery the gate was locked so we had to lift our bikes over the fence and then climb over the fence.  Tom did a nice running flip to get over the fence, I think he called it a “Starsky & Hutch” flip or maybe it was a “Mission Impossible” flip or maybe it was some other old TV show, I can’t quite remember. 

We kept riding toward downtown Rochester.  We went under Rochester Road and came up on the other side fairly close to Penn Station.  We decided to stop and have lunch at Penn Station, my favorite sub place.  The special was Philly Cheese Steak both Tom and I ordered the special.  After lunch we had a nice ride home back to my house. 

Even though the bike paths were passable they were still partially snow covered.  I can’t remember exactly when during the ride the next event took place.  Tom and I were riding along at a fairly good pace considering the conditions.  Tom tried to take a jog in the path a little too quick and he lost control of his bike.  Technically he didn’t fall, because our club rule is if you land on your feet then you didn’t fall.  When he lost control his bike went down on the right and Tom jump to the left.  It was actually an impressive display of balance.  I was behind and I had plenty of time to stop to avoid both Tom and his bike.  

Following are the statistics from this ride; 14.2 total miles, 21.5 max mph, 9.2 average mph and 1 hour and 31 minutes total time moving on bike.
Thanks for checking in.

David Lindquist 

Tom bobble head

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