Monday, June 3, 2013

(By My)self Motivation

A view of the water and Molokai from somewhere in Napili - sweet backdrop for a ride!
A five-hour Zone 2 ride was on the books for Saturday.  A nice break (thanks, coach!) from all of the strength work trainer rides and climbing done over the past few weeks getting ready for Cycle to the Sun at the end of the month.  The only bummer - no one to ride with - but I was looking forward to it anyway.  The honeymoon is not yet over for the bike!

I got a later start than usual and was on the road by 9:45 headed to Paia.  I had mapped out my ride the night before so I had a plan for about 85 miles, which would take me across a lot of the island on a (mostly) flat route.

The trades were already picking up so I had a little bit of a headwind out to Paia, but nothing too harsh.  I turned around and headed back toward town, around the harbor and up to Waiehu - by then I was one hour in and things were going well!  I cruised across the base of the West Maui's toward Lahaina and tackled the Pali - it's not that big of a deal, but I've never ridden it by myself.  I'm a firm believer in safety in numbers and this stretch of road can be a little sketchy at times.  I just prayed everyone was paying attention.

I hit Oluwalu at about 2~ in, so I stopped to refill water and have a snack (mmmm....Amrita bars!) at the general store.  This is the first time I've ever taken my bike into a store - felt a little silly, but it was getting HOT and no one seemed to mind.  Back on the road, through Lahaina (where I veered off for a pit stop and took my bike into the bathroom with me - I have it on good authority that I'm not the only cyclist who does this!) and out to Napili.  As soon as I got back out on the road, my Garmin died.  Not enough charge.  D'oh!

Once I passed Ka'anapali, I hit the tradewinds that wrap around the west side head-on.  It was HOT and that's when the mental chatter began.  I told myself I could turn around at Kahana, but then I got to Kahana and kept going (really missing my buddies, POG and V, by then - POG usually pulls us through this section when the wind gets tough).  By the time I turned around at Napili, I had convinced myself that I was going to stop at McDonald's and get a vanilla cone and a Coke!  After all, I deserved it!  It was HOT, mid-day and it was going to taste AMAZING!  (If you know me at all you know this is crazy talk!)

I passed the Kahana McDonald's because I was on a downhill stretch, telling myself I would stop in Lahaina and spending the next few miles trying to figure out how I was going to manage this on my bike.  Would I go IN with my bike?  Drive-thru?  As I passed Ka'anapali I ran over a bit of tree debris in the shoulder, then THUMP, THUMP, THUMP.  Something was stuck in my tire.  The bike shop was up ahead and if I needed anything I could stop there.  I caught a red light just after, and as soon as I tried to take off - ha ha (insert sound from Simpson's kid here) - flat front tire.  Nice little kiawe thorn about the size of a thumbtack - the bane of cyclists on Maui.

This is the second ever flat tire I've gotten, and the first one I had to change by myself so I was a little panicked at first, but I set to it and was done in about 10 minutes.  NICE!  I stopped at West Maui Cycles and they were awesome - checked to make sure I did it right (because I still had a ways to go before I got home), checked my air pressure, then picked up a spare tube and C02 because I only carry one spare.

After this, McDonald's was completely forgotten.  Nutrition wise everything went rather well - I had water, diluted coconut water, salt stick caps, Amrita bars, a couple of Justin's almond butter packets and a banana for backup.  Right near the end, with about 12 miles to go I really got tired of anything sweet - I think I'll throw in some salted macadamia nuts for next time - they would have been perfect.

I battled the last of the headwinds after I came back over the pali.  I had to take it slower than usual over the pali because the crosswinds coming down through the canyons and ravines were fierce and I almost lost it a couple of times.  I guessed the trade I hit head-on on the last few miles were in the 30mph range.  Slow. Going.

I'm proud of myself for doing it, but after the flat, the stops, and the headwinds I was out there for 7.5 hours.  That's a long freakin' time, midday, in Hawaii, near summer.  And I have the burn lines to prove it (even though I was wearing sunscreen):

Next time I need to bring sunscreen to reapply if I'm going to be out for so long - planned or otherwise.


  1. I loved reading this and knew every place you were talking about. At West Maui Cycles, I love Maui Choice, great refuel spot!! As well as Leoda's at Oluwalu. But I know nothing of your bars. Hugs!!!!

  2. Awesome long ride! Way to win the mental battle!

  3. What a great job - especially solo. Ouch on the sunburn Ouch Ouch Ouch. I use Waterman's sunscreen - they sell individual packs which I carry to reapply half way.