Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

Feb 20,26 & 27, 2005
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I have gotten behind in documenting our activities the past couple weeks.  This article is going to cover three events; a hike on Sunday Feb 20, a bike ride on Saturday Feb 26 and finally another hike on Sunday Feb 27, 2005.  I will put a heading to each event so you can jump around if you like.  We have had a lot of snow around here lately which has made bike riding a little difficult.  Luckily we have been able to continue getting exercise outdoors with our hikes. 

Hike Sunday Feb 20, 2005
Bob, Rich and I hiked at Bloomer Park this Sunday.  The weather was fantastic.  The sun was out and the temperature was in the high 20ís when we started.  Rich brought a pair of hiking poles that looked like ski poles.  These poles were telescopic and the bottoms were a bit smaller diameter than normal ski pole size.  Rich also had a first aid kit strapped around his waist.  Itís nice to know Rich is prepared to offer assistance in case something happens.  Since our two high risk members, Pete and Tom were not with us this day the odds were that Richís first aid kit would just be going along for a ride. 

This hike turned out to be one of the most difficult hikes we have done.  Even though it was difficult I would also rate it as one of the most enjoyable hikes we have done.  Two factors are the reason I classify this hike as difficult.  The first is the icy condition of the trails we walked.  There must have been a partial thaw a day or two earlier and then a refreeze because it was ice under almost every step.  There was a thin layer of one or two inches of snow on top and ice underneath.  The only places we didnít experience the ice is when we left the trails and made our own paths through the woods.  With ice underfoot your bodyís ability to balance becomes much more difficult and you end up expending a lot of energy and muscle strain trying to maintain your balance with each step.  It is a very physical workout walking distance on ice.  The second factor this day was simply the distance we traveled.  Bob wore his pedometer so he was able to get an accurate measure of our distance.  We ended up hiking 5.8 miles which might not sound like much, but believe me under these conditions it is quite an accomplishment.   

I took a couple pictures with my phone camera and I will post them at the end of this page.   

One of the nice things about hiking is itís much easier to talk amongst each other compared to when riding bikes.  When riding you have the wind noise and sometimes traffic noise so it is more difficult to talk with each other.  Rich, Bob and I had a good time talking and laughing during this hike.  Similar to Pete a few weeks ago, Rich demonstrated the advantage to having poles to aid in balance.  If Bob and I werenít in such superior physical condition for men our age we might consider using walking sticks or poles as well, but then it wouldnít be fair to the others trying to maintain our pace.  But, all kidding aside, the poles are definitely an advantage that the average person should consider using when hiking on snow or ice covered trails. 

After the hike the three of us went to our favorite lunch destination, Hamlin Pub.  I think we all ordered the burger special.  It was nice to cap off this hike with a high quality Pub lunch.    

Bike Ride Saturday Feb 26, 2005
This ride was a very impromptu event.  Bob showed up at my house mid afternoon when I was in the basement just flipping the channels on the TV.  I couldnít find anything interesting on TV and I was thinking about just closing my eyes for a quick nap when Bob showed up.  Bob suggested a short bike ride and I thought it was a great idea. 

We started out just riding around the neighbor hood trying to stay on the streets that had been plowed.  Bob suggested a ride up the Village Shopping Center at Walton and Adams.  The bike path on the west side of Adams between Tienken and Walton was still snow covered.  In some places it was patted down where riding was relatively easy and other sections had many inches of loose snow and ice which were much more difficult to ride through.  Some of the areas were so bad that we actually rode in the street on Adams.  By the time we got to Walton I was sweating and it felt like we had  ridden ten miles instead of the actual 3.5 miles we just completed. 

I had the idea of going across Walton and riding on the grounds of Oakland University.  We figured the roads in Oakland would be plowed and there shouldnít be much traffic on a Saturday afternoon.  We were correct and it was nice riding the streets of Oakland.  We did ride on a couple of the cart paths on the golf course that were passable.  We stopped by the old guard house on Walton just south of Avon.  We checked out the building and the landscaping.  It is interesting to see the small bushes that were originally planted around the guard house have grown to be taller than the house in the year 2005.  We also rode down the tree lined driveway that leads to the Meadowbrook mansion.  In addition to being a very interesting part of American architectural history the grounds are also very beautiful from a plant and wildlife point of view, even in the middle of winter.   

It was starting to be late afternoon so Bob and I decided it was time to head for home while we still had some daylight.  Even though this was a relatively short ride I was just glad to have the opportunity to get out on my bike.  This winter we have had a large amount of snow fall, 52 inches as of March 2, 2005, which has limited our bike riding.  

Following are the statistics from this ride; 11.4 total miles, 19.6 max speed, 9.1 average mph and 1 hour and 14 minutes total time moving on bikes. 

Hike Sunday Feb 27, 2005
There were four of us that went out on the hike.  Joining me and our hiking leader Bob were Tom and Barry.   

Tom has become a semi-regular on both the rides and hikes and I think Tom is starting to show the effects of hanging out with us.  Tom has improved his stamina and whether he knows it or not he is also improving his over all physical health.  Tom is proud of being able to keep up with his older and wiser brother on these events.  (One of these days I will have to really let loose and see if Tom can really keep up.  I donít want to do that too soon or he may end up injured trying to keep up because there is no quit in Tom).  And, he should be proud because what we do is not easy and the average American certainly would never be able to keep up.  Tom is also fun to have with us, especially on the hikes.  Tom has shown a ďno fearĒ mentality when it comes to climbing fallen trees, crossing raging rapids on the narrowest bridges created by nature and other adventures including the Velodrome track.  It is not a question of if Tom will end up in the river, it is just a matter of when and how creative a method he uses when he makes his plunge.   I promise to try and be quick with the camera and record Tom splashing around in the river before I rescue him.  Donít worry Mom, I will eventually rescue him. 

Barry also joined on this hike.  I always enjoy Barryís company.  Barry is a polar opposite of Tom.  Barry is cautious when approaching a potential dangerous activity out on the trail.  I think Barry likes to pause for a minute and assess the situation before proceeding.  The most dangerous part of Barry pausing for minute to look things over is Tom who goes full force straight ahead and almost sends Barry flying as he zooms past.  I think Barry found out first hand that our hikes through Bloomer are a bit more difficult than your average stroll through a park.  Even though Barry got a little tired he actually did really well considering the boots he was wearing.  Near the end of the hike the soles of his boots were separating and flapping in the wind.  They were actually more like flip flops than boots.  We highly recommend that Barry get a new pair of hiking boots before going with us again.  At one point Barry came up with a very creative way to get down a small incline that didnít include the use of his legs.  He took a flying fall face first that resulted in a shoulder roll.  Barry somehow avoided landing on his face but he did come up full of snow.  Barry, I hope your knee is still functional.  

Bob went to a local sporting goods store and purchased these things made for ice fisherman that go on over your shoes.  They are kind of like a rubber strap that go all the way around the perimeter of your shoe and have a center piece that go across the ball of your foot. There are pointy steel spikes mounted to the center piece that dig into ice when you walk.  Bob also got me a pair of these ice spikes and they were very helpful on this hike.  I felt like I had way more balance and support this week compared to last.  I highly recommend these units for any one out hiking on the snow and ice.  They are something you definitely donít want to forget you are wearing and accidentally walk inside on hardwood floors unless you are looking for a termite appearance to your floor.  They are also something that if Pete was going to wear there would probably be a good chance he might injure himself or someone nearby.  But, seriously if you are planning to hike with us we highly recommend them if you want to keep up with me and Bob. 

I brought Dianeís camera so I was able to get some nice pictures of all of us on this hike.  I will post the pictures from this day on a separate page, use this link to view the pictures.  We ended up doing some fun things on this hike.  We went up a few hills and down a few hills.  We also spent a little time at the Velodrome again.  We crossed some narrow rivers by climbing across fallen tree trunks.  I was surprised one of us didnít end up wet.  Overall it ended up being a great hike, I had a really good time and enjoyed everyoneís company.  This hike was much shorter and less strenuous than last week, but still a good workout. 

After our hike we went to Hamlin Pub for lunch.  In honor of the meal of the month I ordered chili on white rice.  Bob had his usual turkey sandwich, Barry had a turkey Rueben and I canít remember what Tom had.  All I know is no one had a better meal than me.  We have gotten a mixed response about our new feature, meal of the month, on the front page of the web site.  We have received some positive comments and a few not so positive comments.  We even had a couple recommendations for future meals of the month from one of our more loyal followers.  And, I have to say those recommendations were both outstanding choices that have a very good chance of gracing our homepage.  Thank you to everyone for your input on the meal of the month.  
Thanks for checking in.

David Lindquist 


Ice formations in the river

Rich & Bob at start of hike
   
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