Saturday, May 17, 2008

ROAD TO HAWI


I rode the Honu bike course today. 56 miles of hills. I love this course. It's country, it's challenging and it's quiet.

After turning onto Akoni Pule Highway and riding for a couple of miles I noticed my bike was making a noise I hadn't heard before. Since it's a new bike, I was a little concerned. Then I realized my bike wasn't making noise, it was just so quiet that I could hear my bike. Then it occurred to me: there's no traffic. No traffic noise. Sure, cars would go by, but one or two every 5 minutes or so. Not that constant stream of traffic like on the Queen K. I was back in the country again. A big smile spread across my face as I climbed one of the many quad-busting hills.

For the first time in two and a half years I rode on the road. Not the shoulder, but the actual road. After riding the Queen K and Alii Drive for two and a half years with all the traffic. It was a pleasant surprise.

When we lived near Lake Tahoe, I could ride for hours and never see a car. I'd be riding in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, criss crossing the Nevada/California border, up and down hills. The roads would be lined with pastures full of cattle and there would be wild mustangs grazing along side the roads. That's where I first discovered cycling. The solitude, the peace, the climbing. Since we've moved from there, I haven't had a ride that has been devoid of nearly constant traffic — until today. I love that course!

I love hills, I love wind. So this course is for me. Unfortunately, I didn't get to experience the infamous wind today. It was really calm. I did hit a "little" wind a couple of miles before the turn around, but no problems, except on the way back. A couple of gusts nearly blew me off the road and I had to hit the brakes. But that only lasted a couple of miles.

The photo above is one of the many long straight stretches on the way to Hawi. I don't think there is any level ground. It is either uphill or downhill. As you can see, no traffic. Not sure what it is like on week days, or if this was just an unusually slow day for traffic, but I love this course ...

1 comment:

Bruce Stewart said...

About the best time to ride the course (when alone or with a few friends)! Come the race, there will be a constant string of bikes jockeying for position, as well as dozens of motorcycles to catch you if you are too close to anyone. Watch for the sudden gust of wind out of nowhere when you are hurtling back from Hawi at 40 mph.

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