Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

August 12, 2005
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Pete and I had talked a few times about attempting a century ride.  A century ride from what I understand is riding 100 miles all in one day.  We decided if we were going to do a 100 mile bike ride all in one day it might be a good idea to take a vacation day from our jobs and do the ride on a Friday.  This way we would have both Saturday and Sunday to recover if necessary.  

We picked this past Friday, August 12, 2005 for our century ride.  If you read these stories regularly you have probably figured out by now the members of this bicycle club are not like your normal formal bike riders.  We are special in many ways.  We primarily ride on paved surfaces, but it is not uncommon for us to go off road and do some trail riding.  We also venture into areas with dirt roads and spend a good percentage of our time riding bike paths along major roads and also on residential streets.  I guess you could call us a very diverse club. 

Before I get into the details of this ride, I just want to state we did complete the century ride with miles to spare.  It was difficult, but in some ways not as hard as I thought it was going to be.  I am proud of this accomplishment, even though I am still trying to figure out why we felt the need to do it in the first place.  At least I can say this is something I have accomplished, for what ever that is worth.  I actually felt really good the next day, I even went jogging with Bob out at Bloomer.  I must admit I did cut the run down from what Bob was planning, my body was just a little too tired, but at least I got out and ran a couple miles.  We also did our regular club weekend ride on Sunday which felt really good.  As I write the beginning of this story it is lunch time Monday August 15, 2005 and I can honestly say the only physical effect I can feel from the century ride is my muscles in my upper back, just below my neck, are a little sore, but not bad at all.  So over all I think both Pete and I came away from this experience without any negative physical side effects.  Pete did make a comment that he may be the only person in history that actually put on weight after a century ride, more on that later.  

Before we attempted this ride I used a mapping web site I found a few weeks ago on the internet to make a route of the ride.  I came up with a route that I call the Texas Ride.  The reason I call it the Texas ride is because when you look at the route from an overall map point of view the path looks like the state of Texas.  I emailed my route to Pete to let him check it out and get his thoughts.  Pete had a few valid concerns about the Texas route.  He was concerned if we had problems we would be quite a distance from family or friends.  His second concern was a few of the roads we would need to ride on were fairly major roads.  We always try to stay off main roads for our safety.  Pete then set out to make his own route which is the one we ended up using.  Even though Peteís route wasnít quite as exciting as mine I had to agree it did make more sense for our first century ride.  We deviated only slightly from Peteís route.  At the end of this story I will put a link with instructions on how to see a map of our entire route. 

We were going to meet at Brewster because it is a relatively central location to both me and Pete.  This way we would both be starting out with about the same mileage.  The plan was to meet at 7:10 am.  As I was riding over to Brewster I got a phone call from Pete saying he was running just a couple minutes late.  I stood next to the building wall while I waited for Pete because it was starting to rain and this helped shield me from the majority of the rain.  Then all of a sudden it started raining hard, very hard.  My phone rang again and it was Pete, he was concerned about the rain.  He hadnít gotten out of his driveway and turned back when the heavy stuff started coming down.  We agreed I would ride over to Peteís and we would delay our start in hopes the rain would let up.  By the time I got to Peteís I was soaked.  We waited in his garage for a little while and the rain finally did slow down.  It was a little after 8:00 am and we officially took off on our adventure for the day.  We didnít get very far and the rain started coming down again.  We pulled over and put on our Borg Warner rain ponchos.  We figured the ponchos would help keep us a little bit dry and warm because there was no turning back now no matter what we faced. 

We had planned to ride about 25 miles before stopping for breakfast, but the rain was still coming down pretty hard so we changed our plans and we stopped at Three Sisters restaurant for breakfast to wait out the rain again.  I had a grand total of about 7.5 miles on my speedometer and here we were already stopped for a break.  Pete and both joked at this pace we might finish by Sunday.  I ordered French toast without meat and Pete ordered a farmers omelet.  Peteís meal was a site to behold, it was huge.  I wasnít sure if Pete was going to be able to ride at all if ate the entire thing.  At least Pete didnít have to worry about having enough food in his system for fuel once we got started again. 

I did take a picture of Peteís breakfast and it is located with the few other pictures from this ride.  I didnít take too many pictures on this day because I knew it was going to be a long difficult day so I tried to maintain my concentration and focus on accomplishing the task at hand. 

After breakfast the weather was better.  The rain had slowed and we decided to ride without the ponchos, it was only a slow drizzle at this point.  We headed over to the Macomb Orchard Trail (MOT) via the PCT near Bloomer.  Once we were on the MOT the riding got easier due to the black top paved surface of this trail.  We took this trail all the way to the end at 29 Mile Road.  Once we got to the end we stopped for a drink.  I had put a couple small plastic bottles of Gatorade in the freezer the night before hoping they would freeze solid and then slowly thaw during the ride.  An interesting fact I learned is that the grape flavored Gatorade did not freeze while the strawberry did freeze.  I still donít understand why, the bottles were right next to each other in the same spot of the freezer, just an interesting fact I happened to stumble across in preparation for this ride.  Speaking of preparation, Pete and I really didnít do much to prepare for this ride.  It is actually fairly amazing that we finished. 

We turned around and took the MOT right back to where we started and even a bit further to the Clinton River Trail (CRT).  The CRT is fairly new like the MOT, but it is not as refined.  The trail surface is very rough with a lot of large loose stones.  Riding the CRT is a bit taxing and I was concerned it might take too much out of us considering how much further we had to go.  The nice thing about staying on the CRT is it goes right underneath M-59 freeway so we didnít have to play dodge-em with the cars trying to cross the freeway.  The weather was slowly getting better and we finally started seeing other people out and about.  For the first couple hours of our ride we didnít run across to many people. 

Once we got off the trail we started heading south.  We rode on the sidewalk along Coolidge for quite a ways and we rode through quite a few side streets.  It was quite amazing how far we rode with very little time spent on major streets.  We went past the Troy Motor Mall where there are many car dealers.  As we have been doing lately we rode through the used car lots and even a couple new car lots while Pete checked out the cars for sale.  If anyone has a good used car for sale, contact Pete, he has been looking for a long time now. 

After car shopping we continued east and we ended up stopping at the White Castle on John R just south of Big Beaver.  We were at about 47 miles when we stopped for lunch.  We each ordered four burgers and then went next door to the Seven Eleven to get a large Gatorade to drink with our lunch.  Even though I like White Castles I donít think it was the right type of food for this event.  Shortly after starting up after lunch I started having sharp pain in the top of my thighs.  The pain was bad and I was starting to have serious doubt if I was going to be able to finish.  I thought I might have some trouble making the 100 miles but I never thought it would happen so soon.  I think maybe the White Castle burgers just didnít give me the energy my body needed, and my legs were paying the price. 

As we continued on we went a little further east to Dequindre Road.  On our way south on Dequindre we stopped at the shopping center at 12 Mile Road which is where the old Walkerís Pinball place was located when Pete and I were in High School.  We spent a lot of time at Walkerís and this is where both Pete and I developed our love for the great game of pinball.  Who knew back then we would both end up owning a few of the same games that ate our quarters on a regular basis on Friday and Saturday evenings in the mid to late 70ís. 

I told Pete my legs were starting to give out and that I thought I might need some sugar.  At about 56 miles in, we stopped at a gas station and I bought a full strength coke.  We also took this time to fill up our tires to the maximum air pressure to reduce the rolling friction and make riding a little easier.  After drinking the Coke and we also slowed our pace down a little to rest my legs, I started feeling better.  The last thing I wanted to think about was not finishing.  The Coke really did help and as we continued to ride I started to feel normal again. 

We rode around Peteís old neighbor hood in Royal Oak next.  As we past by a school Pete attended, Keller Middle School, Pete noticed a door was opened.  Many months ago on a ride in Royal Oak while riding near our old High School, Dondero, Pete and I came across an open door and we rode right inside and toured a couple hall ways before leaving.  Pete decided to do the same thing at Keller Middle School.  For some reason it just didnít feel like the right thing to do so I just pull over to rest a minute.  Shortly after Pete entered the school I heard someone yell out at Pete.  This time he wasnít going to be able to ride around the school.  Pete told the guy he used to go to this school and he just wanted to check it out.  The guy told Pete that was fine, but not on a bicycle.  Pete looked around for a minute or two before rejoining me outside. 

Our next stop was our friend Garyís house.  Pete told me that Gary has been riding his bicycle lately and he might be interested in riding with us if he was home from work.  Pete got Gary on the phone and arranged to meet him at his house shortly.  We were at about the 62 mile point when we got to Garyís.  Gary was ready and he ended up riding with us for quite a ways.  Based on this ride Gary is now the newest PCT Bicycle Club member, welcome to the club Gary.   Our goal was to have about 85 miles or so done before we stopped for dinner somewhere in Royal Oak, this way we should have about 15 miles left to home and hit the 100 mile mark near home.  So, we still had a fair amount of riding to do before we could stop for dinner.  

From Garyís we did a big loop going south and then east again back to Dequindre again.  We then went north passed Keller School again and through Peteís old neighbor hood again.  Picking up Gary was a good thing for us.  Gary picked up the pace and luckily my legs were almost back to normal and I was able to keep up.  Gary was fun to ride with, he has a nice bike and he had no trouble keeping up with me and Pete even after we rode over 20 miles.  We put on a lot of miles just riding around with Gary which is just what we needed before dinner.  We went all the way to 13 Mile before we started heading south and west again.   

Our next destination was my parentís house in Royal Oak.  I told them the day before we would probably be stopping by at some point during our century ride.  In honor of my fatherís recently recorded song ďI Left my Heart at the Stage Door CanteenĒ I suggested to my Mom that a doughnut would be a good snack during our visit.  We were around the 76 mile mark when we stopped at my parentís place.  We each got a refill on our water bottles and Pete and I each ate a doughnut.  Gary passed on the doughnuts, but he did take some water.  While talking with my parents we made plans to eat dinner at the Red Coat Tavern and Pete started inviting everyone to meet us at the Red Coat at 6:00 pm for dinner. 

After my parentís we headed back to Garyís to stop and rest for a couple minutes.  I was feeling back to normal and I now knew I was going to finish.  Pete was also feeling good and he was very confident about our venture, so confident in fact that he started celebrating a little early.  Pete and Gary had a couple beers during this short rest stop.  Judy was home and we visited with her for a few minutes.  I told Judy how nice their back yard looked, and it does look nice, clean and well maintained.  The landscaping was beautiful and plants, flowers and grass all in good shape.  I know Gary and Judy spend time outside doing a little gardening in addition to their bike riding.   

After stopping at Garyís again, we headed south and west toward Huntington Woods to stop by Carol and Barryís.  On the way we stopped by Tomís house and rang his doorbell to see if he wanted to ride with us and join us for dinner.  As we suspected Tom wasnít home and before we left Pete put a club sticker on Tomís house to let him know we stopped by.  Tomís place is only a couple miles from fellow club member Barryís house.  Barry was bending over pulling weeds on the right side of his drive way in the backyard as we pulled up.  Pete noticed Barry and motioned to Gary and I to be quite.  Pete quietly rode up behind Barry and let out a loud scream in an attempt to scare him.  Based on how high Barry jumped I think Pete accomplished his objective.  I never knew Barry had those kind of hops inside him, pretty impressive for a small white guy.  Carol came out and we visited with both Barry and Carol for a while.  We invited them for dinner at the Red Coat and Barry ended up riding with us on our way to the restaurant.  It was pretty cool to have people join us at this point in our ride.  Pete, Gary and I called our better halves and invited them to join us for dinner as well.  Diane and Elaine rode out together and Judy came up as well.  We were at about the 80 mile mark when we picked up Barry. 

From Barryís we headed north toward the restaurant.  We went a little out of our way and even went past the place a little to add a few more miles before stopping.  When we did stop we were right around 86 miles which was just about perfect.  My parents were the first ones to show up just shortly after us bikers.  Then everyone else stated filtering in.  We ended up having a total of ten people for dinner.  It ended up being a really nice party.  I really enjoyed everyone showing up and supporting me and Pete at the Red Coat.  I hope everyone had as much fun at dinner as I did.  Since this is already such a long story I wonít go into what everyone order for their meals, but let it be known everyone appeared to enjoy their food.  With a big group like this we did have to wait about a half hour before being seated.  Thanks to Barry for calling ahead and warning them that we were coming, I think this did help us get seated a little quicker.  The whole dinner event actually put us a little behind time wise, Pete and I still had at least a 15 mile ride home.  

It was around 7:30 pm and Pete and I were both done eating.  I made sure Diane had some money to pay for our portion of the bill before Pete and I said our goodbyes and headed out for the ride home.  Did I forget to mention that Pete had another few beers at dinner.  I think the beer was going to catch up with Pete during our final stretch home.  On the way home we took Coolidge, then Beach Road and back to Coolidge all the way to South Blvd. 

It was starting to get dark and the beer was starting to affect Pete, he was losing his energy.  I was feeling great and it was Peteís turn to request a slowing down of the pace.  There was never any doubt that Pete would finish, he was just getting tired.  We ended up stopping this time at another gas station near Auburn and Adams and Pete got a Diet Coke as a pick me up to help him finish.  We were getting close, at this point we were around 95 miles and we took Auburn over to Squirrel Road.  Our plans were take Squirrel all the way home.  We knew this last stretch was going to be difficult sense it was mostly up hill.  There are a couple stretches downhill heading north on Squirrel as well.  We took advantage of the down hills to reach our maximum speed for the day.  As we past by the western edge of Oakland University it was dark.  I had my headlight on and my lighted spoke reflectors turned on to help us be visible.  Pete had a red dog bone flashing red light on his handle bars on as well.  We passed the 100 mile mark just a few minutes earlier and it felt really good to know we had succeeded.  We still had a couple more miles to my house.  By the time we finished we had actually ridden a little over the 100 miles.    

Sorry about making this story so long, but a lot happened on this day.  Believe it or not I actually left out a lot of stuff in an attempt to keep this story from getting too long.  Following are the statistics from this ride, 103.7 total miles, 27.5 max speed, 11.4 mph average speed and 9 hours and 7 minutes on bikes. 

If you want to see the actual route we did during this ride I will list the location of the map link and instructions on how to set up your computer so you can view the map.  If your computer is currently set to resize pictures, which most computers are, you will need to change this feature, otherwise the map will be unreadable.  If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer for your web browser then these instructions should work.  If you use some other web browser the instructions may not work, but what you need to is basically the same.  In your tool bar above click on Tools then click on Internet Options in the box that pops up.  Then click on the Advanced tab in the next window that pops up.  Now you need to scroll down to the Multimedia section and click on the little check box next to the sentence Enable Automatic Image Resizing.  There should not be a check mark in the little box when you are done.  After you check out the map you might want to go back and reset this feature so pictures are automatically resized.  Following is the link to the map of our route, it is a really big picture so you will have to scroll around to be able to see the whole thing.  A big thank you to Pete who took the time after our ride to accurately map out our actual route, hope you find this interesting.  If anyone canít figure out how to view the map feel to contact me or Pete and we will help you out.   Link to map.
David Lindquist 


Pete eating breakfast

Pete riding home after dinner

David's odometer at the 95 mile point

Pete riding home
 

David and Pete celebrating after finishing 103.7 miles

Clowning around after finishing

Pete at the end
   
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