Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

December 25, 2005
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Christmas morning, December 25, 2005, and I hadnít done a bike ride in quite a while.  It wasnít the best day weather wise, but I was determined to ride my bike no matter what.  Enough snow had fallen since Thanksgiving to make bike riding very difficult and actually dangerous, so we havenít been out riding lately.  It warmed up enough to melt the snow on the streets and the paved bike paths this day, so I was definitely going for a ride, even if was just a short one.   

I put on a few thin layers to stay warm and got myself ready to ride.  By the time I got my bike out of the garage it was raining.  Normally I wouldnít ride in this type of rain, but like I said earlier, I was determined to ride.  I knew I would be soaked by the time I finished, but as Max used to say when he was little, ďIts just waterĒ. 

My goal for this ride was to go for at least five miles.  If I went shorter than five miles it would have taken me longer to get ready for the ride than the actual ride.  The nice thing about Christmas morning is everyone is occupied checking out their gifts and I have plenty of time to do nothing, which is perfect for bike riding. 

The temperature was 33.5 įF and I started around 10:30 am.  I headed down my street toward Adams where I turned right toward Tienken.  I rode around the Adams High School parking lot for a minute or two before heading west on Tienken toward Squirrel.  There were very few people out as I rode.  Usually I run across at least a few joggers or someone walking their dog, but this day it seemed I was the only person out.  It was even unusually light from a motor traffic point of view.  I guess everyone was just staying inside this morning.  I guess I donít blame them, it was raining fairly hard and it was Christmas.  I continued on Tienken past the section of the road that is closed for car traffic at the border of Auburn Hills.  I wasnít going fast, just pedaling at a nice comfortable pace. 

Shortly after entering Auburn Hills I saw what I thought were two dogs playing off to right side about a  hundred yards ahead.  My glasses were covered with drops of water from the constant rain, so I wasnít able to see real clearly.  At first I was worried the dogs might chase me since they were in a common area and not someoneís yard.  I thought about leaving the bike path and going into the street, but I didnít, I stayed on the path.  Then I thought they might not even be dogs, they were starting to look too big.  For a minute I thought they might be wolves, even though I have never seen any wolves in this area.  I slowed down as I got closer and I was able to make out through the droplets on my glasses two young deer.  Now that I was within about 100 feet it was obvious they were deer and not dogs or wolves.  It was so obvious that they were deer that I was laughing to myself for even considering they might be wolves.  They were both quite small so they must still be very young.  I finally slowed to a stop about fifty feet away.  Now I started looking for the mother, I figured she must be around close by watching out.  I looked all around and never could find the mother.  At this point the young deer had frozen in place just staring right at me.  I was surprised that they didnít run away because they obviously had spotted me.  While standing on the ground with the cross bar of my bike between my legs I started walking slowing toward the young deer.  They didnít move and I got within about twenty five feet when I stopped again.  I was concerned that even though I couldnít see the mother see must be around somewhere and she might make a charge at me any second.  I slowly looked around and still I didnít see the mother.  I paused for about two minutes and I just stared at the two young deer and they stared right back.  To my surprise they finally moved and the movement was slow and directly toward me.  I think I must have been down wind and they were getting closer to me in an attempt to get a better smell.  I not sure but I think if I could have maintain my position they might have walked close enough that I cold touch them.  I twitched and slightly moved my bikes handle bars which caused the deer to turn and bolt.  They ran into a treed area just a few hundred feet away.  I watched for another minute or so before I got back on my bike to continue my ride. 

When I got to Squirrel I turned right heading north toward Dutton.  I was only on Dutton for a short distance before I entered the subdivision.  I rode around the sub on a couple streets before heading home.  It was a very peaceful and quite ride.  I could hear the rain falling on everything.  I could hear drops of water bouncing off my jacket and dripping through the branches of the trees and bushes.  I could hear the water flying off my front tire splashing against the homemade guard attached to the bike frame.  Normally I try to avoid the puddles in the road, this day I rode right through the puddles.  I was already wet and I wasnít worried about getting any wetter. 

I finished my ride just a little after 11:00 am.  It certainly wasnít a long ride and I was definitely wet by the time I finished, but I still enjoyed being out on my bike.  Following are the statistics from this ride, 5.4 miles, 20.0 max mph, 10.4 average mph and 31 minutes of time on bike.   
David Lindquist 

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