Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

September 3, 2005
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Saturday September 3, 2005.  This story is going to be called "The Triple Play" - Guest author is Pete McDonald.

Here is a link to the ride out:

Link to return route:

Note that on these routes, you can use the slider bar to zoom in and out.  You can drag the screen to follow the path.

If you can't get the links above to work, here are links to a small page showing the route.  These don't show as much detail.

Click here to see the route we took to the park     Click here to see the route back from the park.

I'm sure you read the story from Friday where Dave and I took a day off work for a ride. I only mention this because when we were having the gourmet lunch at the Taco Bell Lounge, I told Dave that it was amazing that the bike club has rode a couple of thousand miles and Dave is the only one who ever had a flat tire and even that was no big deal since it happened 10 feet from a bike shop. That comment turned out to be the kiss of death for our Saturday ride.

Megan and Rebecca had a soccer game scheduled for Saturday morning at 9:30. Steve had the brilliant idea that we should ride out to the game on our bikes and have our wives take the girls in the car. It seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. We decided to leave at 8:15. I was getting ready to head over to Steve's at 8:15 and Elaine told me it was a 9:00am game. Well, I had mapped out a few different routes that were an easy 15 mile ride and now I knew we were in trouble. I went to pick up Steve and he was not ready until 8:15. We only needed to average about 20 miles per hour to make the start of the game. That was way over the bike club record and I knew we would never make it.

We had a great start since we went tearing down Dutton hill at about 30 miles per hour. Unfortunately, we had to go back up the other side which really slowed us down. I was ready to go get the car by the time we got to the top of the east Dutton hill and over to Orion road. We went down Dutton to the gas station to get air for Steve's tires. We were way behind schedule. We decided to cut as many corners as we could to try to make up time so we headed down Tienken through the two traffic circles and headed up the dirt road. It was tough riding because of all the big idiots who like to tear down dirt roads at 60 miles per hour. We both ate lots of dust by the time we got to Dequindre where the road gets back to pavement.

I started pouring on the speed and I could tell that Steve was having a hard time keeping up. He was riding his CCM hockey bike and when he caught me, he said he noticed that he was pedaling as fast as possible at 28mph. He looked at me, and on my bike, I was hardly working. I told him that would be a good reason to upgrade to a Trek. Steve's hockey bike was also hard on his arms and rear on the dirt road and he kept saying he needed to get shock absorbers for his bike. Again, I told him he should get a new bike.

Once we got on the trail and started heading North, we stood on the pedals to the point where we were practically flying. We were passing absolutely everyone. Including the two old geezers on the 3 wheeled bikes. My spiderman doo rag was flying behind me and I was eating bugs for breakfast. I guess we should have known that the hockey bike was not made for that kind of speed. We stopped for a short rest where the trail connects with Campground road and Steve noticed that his back tire was smoking and before we could get the fire put out, the tire went flat. We were right at the Glacier Golf club entrance and we still had 4 miles to go. We would be lucky to make half time of the soccer game.

Fortunately, we have a PCT bike club member that lives at the Glacier Club. So I gave Jason a call. I figured he would be able to pick Steve up in his blazer and drop him off at the game and I would just ride the rest of the way by myself. Unfortunately, Jason was out getting a hair cut and I figured we were out of luck. Well, Steve was standing by the side of the road trying to pump the tire back up and I noticed Jason's wife Amy less than 3 feet away turning into the Glacier Club entrance. I started yelling at the top of my lungs for her to stop, but she is either deaf or she is mad at me because she did not even look over before turning into the sub and driving away. As anyone who knows me can attest, my voice is fairly loud so I am pretty sure she heard me. So now it was obvious that we were on our own.

Steve did his best trying to keep up, but our pace really slowed. We had to stop every 1/2 - 1 mile to refill the tire. I took one turn to give him a break for about 1/2 a mile, but it was too tough so I had to bail.   Steve took my only valve cap and used it on his bike hoping that it was leaking through the valve.  No such luck.  Somehow, we managed to get to the game at half time. Steve acted like he wasn't tired, but I am pretty sure he was absolutely exhausted. I say this because even though he grabbed his monster camera as soon as we got to the game, he only managed to take 89 pictures during the 25 minute 2nd half. That is barely 3/minute. A thoroughly refreshed Steve Thomas should easily get 6 pictures a minute. Check out this link to see a copy of Steve's official press credentials which he wears to most games:  Click here to see Steve's press pass  (make sure you read it because some people may question the legitimacy of the pass.  It was not tough to get a picture of Steve in action.    click here to see a picture of Steve taking a picture

The game ended at about 10:00 and their next game was at 11:00 so we had one hour to figure out what to do. It was obvious that Steve could not ride home on a flat tire and there was no room in the van for Steve, his bike, and 4 other people. As usual, one of the bike club members came up with a brilliant (some may say totally audacious) plan. We would drive back to Steve's house and pick up his other bike - a 1957 Schwinn Varsity with new tires - only one of which is installed in the proper direction. This was not the best part. Through the magic of technology, I used my cell phone to call up the PCT Bike Club President and I invited him to participate in the 2nd half of our bike ride. The plan was to get Dave after we got Steve's bike.

In order to meet this challenging plan we knew we would have to be quick since we had only one hour. We loaded up Steve's bike in the van and headed across 23 mile to Rochester road at a pace that was just slightly over the speed limit (of the Autobahn). When we headed down Rochester Road, we came to the construction zone part that was all dirt. Steve immediately pointed out that he had turned into one of those big idiots that I described earlier who likes to speed on the dirt roads. Somehow, we managed to get Steve's bike, Dave and Dave's bike back to the field just in time to see the other team score a goal about 30 seconds into the game. To save time, we brought Steve's tire pump and we filled up the tires at half time.

For the record, you should know that Megan's team won all of their games including the Sunday championship game.  Here are two of the championship photos featuring former teenager of the month Megan McDonald and Steve's daughter Rebecca (Happy Birthday).  Champions 1   Champions 2

After the game, we prepared for the ride home.  Dave had put an empty water bottle on Steve's wife's van antenna, but she was too smart for that old trick and she got out and took it off.  Once that excitement was over, we started riding home down the dirt road called Campground.  On the way to the field in the morning, I noticed that there was a swamp just south of 32 mile road that had a bunch of turtles sunning themselves on rocks.  I decided to try to take a few pictures on the way home if they were still there.  Here are the pictures:  turtle1  turtle2

The road was rough all the way down to about 29 mile where it turned into pavement.  It was like riding on the freeway.  Lot's of Steve Thomas wannabees driving about 60 miles per hour on the dirt.  We ate lots of dust.  Steve was doing very well on his old Schwinn 10 speed.  He kept talking about getting his hockey bike fixed up.  He said that not only would he need to upgrade the suspension, but now he was going to get some new tires.  Dave and I kept on him to get a nice Trek.  He has opened his wallet to get his wife and daughter nice Treks and he rides more in one week than they do all year so you have to figure a smart guy like Steve will wise up pretty soon and get a real bike for himself. 

Once we got on the nice paved trail, we put on the afterburners again because Steve had to get home for Rebecca's birthday party.  Believe it or not, he was going to be the official photographer at the party too - imagine that.  We had to make a pit stop at the old cider mill on the corner of Mound & 26 mile and then we got back on the trail and started flying down to 25 mile.  We were just about to 25 mile round and I heard another loud BANG.  I figured it must be Steve's unlucky day since he had already had 1 flat and also because Dave has a real bike with real tires - but for the first time in months, I was wrong.  It was Dave who had the blowout.  This was actually good news because Dave's bike had a burrito basket on it and he had the proper tools and a spare inner tube.  We worked together as a team just like the Nascar pit crews and we had the tire changed in less than 3 minutes.  Very impressive and certainly a bike club record.  I should also mention here that I have been short a valve cap for a while and in the morning Steve stole my last one.  Here was my chance to get one back, so I took the one off of Dave's blown tube.    We could not find anything obvious wrong with the tire.  No nails or anything.  Dave was a bit nervous, but we headed across 25 mile with no issues.

The ride was uneventful until we got to the Speedway gas station at the corner of Tienken and Rochester.  Just as Steve had used their pump in the morning, Dave decided to fill his tire up the rest of the way in the afternoon.  Well, while I was looking around on the ground hoping to find a valve cap for my one tire that didn't have one, I heard another loud bang.  You guessed it.  Dave had another blow out. Now you know why the name of this ride is "The Triple Play".  That was the third flat tire of the day . . . and it happened the day after I pointed out to Dave that we had only ever had one flat tire in bike club history.  I guess I jinxed us. 

It turned out that Dave's front tire had a catastrophic sidewall failure and the tube worked its way out and just popped.  Here are pictures of Dave's flat tire.   flattire1.jpg  flattire2.jpg   Bad for Dave, lucky for me because now I was back to a complete set of valve caps.    Dave was stranded, but by some miracle his wife Diane was out shopping in downtown Rochester - what are the chances of that happening (99% I would say)?  The one day Diane goes shopping happens to be the day that Dave needs a ride.  Maybe in the future, Dave will encourage Diane to go out shopping when we are riding our bikes just in case one of us needs a ride home. 

Steve and I had to leave Dave at the Speedway until Diane could pick him up.  We had an easy ride back to Steve's house.  We took Tienken to the Paint Creek trail, the we had to go up Dutton Hill to get to his house.  I am ashamed to admit that we walked our bikes up the hill.  After all that had happened can you blame us?

Finally,  have to admit that I took advantage of Dave's unfortunate situation one more time before he was able to get home.  It wasn't enough for me to just take his valve caps, but once I found out that Diane took him to the bike shop to get his bike fixed, I talked him into picking up Elaine's wheel that had been there for a few weeks.  Dave was also good enough to to pick up a new tube for Megan's bike which was flat and also one for my bike.  I'm no fool.  I learned my lesson.  Now I have a backup tube with me at all times and I didn't even have to go to the bike shop to get it. 

All in all, this will certainly go down as a record setting day for the PCT bike club. Following are just a few of the many records set:

Dave Lindquist - He nearly set the record for a one way bike ride of 15 miles. Unfortunately, as you know he had a 2nd flat tire and never made it. So I guess his record is the longest no-way bike ride - about 12 miles. He went from nowhere to nowhere. This record may never be broken.

Dave Lindquist - Most flat tires on one ride - 2.

Steve Thomas - Longest drive in a motor vehicle on a bike ride - 32 miles.

Steve Thomas - Most bikes used in one bike ride - 2.

PCT bike club - most flat tires on one ride - 3

Pete McDonald - Longest ride wearing a spiderman doo rag - 30 miles.  (sorry, this was the best I could do.  I can't let Dave and Steve hog all the glory)


Pete McDonald

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