My first excursion from the cruise ship was a ride down Haleakala!
I was really excited about. Two friends that I work with have ridden UP Haleakala. Months of training and hard work, one raced up and one took a more leisurely pace. Both loved the experience.
Also Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal has the unofficial record for riding up Haleakala in 2009 with a time of 2:32 beating Jonathan Vaughters official time of 2:38 in 1993, very impressive! Yay Ryder! (He was also the first Canadian to win a grand tour, the Giro last year). Jonathan is the manager of Team Garmin Sharp, who Ryder rides for. They have a very strict no doping policy so Ryder will NOT be making any confessions in the future.
Anyway I was excited to see this for myself and although I was riding down I couldn’t help thinking that one day I would like to come back and try riding up. It is beautiful and there was minimal traffic when we were there. The ride up would be worth it for the ride back down! For riding down you just need to be able to ride a bike, it’s really fun and easy. Coasting down, watching the beautiful scenery go by, when it was over I would have been really happy to go back up and do it again!
Something BIG happened this weekend. Ryder Hesjedal pulled on the maglia rosa at the Giro d’Italia. In other words he took over the race lead and gets to wear a pink jersey (the Tour de France has yellow, the Italians hand out pink). This was the first time that a Canadian has EVER worn the pink jersey. A big deal and Ryder is a a great cyclist, very consistent, nice guy and loves burritos. Canadians should be very proud of him. He got it on Saturday and held on to it on Sunday, there is still a long way to go to the end, he hasn’t won the race but just to get it and hold on to it is a big deal.
Inspired by this I head out on my bike on Saturday and Sunday. I love my new bike (I think I’ve mentioned this). It’s a Specialized Vita Elite, it is AWESOME. I’ve named my bike Charlie and will be having a romance with Charlie all summer. I love getting ready for a ride and am always happy leaving my place ready to head out. The first minute or so goes really well. Look at me! I’m exercising! Getting fresh air! Look at me go!
Then at about the three minute mark, I wonder what the hell I’m doing. Part of this is because most of my rides begin with a hill. My legs say WTF are you doing? I feel tired. I look at the end of the street and think, I’ll turn around. Now we would be five minutes in. I keep going and look at another hill. Why do I do this? Is is fun? I want to turn back.
When I get to the top of the hill things get better. Downhill! Yeah! Then the dread of knowing I will have to come back up this hill. The ride then evens out. I start to find my legs. Start feeling better. Now we’re about fifteen minutes in. I start feeling better, feeling more confident. I come up on another hill and tackle it, knowing my favourite part of the ride is coming up. It’s a long stretch over looking the Glenmore reservoir. Not only is the scenery beautiful but I’ve hit my stride I feel great. This is why I do it. I often think can’t in my life and the more I cycle and take on distances and hills that I used to look at and think can’t, now I know that I can. I’ve done it. I can do it again.
Cycling has given me so much. The I can has spilled over into other areas of my life. It clears my head and makes me feel like I can to a lot of things that I’ve thought I can’t about. So even in those first five to fifteen minutes that I wonder WTF am I doing, I know what’s coming and for that feeling I push through it and keep going. Each time a little faster, a little farther, getting stronger. I love it.