Cyclists really are gluttons for punishment, which is one reason we like to ride together. It’s much better to suffer together than alone. I really haven’t been riding lately, except for an occasional commute into work, and lately with my friend Laura. She has been so good about taking me out on the bike and introducing me to people! My last ride was probably 3 weeks ago, until Saturday. Laura set up a ride with me on Saturday from Kahului up Oma’opio to Grandma’s Coffee House, then up through Makawao and back through Paia and along Hana Highway. It was certainly more climbing than I was ready for, and I was wasted after 2 hours (with 1 hour to go), but I did it, and it all turned out fine. Total ascent was 3800 ft, mostly over the first 20 miles.
Today, I continued the punishment and met up with Laura and about 7 other people for an easy-paced ride up toward the crater. Well, easy-paced does not mean easy. We started in Kula and went up crater road past the halfway point. My legs hurt before even starting, so I was very thankful when Peter (who organized the ride) insisted that everyone go at his pace, which was nice and easy. I saw why it was easy after a short while, when we hit crater road. Ouch. When you are in an endurance sport, and you hurt, and your whole being is screaming at you to stop and that this just can’t go on anymore, you go into auto-pilot mode. Keep the cadence as high as possible, the HR constant, and mainly try and keep that burn in your thighs and butt from turning into a cramp. I really thought I couldn’t go further, and then I did….several times over. It was a constant uphill for a good hour+ before I turned around. Thankfully, the group let me go back on my own. I hate slowing people down. Turns out I climbed less than Saturday (3500 feet), but in half the mileage. I was pretty much in a coma afterward, and I am still a bit out of it, but so happy I got a good 5+ hours in on the bike this weekend! It all hurt, but I didn’t hurt alone. Looking forward to more abuse in coming weekends!!