Yeah, so, this morning I ventured out to ride the Ironman WC bike course….
I had heard a great many try geeks out here (including Ironman Danish AND BDubbs) say that this bike course is said to be upwind and uphill BOTH ways….IMPOSSIBLE! I thought, and I really looked at the two of them and assumed they knew better as both are sailors (not like once and while on a cruiser sailors, I mean like pro sailors)….I was actually meeting LeeZ, a fellow MIA cyclist (and owner of Body Zen) to ride the course (minus the loop around town).
While I was getting ready to start MY day, Ironman Danish and BDubbs started their day with an early morning swim “workout.” I say “workout” because I am not 100% that they were not snorkeling….based on photographic evidence of their “workout” and the expresso boat….hmmmmm
Anyway, back to the bike course. LeeZ and I left Lava Java at 7am sharp. We headed out on the course right away. As we got past the airport we both commented that at least we had a headwind on the way out, as most certainly we would have a tail wind home….Anyway, it was not super grueling as we were fresh and had some amusement on the side of the road…there are designated donkey crossings here on Kona…and after seeing one that said “Caution, Donkey Crossing next 2 miles” shortly thereafter was this AWESOME sign:
We continued riding after this brief photo op uphill and upwind from where we started. We stopped at mile 35 to take on some water/gatorade and proceeded on to Hawi–which as it turns out was uphill and upwind from the quicky mart. By uphill, I mean it was a 12 mile climb at 3% grade average with a 25 knot headwind….yeah, it was awesome! By the time we got to Hawi, I was pooped. Half from the actual ride and half from missing so many hours of sleep on our trip here. I got a smoothie and a coke and was ready to head the 53.53 miles back.
We descended back down to the quicky mart with a tail/stiff cross wind. At times, my bike actually went past the point of no return, but I was able to save it. It was pretty gnarly and fun….Towards the bottom of that descent, however, the wind slowly shifted towards on the nose. We stopped again, got some more gatorade and headed uphill and, yup, upwind home…by the way–the scenery, they make it look much more scenic in race replays…it looks like this for almost all 107 miles…which, coming from Miami is pretty AMAZING the first 53.53, but after headwind turned headwind the only thing you have to check out is how some lava looks different from other lava…and you try NOT to look at the water, as the white caps remind you of the wind…
At about mile 90, we hear (and then see) a sweet white chevy impala rollin our way…
its Ironman Danish and BDubbs! Yup, they have come to bring us some COLD gatorade and cokes! Woo hoo!! Just when I thought those two were doing nothing all day but frolicking in the Pacific…Anyway, that stop actually gave me enough to battle the 17 miles of headwind and hills we had left. And, it also helped me struggle this smile:
We made it home, and despite the challenging conditions, the fact that it is ACTUALLY uphill and upwind both ways, we managed to average 17mph…not terrible for a training ride.
Now, I will say, several times during this ride, I blurted out “F” bombs, screamed “uphill–really?,” muttered “are we ever going to go downwind”…which leads me to say I am 100% attending the “thank God I’m not racing” party on Friday night…and also leads me to say I am also 100% going to “workout” tomorrow like the other two and hit up the swim up expresso bar….and maybe, just maybe, hit the “underpants run…” lead by our fearless leader–Nelson (Danish’s Bestie who flew out to HI for the occasion)….
It was in fact upwind and uphill both ways…here is a wind graph from the Upolu Airport when I was passing by on way up to Hawi–it was gusting to 33mph!!! Urgh!!!