I can hear you Universe, loud and clear! But I can’t understand what you are trying to say!
This is the thought I had over and over after the past week culminated in a very weird text last night. Today, I knew I had to just get out and ride my bike….for a very.long.time. Yet again, my past is entering my life. And in the oddest ways imaginable. Some people from my past aren’t happy with me, and they are finally saying it, some after 10+ years! SO, instead of dwelling about it, I hopped on my bike and went for a long, slow climb up the crater. Sometimes, the incessant turning over of the legs puts your mind in a rhythm. You either can shut it off, or things can start finding their place, so to speak. I think my brain shut off for the most part, even though it was 4.5 hours of riding.
What the ride DID give me was a sense of ease. I did something for myself, with myself, and I achieved a goal without too much trouble (just a bang and scraped knee from when my back tire slipped on the cattle guard and sent me into the mountain). The view from Haleakala is amazing! One must be careful not to look out over the edge when riding slow. It doesn’t take much to turn the bars and go careening down the side of the mountain. The way up hurt, and I fell around 6000′, so I thought about turning around at the entrance to the park, but I was feeling good. Met a guy in line to pay from Albuquerque, of all places, who decided to ride the whole thing from Paia, in running shoes! Bought myself a year pass and got him in for free. Karma point!
Once you enter the park, you might as well go the whole way. I had a good rhythm until 8500′ or so, when the air gets thin, and you find yourself breathing much faster than expected. I had to turn off my thoughts (mathematically trying to figure out how long it would take me to do Cycle to the Sun at the pace I was going), and concentrate on breathing, loosening up, etc. I had people rooting me on, and several people came up at the summit and said what a great ride, how cool they thought it was I rode it, etc. I was surprised not to see more cyclists out today. The weather was amazing!
On the ride down, I again had crosswinds that slowed me down. Those things scare the bejeezus out of me! Around 7000′, my teeth started chattering, my neck tightened up, etc. I need my warm cycling gear from NM! On the way down, my senses were highly tuned. I was loving all the sensations and smells of the mountain. It started off with warm but strong breezes. The air was moist too, not like the dry, hot air where I am from. At one point, I rode past a field of something that smelled amazing. I don’t know if it was an herb or not, but I wanted to take some home with me….then into the cold cloud, waiting to descend far enough to get back in the sun. Next, the wonderful scent of mountain pines surrounding me, and then the warmth of a sunny day in Kula.
It felt so good to see my car, but not because I was wrecked like most times. It was because I had a good day and finished strong. Now, to tend to my wound and FOOD!!