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
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
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&Bob.com 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
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.