Multi-Club Ride -- 10/15/2006
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Tanja Burden, Rick Pearce, Geri Finch, Ron David

Tanja Burden, Rick Pearce

Ron David, Tanja Burden

Tanja Burden, Linda Doran

Linda Doran, Tanja Burden

Mike Burden, Tanja Burden

Tom Herold, Rick Pearce -- Who'se the other RW jersey? (Maybe Gene Terhorst?)

Members of the Macatawa Cycle Club, Jade Riders, West Michigan Cost Riders, and Rapid Wheelmen met at Velo City in Holland. There was a good turnout, and the supply of maps was quickly exhausted.

The group moved to the front of the store for instructions, and split into 25, 35, and 45 mile routes. Geri, Tanja, and I had planned to ride the 25 mile route, but at the last minute decided on the 35 mile route instead.

We rode down College St to 24th, jogged over to Center St, and continued South. After a few traffic lights, Tanja, Linda Doran, and I were well behind the main pack (Tanja is not an experience road cyclist yet, and was on a hybrid bike with platform pedals to boot. She was doing darn good for all of that, but it was clear that we couldn't keep up with the 15-16mph that the lead riders were doing!)

When it be came obvious that the three of us were going to be our own group, I sprinted ahead to catch the main group, found someone that had a map but was hanging with the pack, and turned back to find Tanja and Linda.

I got back to Center St without finding them. A couple quick cell phone calls (how did we survive trips like this without cell phones?) and we determined that Tanja and Linda had missed the turn. A few minutes later we were reunited and back on track, with me navigating (since I had the only map.) At this point, those who ride with me on Dawn Patrol will already have some idea what happened.

Having failed to notice the arrows on the map, I assumed that the route was counter-clockwise, and we rode down 147th looking for Beeline Road. After some distance of not finding Beeline Road, we stopped to look at the map, and Linda pointed out to me that the route was clockwise, and that we should have turned down Graafschan Road, which we had passed a while back.

No problem. We decided to use this as an opportunity to regroup with the main peleton. We would continue to look for Beeline Road, ride the route backwards until we found the main group, and ride back with them.

We continued West on 147th, but never did find Beeline Road. Eventually, we came to an intersection where the road ahead of us had a "Dead End" sign, and we realized that we had arrived at the lakeshore.

A quick look at my watched showed that we had been on the road for about 45 minutes, and we guestimated that the group was nearing the half way point.

The three of us decide to abandon plan "B", and proceed with plan "C", which was to follow the really nice bike path that went to our right, see where it went, and turn around in about 20 minutes, which we figured would put us back at Velo City around the same time as everyone else.

The path went through a couple nice parks, and dropped us in Macatawa, right at the shipyard. We shopped around for a new yacht for Linda, but she couldn't find one in Hi-Viz yellow, so we continued on to the harbor to look at the boats there, and then took a quick turn through the gated community (the guard was off duty) to look for a condo.

We turned back and re-traced our route (more or less -- mostly less since I was still navigating) back to Velo City, and arrived in plenty of time for me to eat more than my share of hummus, pita chips, salsa, and tortilla chips.