On Friday June 24, 2004 the bike
club scheduled a ride to Royal Oak for lunch at one of our favorite
places, Red Coat Tavern. Red Coat Tavern is not open on Sunday so we
decided to do this ride on a Friday. Pete and I each took a vacation day
from our respective places of employment. It turned out be a very warm
day with temperatures in the mid 90ís by the time we finished. I took two
water bottles with me, but they didnít last very long.
We started out around 9:30 am.
Normally when we ride to Royal Oak we take Crooks Road all the way. This
day we tried a few other streets for a change of pace. We road for a
while on Livernois through Troy, which turned out to have decent sidewalks
for a majority of the ride.
Since it was just me and Pete we
decided to visit a few of the places we visited the last time we did this
ride. We rode down Peteís old street, Vermont, where Pete grew up in
Royal Oak. We went past Red Run Golf Course along 12 Mile. From there we
went down Main Street to our old High School, Royal Oak Dondero. The
doors were closed at Dondero so we werenít able to ride inside the
school. Next stop was to my parents for a quick visit and a refill on our
water bottles. I tried to talk my Mom and Dad into joining me and Pete at
the Red Coat for lunch, but they were too busy. I also asked them to step
outside next to our bike and pose for a picture which I took with my phone
camera. I took only a few pictures this day and I will post them all at
the end of the story.
I forgot to mention that both Pete
and I wore the bicycle jerseys we got from the Tour de Cure ride, so we
almost looked like real bicyclists this day.
After visiting with my parents we
stopped at a local used book store on Woodward before our lunch. I didnít
buy anything but I still ended up having a book to carry in my burrito
basket. Pete found a book about golf that he wanted and he made the
Finally we made it to the Red Coat.
Pete got his favorite ham sandwich and I got one of their famous
hamburgers. In celebration of our long ride on such a hot day we each had
a cold beer before I switched over to Diet Coke and Pete to water. I got
a basket of fries to go along with my burger and Pete got a bowl of clam
chowder. As usual, it was an outstanding lunch.
With plenty of energy from a healthy
lunch we were ready to tackle the ride home. Our previous longest single
day ride was another ride to the Red Coat last year and I knew we had a
chance to break that record. Once we stepped outside after lunch it felt
like the temperature had jumped 10 degrees. I am not sure of the exact
temperature, but it had to be in the low to mid 90ís. The sun was out
strong making it feel even warmer. I sure was glad to have my new
prescription sunglasses during this ride. It makes a big difference to
have a nice pair of quality sunglasses that kind of wrap around my eyes so
there arenít any gaps allowing in the sun. I donít even need to wear a
visor with these glasses.
We headed up Woodward for a ways
being careful at each driveway and intersection. Doesnít matter where we
ride the motor vehicle drivers still donít pay attention to bicyclists and
pedestrians. I had to use my air horn on a lady in a Jeep Wrangler when
she turned in front of us while we were trying to cross Coolidge. We
obviously had the right of way and we even had a walk sign on the cross
walk, but she wasnít paying any attention and was in such a rush to make
her turn she cut right in front of us. We saw her coming all the way, so
we were never in any real danger, but I did pull out far enough so that
when I activated my air horn I would be within just a few feet of her
vehicle. Based on her reaction I think she got a pretty good earful. The
main goal in a situation like that is to avoid being hit, but the
secondary goal is to express my displeasure with her poor driving habits
with a little toot of my horn.
Next stop was a bike store in
Birmingham. I had made up my mind after reading a couple books about bike
riding that I should have toe clips on my pedals. Pete has been using toe
clips for quite a while now and I have thought about them off and on for
the past eight months, but I never got any. In the Greg LeMond book he
says the toe clips make you up to 40% more efficient while pedaling,
especially uphill. One of the few things that I have always thought were
a little cheap on my Trek 7200 were the pedals. The surface that contact
my feet were plastic and already starting to wear out and my feet would
occasionally slip off the pedals when wet or sometimes when I would stand
up while pedaling. The KLM bike store had toe clips that are designed to
be added to your existing pedals, but it looked like they might not fit
onto my existing pedals easily so I got a new set of pedals with toe clips
and straps already installed. I didnít change the pedals at the store, I
strapped the box on top of my burrito basket for the ride home.
After the bike store we were back on
the rode heading for home. We didnít get very far before we stopped again
for another water refill. This time we stopped at Peteís sister Annís
house. Ann was home and she gave us ice and water which we badly needed
on this hot day. Ann and Dean had just recently adopted a new member to
their family, a few month old Korean baby girl. I hope I got that
correct, I think she was from Korea. No matter where she was from she is
adorable. She was sleeping and we got to peek in on her and believe it or
not she was still sleeping after Pete left the room.
The rest of the ride home was hot,
humid and uphill. It was a good workout and I was definitely tired by the
end of this ride. I did stop by Peteís house for a quick dip in his
swimming pool before the final ride back to my house. The swim sure felt
good this day. We just barely set a new record for the longest single day
ride, by 0.6 miles. Following are the ride statistics from this ride,
46.6 total miles, 23.5 max speed, 10.8 mph average speed and 4 hour and 19
minutes on bikes.