Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

July 17, 2005
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Sunday July 17, 2005 was another perfect day for a bike ride.  It was on the warm side, close to 90, and the humidity was relatively high as well, but the sun was out making for very nice riding conditions.  We had a large group on this ride.  Joining me were Pete, Steve, Tom, Barry and new club member Kurt.  Kurt is a friend of Peteís from work.  Kurt is a Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club member based on our tradition of attending one sanctioned ride gets you into the club.  Welcome aboard Kurt. 

Tom called me Sunday morning around 10:00 am to say he wanted to ride and asked what time we were leaving.  I told him the plan was to meet at Peteís house around 11:00 am.  Tom suggested he call Barry to see if he wanted to ride and I would call Pete to tell him we would just meet him and Steve at PCT at Tienken where they were planning to meet Kurt.  I told Pete I would call him as soon as Tom arrived.  Tom called back and told me Barry was in and they would get moving and get to my house as quick as they could.  Tom had a truck blocking his driveway that slowed him down and he and Barry were going to be a little later than planned.  Pete called asking if Tom had gotten there yet, I told him not yet.   

The plan for todayís ride was to head to Hamlin Pub in Rochester Hills to watch the end of the British Open golf tournament while eating lunch.  Pete was getting nervous that if he waited much longer he was going to miss too much of the Open.  I told Pete to take off without us and we would just meet them at Hamlin Pub.  Pete thought this was a good idea and took off with Steve and Kurt. 

Tom and Barry arrived around 11:45 am.  They unloaded their bikes and we were off and riding fairly quickly.  Tom recently got a new bike and this was going to be his first ride with the club on his new bike.  I canít remember the model number, but it is made by Giant which is a good company, they make a good quality bike.  During my research for my latest bike Giant made the finals for consideration.  One of the main reasons I ended up choosing my Trek 7200 is the larger wheel size, otherwise Giant had most of the same features.  Watching Tom ride next to me it appeared his seat was a bit low and I recommended that he raise it up a little for a more proper riding position.  Tom did raise it up and his form was much better after the adjustment.  It is always interesting to see the reaction of someone the first time they ride a hybrid bike after using a mountain bike.  The hybrids are so much easier for the type of riding we typically do on our outings.  Tom felt like he was floating on air, he was zipping all over the place.  As Barry and I rode along Tom would get a ways out front and then come back to tell us to pick up the pace.  I think Tom now understands the benefit of a good hybrid bike. 

Just before we left my house I noticed Barry brought a helmet, which is a very good idea.  Our club fully supports and highly recommends the use of a helmet when bike riding.  Barry asked me if he had his helmet on correct, I wasnít quite sure because I wasnít used to that type of helmet.  I think because he already had it strapped on the top of his head and I just wanted to get going that I didnít take enough time to really look at the helmet and I just said, yea it looks OK to me.  Turns out the helmet was on backwards, but there really isnít much difference.   

Barry wanted to ride on PCT.  Earlier, before Tom and Barry arrived, when I was talking on the phone with Pete I tried to talk him into heading north on the trail to the Hamlin Pub in Lake Orion, but he had his mind made up.  So, on our way to Hamlin Pub in Rochester Hills we decided to take the trail south and cut through Rochester Park on our way over to Rochester Road.  Thatís a lot of Rochesters in one sentence.  This is exactly what we did.  As we rode through the park Barry brought up the time we were out filming the Larry video many years ago.  I hadnít thought about the Larry video for a long time and it brought a smile to my face, Barry has a good memory.   

As we were riding I got a phone call from Pete asking us where we were.  I told him we were just going through the back side of Rochester currently passing the Rochester Bike Store.  Apparently when Pete and the other members of the breakaway group got to Hamlin Pub it was before noon and they thought the Pub  was closed for remodeling.  They had decided to continue on further to Pizza Papalis on Auburn Road.  Somehow they ran across Bob who was out jogging and they all decided to head back to Hamlin Pub which would be open after noon.  So, we stayed on course and we headed to the original destination.  There is a fairly steep hill on Rochester Road before the bridge.  Tom was out front and continued up the hill.  Barry hadnít ridden with us in a while and he decided to walk part way up the hill.  I stopped and walked with Barry.  When we got near the top of the hill we starting riding again and got past the bridge Tom took off out front.  Tom knew where we were going so I didnít worry about him.  Barry and I made a side trip to the Standard Federal Bank in the shopping center just south of Avon.  After the bank Tom was totally out of sight, Iím sure he was close to the restaurant by now.  Barry and I rode the short distance to Hamlin Road where we met up with the rest of the team. 

When Barry and I got to Hamlin Pub I noticed Bobís van in the parking lot with his kayak on top.  I told Barry to ride over and pose for a picture next to Bobís van.  I used my phone camera to take a picture.  

Once inside we found the rest of the club and joined them at a few tables pulled together in front of the big projection screen TVs to watch the British Open.  They had drinks but waited for us to order lunch.  Pete introduced Kurt to us and Bob was at the table with the group.  Apparently Bob parked his van in the Hamlin Pub lot and went jogging around the area with the intention of going kayaking after lunch.  It was nice that timing worked out and Bob was able to join us for lunch. 

We all had drinks and something for lunch.  I didnít keep track of what everyone ordered, I can only report I had the Fat Jim sandwich and it was good.  The Diet Coke is always above average at Hamlin Pub.  Pete was complaining that I didnít report his new record speed while riding with a bag of beer hanging from his handle bars.  I told him I didnít consider that event worth assigning to the list of club records.  Then just for fun I stated that Barry set a new club record of the furthest distance ridden with a helmet on backwards.  Pete immediately stated if riding with a helmet on backwards is going to be a legitimate club record then he plans to break Barryís record on the next ride.     

We had a good time at lunch.  In between general conversation we all watched Tiger Woods dominate the British Open and win his tenth major championship.  Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong are two of the most dominate athletes of our time.  Over the past couple years since I have taken up this interest in bicycle riding I find following the Tour de France much more interesting.  I have a great deal of respect for what these riders, especially Lance Armstrong, are capable of doing on their bicycles.  Riding around the Rochester Hills area we encounter an occasional hill or two and even some gradual inclines, but nothing compared to the hills, inclines and even mountains the participants of the Tour de France are challenged with during the various stages.   

After we left the restaurant we took some side streets and cut through Rochester Park on our way to PCT.  We took the trail north to Tienken Road where we parted company with Kurt.  I was surprised to see the rear tire on Kurtís bike so low on air.  I didnít know if he was maybe riding low on air just to get an extra good workout, or maybe he didnít realize how low it actually was.  The first time I rode up beside Kurt I could even hear the abnormal noise the side knobs on his tires were making while contacting the street.  Kurt, if you read this story, welcome to the bike club, I hope you ride with us again, but I do suggest a little more air in your rear tire might make the ride more pleasant.   

As soon as we left the restaurant Steve pulled out his camera and started taking pictures.  I was surprised to see Steve had his digital camera, normally Steve takes pictures during lunch and since I didnít see any flashes I assumed he forgot his camera again.  Steve took many pictures during the ride after lunch and after Steve supplies the digital images I will make a page of the pictures from this ride to share.   

After we left Kurt, the rest of us headed west on the bike path along Tienken until we got to Fairview Farms which is the old subdivision I used to live in when we first moved to Rochester Hills.  As we were riding along East Fairview Steve asked where the trail on the right side led.  I told him there was a secret trail back there that actually ends up close to his neighborhood.  Steve wanted to take the secret trail so we took the trail between a couple houses and then made a quick left.  The secret trail is actually a service path for the power lines that run behind Fairview Farms.  The service path was extended when the newer subdivisions were built a few years ago.  The path doesnít have an easy access to the newer subdivisions.  We have taken this path before, but I couldnít remember where the hole in the fence was that we took.  Pete and I were in the lead and we just guessed and walked into the wooded area where we came upon the fence that we knew was going to be there.  We found a spot where the ground had washed away under the fence maybe about 14 inches from the bottom of the fence.  Just enough room to slide under and then pass our bikes through.  It was a bit of a struggle but we all managed to get to the other side.  Once on the other side we had to hike with our bikes through a short wooded area and then up a small hill.  Once at the top of the incline it looked like the only way out was through someoneís backyard.  We pick a couple houses to walk between and wouldnít you know we picked a house with two ladies sitting in lawn chairs in their driveway.  Pete and I were out front and I told the ladies we were part of a very large bike tour and we might have gotten lost.  The one lady was not friendly at all, the only thing that came out of her mouth was we were on private property.  I then told here there were about 200 more bike riders right behind us that would be passing through this same area, I donít think she was amused.  Once Pete and I got down to the street the rest of the group came through the same spot and they also got the same friendly treatment.   

We ended up in an area fairly close to Steveís house.  We decided to ride over to Peteís, for what is becoming a somewhat regular activity after rides on these warm days, a dip in the old swimming pool.  After a few minutes swimming and playing volleyball in the pool it was time for me, Barry and Tom to hop back on our bikes for the short ride back to my house.   

Following are the statistics from this ride, 17.6 total miles, 25.5 max speed, 9.1 mph average speed and 1 hours and 55 minutes on bikes.
David Lindquist 


Tom & Barry during the ride

Barry with helmet on backwards

Barry next to Bob's van with kayak on top
   
         
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