Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

Jan 30 & 31, 2005
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On Saturday January 30, 2005 we did an early morning breakfast ride.  On Sunday we did a walking hike through Bloomer Park around noon and then later in the day we did a bike ride.  I will put a heading to each of the three events, in case you only want to read about one.   

Saturday Jan 30, 2005   Bike Ride
Bob, Rich and I took off on our bikes around 7:30 am.  It was still a little dark when I rode over to Bobís house.  The temperature wasnít bad when we started, around 24įF, and the sky was clear.  Most of the side streets were partially clear down to the road surface.  Last weekend we had a rather large snow fall of about 8 or 9 inches at my house.  Some of the southern metro-Detroit area got quite a bit more snow.  Due to the snow we did not ride last weekend. 

Once we got going we found out the bike paths along the main roads were plowed and quite passable.  This ride needed to be short since a couple of us wanted to get back home by 10:30 am.  Our first stop was the Greek Island for breakfast.  We each ordered a version of the breakfast special.  Once we had sufficient fuel in our stomachs it was time to ride. 

The ride to the Greek Island is actually quite short.  We needed to pick a destination in order to get in a decent ride.  We decided to head toward Rochester and just ride around the downtown area.  Bob led the way and we went up and down various side streets.  It turned out to be a good ride with some nice hills mixed in which helped us work up a sweat.  On these colder days it is important to push yourself a little to get your blood flowing to keep warm.  After riding around the business area we headed for home.  You can always count on a decent work out on the ride home from this area since it is a majority up hill. 

We didnít have any incidents with ice on this ride.  I am happy to report no one fell or crashed into anything.  The ride home was uneventful and quite peaceful, it was turning out to be a beautiful sunny day.  Following are the statistics from this ride; 15.5 total miles, 18.1 max mph, 8.6 average mph and 1 hour and 47 minutes total time moving on bikes. 

Sunday Jan 31, 2005   Hike through Bloomer
During this time of year it is very difficult to almost impossible to ride our bikes through some of our favorite areas.  With all the snow last weekend putting a damper on a bike ride Bob and I decided to go to Bloomer Park for a hike on Sunday.  Since we had so much fun hiking the week before, we decided to do it again.  This time Pete and Tom planned to join us.  Tom cancelled at the last minute due to work and Pete told us he had too many errands to run and he was going to cancel as well.  Pete got his errands done quicker than he expected and he ended up joining Bob and I for the hike. 

It was an absolutely perfect day for a hike through Bloomer.  The sun was out in force and the temperature was right around 30įF.  I think Pete was a little nervous about hiking, because when he came out of his garage he was carrying a couple ski poles.  At first I thought he was crazy, but the more I thought about using ski poles to help climb up the hills and maintain balance on the snow covered trails, it didnít seem like such a crazy idea.  Pete has to be careful with some activities due to the knee surgery he had a while back.  He was planning the use the ski poles as walking sticks to take the pressure off his knee when needed. 

We took the woody PT and parked in the small lot on either Letica or Second Street just outside of Bloomer.  After parking we walked the former railroad track trail toward Bloomer.  Pete was quick to comment how easy this hike was before we were even in the park.  Once in the park Bob led the way along trails that had previously only been traveled by animals.  We also walked along paths with human footprints before us.  We spent some time walking next to the Clinton River and we even crossed a couple creeks to explore uncharted territory.  We climbed plenty of hills, sometimes having to grab onto the branches and tree trunks of small trees to pull ourselves up the snow covered slopes.  We told Pete that previously we had approached unsuspecting deer and were surprised how much they smell like dirty cows when you get close.  Pete claimed his nose was too busy running to smell any deer.  We didnít see many animals for most of the hike.  Pete was proud to claim the first squirrel sighting.   

Overall it was a very relaxing and pleasant hike.  Since this was the first hike that Pete attended in addition to bringing ski poles he also brought a bottle of water.  I think he was afraid we might get lost in the woods for an extended period of time.  We stop for a couple water breaks, but overall Pete did extremely well on this hike, and I think the ski poles did give him an advantage while hiking uphill.  After we walked for about 45 minutes we all started getting warm.  I just had on a hat and never did cover my ears in anticipation of heating up quickly.  After I warmed up even more I took off my gloves and unzipped the wind breaker and fleece vest I was wearing.  Pete had on a thick heavy winter jacket over a tee shirt.  Pete took off his winter jacket and tied it around his waist until he decided it was nice enough to hike shirtless.  Pete took off his tee shirt and stuffed it into the sleeve of his jacket and did the rest of the hike with the upper half of his body exposed.  I thought maybe Pete would walk for just a couple minutes without a shirt, but he actually finished the hike which was about 30 more minutes in this fashion.  On the way out of the park we passed a young oriental family.  The two kids immediately starting laughing and pointing at Pete as they passed.  Pete commented to the parents that it is much warmer once you get inside the park.  Iím sure there was a good lesson to those kids about the crazy nature of Americans.  Leave it to Pete to provide  ammunition by example to foreign cultures to rethink their desire to become American.   

I forgot to mention that just before we exited the park we saw a large herd of deer.  We were coming out of the woods just before the open space of the cricket field when I spotted a few deer just to our left.  At first I saw about 5 or 6 and I stopped and pointed them out to both Bob and Pete.  I lost count at 13 and Bob counted up to 17.  This was the largest group of deer we have ever seen out at Bloomer.  They were about 50 yards away from us with scattered trees and bushes between us.  They noticed us and they started to walk further away.  I tried to take a picture of them with my phone camera but the deer blend in so well with the barren trees that I couldnít get a decent picture.  The phone camera is also not real good at taking pictures of items in the distance.  The deer may have stayed in our sight longer but the sight of Pete without his shirt on scared them off, I thing they may have mistaken Pete for a wild bear in the woods. 

We donít have a trip computer to record our statistics like we do on our bike rides, so we have to rely on Bobís estimate for distance.  Bob estimated we did approximately 4 miles.  My legs were starting to get sore near the end from walking through 10 inch snow and climbing up and down the hills.  We had so much fun on this hike we may end up changing the name of our club from the Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club to the Rochester Hills PCT Bike & Hike Club. 

On the way home we stopped off at the Pub for lunch, thatís the Hamlin Pub for you first time readers.  We had a couple extra minutes before ordering so I gave the menu a close look.  I noticed you could order rice as a side dish.  Diane thinks Iím crazy because she doesnít understand my occasional desire for a large bowl of white rice.  As a youngster growing up in suburban Royal Oak my Mother would serve our family chili on white rice.  It wasnít my favorite growing up, but thatís because I didnít really care for chili.  Not just your chili Mom, all chili.  Now that I am older and my tastes have matured I thoroughly enjoy chili on rice.  I was first to order and I inquired of the waitress if the side order of rice was just plain white rice, she told me it was.  Then I asked if the serving of rice was a decent size, which she responded again that it was.  So, I ordered a bowl of rice.  She gave me a strange look, which doesnít phase me since I am used to getting strange looks, and asked if that was all I was going to have.  I told her no I also wanted a bowl of chili and a side order of coleslaw.  I thought this would make a really good lunch after a winter hike out in the snow.  The waitressí last comment after taking my order was, ďThatís oddĒ.  I added up the price in my head and the cost was going to be less than ordering a sandwich.  Bob was next to order and he ordered the same thing I had just ordered, I thought he was joking at first, but he said it sounded good to him and that is actually what he wanted.  Pete ordered his usual New York Rueben.  We were all drinking diet coke.  A couple minutes later the waitress returned to tell me that she had misinformed me about the rice, it wasnít just plain old white rice, it was prepared with a chicken broth with some celery.  This sounded fine to me, I think she was concerned about misrepresenting the rice and was concerned I might be disappointed if it wasnít just plain old white rice.  Even though white rice is how I prefer this meal the Pub style of rice would be fine.  I took the opportunity when she came back to request the rice be served in a large bowl and told her it was because I was planning to mix the chili in with the rice.  This seemed to make sense to her and she walked away feeling more relieved.  When we got our meals I quickly dumped the bowl of chili into the large bowl containing the rice.  The waitress commented, ďYouíre not going to dump in the coleslaw too.Ē  I said no way Iím not crazy, as I watched Bob dump his coleslaw in with the rice and chili.  I kept my slaw separate, Bob reported the slaw was a nice tasty addition to the mix.    

After our lunch as I was driving home Bob commented that it was such a nice day we should do a bike ride when we got home.  I thought this was a great idea.  Pete was playing hockey later that night so he was already looking forward to his Sunday afternoon nap, so he wasnít going to ride with us.  I took a few pictures with my phone camera during the hike, see below for the pictures.    

Sunday Jan 31, 2005   Bike Ride
We dropped off Pete as his house and then as I was dropping off Bob at his house I asked him if he was serious about doing a bike ride.  He told me he was serious and we agreed to meet at his house in just a few minutes to head off for a bike ride.  

Since Diane was working I checked up on everyone at home to make sure everything was in order before hopping on my bike and taking off to meet Bob.  We really didnít have any plans we just didnít like the idea of going inside on such a nice day, which is the reason we did this ride.  Bob suggested we ride to the Village shopping center which is at Adams and Walton.  This is a really short ride and we were there in just a few minutes.  Once we got there I suggested we ride over to visit Diane working at Lifetime.  This would give us a destination a little further away and make for a nice Sunday afternoon ride.   

Once we got to Lifetime we went in the Tennis Building where Diane was working the desk.  She only appeared mildly surprised to see us walk in with our bike helmets still strapped to the top of our heads.  We hung around for a few minutes to visit with Diane and then headed out for the ride home. 

On the way home I decided we should call Pete and wake him from his nap.  We pulled over right in front of the Rochester Bike Shop to make the call.  Not surprisingly, Elaine answered the phone, I could almost guarantee that Pete would be sleeping on the couch in his family room.  I asked if I could speak to Pete and Elaine said just a moment.  When Pete came to the phone he was still groggy.  I told Pete that Bob and I were out on a bike ride and we both just rode through a bunch of broken glass and we had each gotten flat tires and we needed him to come pick us up, we didnít have any other way to get home.  Pete paused for a minute, I think he was still trying to clear his head, and then he said,  ďOK, Iíll be there in a couple minutes.Ē  I told him I was just kidding, I didnít want to make him drive out there for nothing, and it was bad enough I woke him up. 

Again, it was perfect weather for the ride home, but it was starting to get dark so we needed to keep moving.  We got home around 5:20 pm.  Following are the statistics from this ride; 14.0 total miles, 20.0 max speed, 9.8 average mph and 1 hour and 24 minutes total time moving on bikes.
Thanks for checking in.

David Lindquist 


Pete at the start of hike

Bob on trail in Bloomer

Pete after taking off his jacket and shirt

Pete ready to do more hiking

Bob in the lead with Pete in second

Bob and Pete on a trail

Bob and Pete in middle of cricket field
 
pete03.jpg (1043 bytes) Please don't forget to visit Pete's Excellent Home Page - www.zpinaddict.com
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