Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

November 23, 2005
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The day before Thanksgiving 2005 we had planned to do our second century ride of the year.  Earlier in the year Pete and I accomplished our first century ride, on August 12, 2005.  This time we had recruited two more club members to attempt the century ride, Steve and Gary.  We all planned to take a vacation day from work on this Wednesday so that we had the full day to ride.  It turns out Gary's Uncle Gus took a turn for the worst and was admitted tot he hospital, so Gary had to drop out at the last minute.  It ended up being Pete, Steve and myself making this ride.

Pete had come up with another nice route for the entire ride.  About half way through the ride I knew I wouldn't be able to make the full 100 miles.  The weather turned nasty and my legs were unusually sore.  I know better than to push my body beyond it's comfort level.  Some days you feel really good and you just know you can ride forever, this just wasn't one of those days, for what ever reason my legs just weren't up tot he task this day.

The weather started out OK.  It was cool, but dry, good for riding.  The snow didn't start coming until about half way into the ride, and when it started it came down at a fairly decent pace.  Even though we didn't make the full 100 miles we still got about half way for a very nice ride.  Steve, ended up going further, but more on that later.  In the words of the day, repeated by Steve many times, "Grray Rii".

This is the longest period of time between the actual event and the day which I write the story, so I'm sure that I have already forgotten some of the sequence of events.  I will do my best to accurately share the events of this ride.

We started out relatively early.  We filled our tires in Pete's garage before heading south toward Rochester.  Our first stop was the Greek Island for breakfast.  We all got a nice meal in preparation for our long ride ahead.  I took a picture of each of us while sitting at a table at the Greek Island, see all the pictures from this day at the bottom of this story.  After breakfast we got our cold weather gear back on and headed to the Macomb Orchard Trail (MOT) where we planned to ride all the way to Washington township and back.  The nice thing about the MOT is it's surface, it is black top paved which makes for nice riding.  There weren't many people out on the trail when we started, but we did run across a few as the day went on.  It was a nice ride all the way to Washington and back.  We had a good time talking about various things as we rode.  Steve's good sense of humor and ability to carry on a conversation under any circumstances help pass the  quickly as we rode.

Pete got Gary on the cell phone as we were riding and he put it on speaker.  We all told Gary we were sorry he couldn't make the ride.  Gary told us he would definitely join for another ride in the future.

Once we started riding we quickly warmed up even though the sun wasn't out this day.  The body has an amazing ability to warm up with just a little exercise.  The snow started falling lightly on our way back after reaching the end of the paved portion of the MOT near 29 mile Road in Washington.  Even though it was a fine snow and relatively light it was starting to slowly accumulate first on tree branches and other low lying plant life.  At first the snow would melt at contact to paved road and bike paths.  After about a half hour the snow began to survive and accumulate on the pavement.  It appeared if the snow kept up at this pace we would shortly be making single line tire prints as we rode.  As we approached Rochester again it was getting close to lunch time and we had ridden approximately 36 miles by this point in time. 

Our next stop was Hamlin Pub for lunch.  It was a good time for a break, I was feeling a little tired and ready for some energy from food.  The Hamlin Pub is one of our favorite places, we knew this would be a good place to stop for lunch.  We took a nice break at the pub, I can't remember what Pete and Steve ordered, but I got the hamburger special with diet coke.  My legs had already begun to get tired and I was starting to have second thoughts as to whether I was willing to attempt a full 100 miles this day before we stopped.  

After lunch we were back on our bike riding again.  The snow did not stop, it had actually picked up a little.  It looked like we would end up with a few inches before the end of this day.  Shortly after riding for a few miles toward home I had decided that my legs just weren't up to the task of a 100 miles this day.  Pete was starting to have second thoughts about going the full 100 miles as well.  I think the weather was playing a part in my decision as well.  I knew riding a long distance is difficult enough with snow, with the snow mounting up I knew it would even be more difficult.

We took our regular route toward home from the pub.  As we got close I told Pete and Steve that my legs were just not cooperating and I was planning on heading home.  Bob and I had planned on doing our own turkey trot Thanksgiving morning out at Stoney Creek and at this point I was still planning to do the 6 mile run in the morning so I didn't want to potentially injure myself by riding too much this day.   Pete ended up stopping at the same time as me and I thought Steve had stopped as well.  I didn't find out until the next day that Steve continued on to Lake Orion and back.  Steve took some additional pictures of the solo portion of the ride and he sent me an email with the details of his solo portion.

Following is a direct copy from the email from Steve.

I was feelin' pretty good (at least when I dropped you off at your house!) .... so I decided to make the trip "up to Orion" ... Did the Sue& trip map of my Paint Creek -> Lake Orion -> Sagebrush -> Hamiln Pub -> KFC -> and return ...came out at 17.8 additional miles from your house up to Lake Orio around town and back to my house ... I think we were at 40.6 at your house so that takes it to 58.4 .... my odometer trip showed :
    Distance - 53.7 miles (recorded)
    Ave Speed - 9.7 mph
    Max Speed - 30.4 mph (down Dutton Hill)
Saw two different deer (photos of one!) and a dog and only two other humans while on the PCT! Weird/Creepy/Quiet! (and slow going ... managed onl 6-8mph "up" and only "8-10 on way back" down hill ... didn't quite make king of hill even though i "rested" at the botton of the hill for almost 15 minutes before making the climb ... dumb SUV driver nixxed it for me .... UGH!
No Turkey Trot for me tomorrow! (Good Luck Dave!)
"GRRRRRay Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii"

I will report he statistics from this ride that I got from my speedometer, but I also plan to give the club credit for the additional 17.8 miles that Steve did after Pete and I stopped.  44.8 miles, 22.0 max mph, 4 hours and 20 minutes with an average sped of 10.3 mph.

Turns out we ended up getting quite a bit of snow and I was still tired the next morning so I didn't end up doing the run.  More time for runs in the future and more bike rides as well.  
David Lindquist 

Pete at Greek Isand

Steve at Greek Island

David at Greek Island

Map of today's routes

David getting air

Steve's handle bars

Steve out on solo ride

Another of Steve

Paint Creek Trail


Steve on trail

Steve in front of Sagebrush

Sagebrush being rebuilt

Picture Steve took of deer on trail
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