Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

July 23, 2005
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Saturday July 23, 2005 continued our string of perfect days for a bike ride.  As the last few weekends it was hot and humid, but not bad enough to skip the bike ride.  When I called Pete the night before so we could agree on a start time he mentioned his daughter Laura was planning to ride with us.  We agreed to meet at Pete’s house around 10:00 am.   

When I got to Pete’s just a couple minutes after 10:00 I noticed that Elaine’s bike was sitting out in the middle of the garage looking like it was waiting for someone to take it out for a ride.  Turns out Laura was still planning to ride with us.  Pete wasn’t sure if Laura would be able to keep up with us finely conditioned Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club members.  Apparently there was some sort of wager between Pete and Laura related to being able to keep up and specifically whether Laura would be able to ride up the hill heading south on Rochester Road just after the bridge.  More details later, but Laura did extremely well and she is now our latest new member of the bike club.  Welcome to the club Laura.    

Pete was being his typical self while getting ready to leave, asking Laura if she wanted to borrow one of his dew rags and just general teasing a Dad is supposed to do on an occasion like this.  Elaine was giving Laura advice before heading out on this adventure.  I took a picture with my phone camera of Elaine and Laura before the ride, see the end of the story for the pictures from this day.  Laura was a little camera shy, I tried to get her to pose next to her bike before we started, but she didn’t want any part of posed pictures.  I had to take a couple candid shots just to document the event. 

Our plan for this ride was to head toward Rochester to take care of a few errands and then get a quick lunch somewhere on the way home.  We started out through the sub to Dutton where we planned to pick up the trail heading south.  Pete wanted to make some copies of a pinball schematic (electrical diagram) he was going to mail to someone in a trade, so Kinkos was on our list of stops.  He also wanted to find out the hours at the post office while in the area.  We needed to stop by the Rochester Bike Shop for a couple reasons.  Pete  had a few questions related to upgrades he was thinking about doing to Elaine’s bike and I wanted to find out if they carried a replacement brake lever for my bike which broke a few weeks ago.  And, lastly I needed to stop at Petsmart to return five dead guppies that didn’t survive the 14 day guarantee period.  The dead fish were frozen when we started out, and I had them in my burrito basket along with Pete’s pinball schematic.  My guess is the pinball schematic will never smell the same.  

Laura was a little cautious at first.  Going down the dirt Dutton hill on our way to the trail she was careful to go slow enough not to fall.  I certainly don’t blame her, this hill is intimidating both going up or down.  Shortly into our ride I pulled up next to Laura and told her about one of the most important rules that I always follow and told her she should as well.  The “Always keep Pete in sight” rule.  This means when riding with the bike club you should always be able to see Pete, never let him out of your sight.  As long as you can see Pete then you have a chance to react.  Laura asked if her Dad knocked People over on purpose, I told her no, not technically on purpose, but accidents do happen and for safety sake it is just best to control your own destiny.  Most of the bike club accidents involve Pete falling on his own and you never know when this might happen.  Laura definitely understood what I was telling her and she is obviously an intelligent young lady because she followed this rule the entire ride.  Late in the ride when we were almost home Pete asked me to take an action photo of Laura while riding.  I quickly took the picture but Pete didn’t realize I had and he was trying to get Laura out front so I could take the picture without her knowing.  Pete told Laura to lead the way for a minute and she wouldn’t have any part of letting her Dad out of her sight, she was still following the most important rule even late in the ride.   

After we took the trail a couple miles we got off and cut over to Rochester Road to continue south.  Shortly into the ride on the sidewalk on the west side of Rochester Road we came to the incline which is quite challenging to most new comers.  It is not unusual for first time or infrequent riders to walk part way up this hill.  It is definitely a good test of leg strength and lung capacity.  I was very impressed by how easily Laura rode right up that incline without hesitation.  She did appear a little winded at the top, but that is normal even for us seasoned members.  We continued riding right to the pet store.  We had made our other stops already and now it was time to get my money back for the dead fish.  The guy back in the fish department was a little busy so I had to wait a couple minutes before it was my turn.  The guy in front of me was buying a bunch of feeder fish and he was wearing a well used dew rag.  Pete was wearing his genius model looking sharp wearing his helmet as he walked around the pet store waiting for me. 

After the pet store we had one more stop that I forgot to mention earlier.  Pete needed to stop and do some banking which we did next before turning around for the return trip.   Before we started heading back north we cut over through the Hampton Apartments east to John R.  We took John R north and went past the areas largest circle drive which is located right on John R just past the Zen Center.  I suggested to Pete that this might be a good day to tackle this circle drive, but he passed again.  The large circle drive will have to wait for another time. 

After a few miles we cut back over to Rochester Road and ended up stopping at Penn Station for lunch.  Pete and Laura had already ordered and were sitting at a table by the time I finished my phone call to Max, locked the bikes and placed my order.  As usual the subs were great and the diet coke was outstanding as well.  It was cool in the restaurant and I was ready for a cold drink. 

After lunch we cut back through town and took our regular route back toward home through various side streets.  I never heard Laura make one complaint the entire ride, I was beginning to wonder if she was actually related to Pete.  It was a pleasure to have Laura join us and I recommend all second generation family members join us for a bike ride.  Spouses are always welcome as well.       

Following are the statistics from this ride, 21.0 total miles, 22.5 max speed, 10.5 mph average speed and 1 hour and 59 minutes on bikes.
David Lindquist 

Elaine and Laura before the ride

Laura during the ride
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