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
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.