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…biking can be tough… April 16, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, Culture, Hawaii, Information, Rides, Touring, Travel.
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Biking in Hawaii? Not so rough.

If you ever want a “perspective-check” to help you realize that whatever conditions and distances you are biking are really not so insurmountable, just Google the name Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant.

She managed a 25 and a half day ride on her fat-tired mountain bike over more than 1000 miles of remote, winter filled, uninhabited Alaskan wilderness.

From a Craig Medred article:

Having already driven a snowmobile from Knik to Nome, she decided this year she had to go by mountain bike, so she dragooned Bill into riding once again. Off they went.

It was not easy.

Here is a bit of what race director Dan McDonough posted to the race Web site:

On their approach to Nome, Bill and Kathi faced “immense winds and cold temperatures. At one point, when they were protected from the constant wind, Kathi looked at the temperature and saw minus 30 degrees … Bill described pushing the bikes at a 45 degree angle to prevent the wind from blowing the bikes away.

“After 25 and a half days Bill was looking forward to having a beer upon his arrival. Instead, when they arrived at 2:58 a.m. they were greeted by one woman on the street who was heading to work.

The only place open for food or drink was a coke machine.

“They celebrated with dehydrated food in Styrofoam coffee cups.”

You can read the full story here: http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/374243.html

No matter how wet and rainy and/or windy it is here, I just have to remember that I’m biking in Hawaii. It only gets so cold (sometimes in the mid 60’s), and I can only go so far (my trip around the island was less than 160 miles). I won’t starve. I won’t get eaten by a bear.

So, next time you hear me crying about a ride on my blog, remind me that others do more…

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…2008 Sharon’s Ride for Epilepsy… January 27, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, Culture, Hawaii.
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…Well, I managed the ride today. It was brutal. The weather was cold (relatively speaking – it is Hawaii!) and drizzly until the ride started. Then it was just windy. Really windy. Headwind all the way windy. Blow your bike into the guardrail (almost) windy. Horribly windy. But, I did it.

My bike computer says:

  • Time: 4 hrs 51 min
  • Distance: 55.2 statute miles
  • Average: 11.4 mph
  • Max: 40.0 mph

We shaved a half dozen miles off at the turn around, so we (my friend and I – not necessarily every one else) didn’t quite finish a full metric century, but it was close.

I was absolutely not ready for this ride. Looking through my ride records, I see that my longest ride in the last 5 months has been a whopping 9 miles, until today. Then I went and cranked out 55 miles. The last 15 miles, I just wanted to sit on the curb, throw up, and cry. I’m sitting here now amazed that I finished at all. Well, no better training than “jump in with the sharks, how much survival training do you remember, what are you going to do now” training.

At least, I’m riding on a Brooks…