Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

Jan 16, 2005
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On Sunday January 16, 2005 we had a relatively large group go on the ride.  We had a total of five people, Pete, Bob, Rich, Tom and me.  I thought we were going to tie our record of six people, but Steve couldnít attend because he was curling.  We have had a total of six riders two different times in our short history.  Bobís birthday is on Jan 18, so happy birthday Bob. 

It was cold when we started and it never did warm up very much.  The thermometer at my house said 9įF when Tom and I left around 10:45 am.  I canít remember if this was our coldest ride on record, if not it had to be close.  It wasnít snowing and the sky was clear.  I didnít notice the wind much on the first half of the ride, but I did feel the wind during the ride home.  The sun came out for the ride home which made it feel more 16į than the actual 12į or 13į it was.   I put on an extra hood that I had never used before and I was even considering not wearing my helmet because of the extra thickness created by this hood.  Thankfully I reconsidered and loosened the chin strap and I did wear my helmet. 

Our street had scattered icy patches which made riding a little treacherous.  When Tom and I were riding the Ĺ mile over to Bob and Richís section of the neighborhood Tom commented that we would be lucky if no one got hurt today.  I told Tom I would feel lucky if my nose didnít get frost bit.  I wore a thin layer of wicking long underwear beneath my wind pants.  I also had on two pair of socks.  On top I had two thin wicking shirts, one short sleeve and one long sleeve.  In addition I put on a long sleeve cotton sweatshirt and a sleeveless fleece zip up vest.  I also wore a thin light weight jacket as the outer most layer as a wind breaker.  The mistake I made was I didnít bring my thick winter gloves, I used a pair of medium weight gloves with a small thin pair of cotton gloves.  My fingers did get cold during the ride, but other than my fingers I was very comfortable every where else.  I even had to unzip my jacket because I was getting too warm on the way home. 

After waiting a couple minutes for Bob and Rich to get ready we were off on our way to meet Pete at Brewster.  I have to note that Tom was actually on time for the first time driving to my house.  Now that Tom has proved it can be done I expect him to always be on time in the future.  On the way to Brewster we came across scattered ice on the side streets again.  I slipped a couple times and almost fell a time or two.  Just before we got to Brewster Bob did fall.  Tom and I were a little ahead of Rich and Bob when Bob went down.  Fortunately Bob was OK and we continued.  Pete was waiting for us by circling around the parking lot.  Once at Brewster I told Pete to stick to the bike paths and avoid the side streets today, just too dangerous. 

Bob was planning to do some painting later in the day so he wanted to stop at Damons Hardware for some rollers.  I was more than happy to stop, this was a chance for me to warm up my fingers.  Pete and Tom went and sat at a small table with a couple chairs inside the store next to the paint mixing counter.  The guy behind the counter asked if he could take their order.  Pete promptly ordered a beer and the hardware guy was quick to comment that the beer tap wasnít running yet, he told us to stop back in about an hour.  He was a very good sport.  Bob didnít take long at all, before I knew it he was through the checkout and ready to go.  My fingers werenít even fully warmed up yet.  Rich also took this opportunity to purchase some filter bags for his vacuum cleaner. 

The bike paths or sidewalks along the main roads were in fairly good shape.  There was still the occasional patch of ice that we had to manage, but nothing to serious until we hit a large sheet of ice while traveling along Avon east of Crooks on the opposite side of the street as Rochester College.  I canít remember exactly how the incident started but once it did start it was a chain reaction that affected us all.  I believe Tom was out front and being in the lead I think I can blame him for the start of the pile up.  This patch of ice was a sheet at least 15 feet long and completely smooth with just a hint of powder snow on top to make it really slippery.  Tom in the lead lost control and jumped off his bike.  I think Pete was next and he went down behind Tom.  Rich was right in front of me and he went side ways trying to avoid the two in front of him.  Rich maintained his balance and never actually fell.  I tried to avoid hitting Rich and in doing so I turned my front wheel to the right which sealed my fate.  I had no choice I was going down.  On the way down I tried to catch my balance by putting my right foot on the ground.  Without any traction my foot immediately slipped and I was falling backwards.  The next thing I remember is the loud thud I made as the back of my bike helmet slammed on the ice.  Luckily for me I was wearing my helmet or I would probably still have a head ache as I write this article.  Bob was behind me and to the right and I think he maintained his balance and didnít go down, but he got a good view of me slamming my head on the ground.  It was quite an adventure trying to upright our bikes and get back off the ice.  The path at this particular spot was not level, it had a slight sideways slope toward the road.  It is also elevated at this spot which Iím sure aids in the development of ice, like on a bridge or overpass street.  When I stood up I was right in the middle of the ice patch and as I tried to walk I started sliding down the slight incline.  I slip about six feet right off the path.  Once I was off the path I was able to walk on the grass around the remaining ice and get back on my bike.  Needless to say we all were a little nervous and planned to be extra cautious of any more ice patches along the way.  Again, we were all lucky that no one got hurt from this pileup.  Tom wasnít wearing a helmet because at this point in his bicycling career he didnít own one, but he did wear a helmet for the ride home which was a wise choice.  

I was hoping the rest of the ride to Hamlin Pub would be uneventful without any more falls, but it just wasnít to be.  The club member who far and away leads in our frequent faller category, yes you guessed correctly, Pete, had to go and fall one more time just for good measure.  I think it was just shortly after our five bike pileup, still on the path along Avon, that Pete went down again.  This time by himself and relatively hard.  He actually landed on his face and his handle bars jammed into his chest knocking the wind out of him.  This fall took its toll.  You could tell Pete was hurting after he stood up and leaned over his handle bars trying to regain his ability to breath.  It was another patch of smooth ice that brought Pete down.  After this fall we either got off our bikes and slowly walked over the ice or rode on the grass around the ice as we came across additional patches. 

There were a few slips and slides but no more falls the rest of this ride.  Before were got to Hamlin Pub we needed to make another shopping side trip.  Pete wanted to stop at Dicks Sporting Goods to purchase a couple elastic type braces for his leg.  Tom took this opportunity to pick out a nice bike helmet for the ride home, and hopefully he will remember to use it on all future rides.  Tom left all the packaging with the cashier and wore the helmet out of the store.  Typical of Tom, he couldnít just buy an average helmet, he had to get a nice bright red one with a cool black visor.  It was probably the most expensive helmet in the store.  In a lot of ways Tom reminds me of Pete, when it came time to buy the helmet he didnít have enough money or any credit cards.  Since I seem to always be the most prepared I was able to pay for Tomís helmet, like I do Peteís breakfast or lunch periodically when he forgets his money. 

Next stop Hamlin Pub.  Tom got a message on his phone about some crisis at work.  We convinced Tom to get off the phone long enough to ride to the pub where he could continue his phone calls while we ate lunch.  Once we got seated at the pub Tom put his phone on the table and told me to answer it if it rang while he went to the bathroom.  So now I am Tomís personal secretary while he goes to the rest room, I think not.  I had no intention of answering that phone if it rang, which it did 30 seconds after Tom left.  I pushed the phone toward Pete and told him to answer it, I thought this had the potential to be very entertaining.  Pete said hello and starting talking, I think the person on the other end was named Steve.  Pete was very helpful.  He said Tom was in the bathroom dribbling on himself and would be back in a minute.  Pete also asked Steve why he had to be at work while Tom was out having fun on a bike ride.  Pete commented he was glad he no longer worked in a manufacturing plant and didnít miss all the aggravation that comes along with working in a plant.  Then Pete told Steve to just solve the problem, there wasnít anything Tom to could do while sitting in the Hamlin Pub.  I think Steve had enough of Pete and was ready to hang up when Pete told him to hang on, that Tom told him to stall who ever calls.  Pete then started talking about the NFL playoff games.  Tom finally finished his business and returned to the table and took over his phone. 

Everyone was drinking diet cokes, except Rich who was drinking full strength.  Before we ordered our meals Pete asked our waitress if they still had free refills on pop.  She told us of course and we told her that Pete was going to attempt to set a new club record and drink five large glasses of pop over the course of his meal.  She laughed and said five glasses is nothing, she claimed she could drink way more than that.  Well, that was all the challenge Pete needed, he fully intended to drink a minimum of six.  I decided to try something new and I also convinced Pete to get something other than the Turkey Rueben he always orders.  I got a Monterey Chicken sandwich and Pete got a Tuna Melt.  I think Rich ordered the Monte Cristo, Tom a regular Rueben and Bob a Turkey sandwich.  It appears their regular cook was back because all the sandwiches were good.  In celebration of Bobís birthday the club members in attendance all chip in and pay for Bobís lunch.  Well I actually ended up paying for the whole lunch since I owed Tom a lunch already and Pete and Rich didnít have enough money.  So, now both Pete and Rich owe me a lunch in the future.  One of the NFL payoff games started shortly after we started eating so we decided to stick around and relax a little longer than normal and watch some of the game.  This gave Pete a chance to continue drinking pop.  Bob is no slouch when it comes to drinking pop and he made quite a nice run himself.  Bob finished having downed five, I drank three, Tom had three and Rich had two.  Pete ended up drinking a total of seven.  So we actually set two new club records this day.  Pete has the individual record of seven pops during one lunch and as a group we drank a total of 20.  The topic of conversation as we were suiting back up for our ride home was planning where to make our rest stops.  

I am happy to report that no one fell on the way home.  We stopped at the Damons on the way home as a bathroom break.  My daughter Melissa was working this afternoon and I thought it would be a good idea to stop in at Cold Stone to visit Melissa and buy Bob a birthday ice cream.  Melissa was working in the back when we entered, so we specifically asked for Melissa to serve us.  Bob got a raspberry sorbet with real raspberries mix in.  We all tried some and it was very good.  Pete didnít join us at Cold Stone, he headed up Brewster to save the extra Ĺ mile out of his way heading home. 

After the ice cream it was just a short 2 mile ride home.  Following are the statistics from this ride; 16.0 total miles, 18.3 max mph, 9.0 average mph and 1 hour and 45 minutes total time moving on bikes.  Even though it was cold it was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for a bike ride.

Thanks for checking in.

David Lindquist 

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