I have officially accomplished thing #32 on my "bucket list". #32-Ride bike to Hilo. Something has always intrigued me about riding bike to the other side of the island. I've ridden all the West side, all the East Side, over the Saddle road (half at a time) up to the top of the island, but never from Kona to Hilo. Yesterday after swim practice #32 was checked off the list, it was so awesome I am already planning to do it again, and again!
There are so many routes you can take, okay not that many, it is an island after all. Of the 5 routes I took the safest (as in wider shoulders) since it was a solo ride. It was not the shortest route (the boys told me it would be 8 hours), it was by far the most beautiful! I took Queen K, North, Hamakua to Hilo. Packed with 8 hours of fuel and an IPOD full of songs I sung out loud to, it was one of the best days of my life! First, let me set this straight, it did not take 8 hours, those boys must have taken a lot of pee stops!
The views are so incredible by bike! You can peek over the bridges and see waterfalls, hundreds of palms trees, and more birds than a zoo! It kept taking my breath away, I was literally pinching myself that finally #32 was being accomplished! About 3 hours in the ride began to zoom by so fast I wanted to slow down time, it hit me that I could race and be to Hilo in just after 5 hours. Pedaling with purpose has it's place on the training plan, but today was meant to "pedal with passion". So I slowed, in fact I took the little 4-mile detour route, then I tried to get lost down a side street only to land at a pineapple stand.
There was only one part of the ride (okay 3 parts) that were even a little bit freaky-the 3 gulches. It was here that I really had to embrace the bike and muster up courage, not stupidity where I ride like a chick on a mission, but some courage. You fly down a winding hill, reaching up to 40, then take a sharp turn that is blind to cars, then ride up a blind turn. Cars ride all over the lanes here because rocks fall off the sides of the valleys/mountains and take up space in the traffic and shoulders.
My beloved Swift Carbon sure did impress me with the handling on climbs, twists, and turns. In fact, it was so comfortable I could ride back to Kona from Hilo all in the same day! (but I got a ride home). Hilo is usually known for rain and rainbows, not today. It was truly a perfect day on the bike...
The plan was to arrive in Hilo about 4, be at Mikes truck when he got out of school at 4:30, then ride home to Kona with him as he comes home to Kona every weekend. He had no idea I was going to ride to Hilo, he just knew I had a long ride. To surprise him was the cherry on top of tackling #32 and his face when he saw me did not disappoint! It was awesome as could be. Of course I was very stinky and hungry-nothing new to him...
Arriving into Hilo is always special, the little town is so old and welcoming. Of course I was here super early so I explored a lot on bike finding more hidden treasure than ever found by any drive to Hilo. Including that inner confidence to get up and make something wonderful happen that I have always wanted to do. Seriously, the rest of my bucket list is now calling my name more loud than ever.
The ride to Hilo is now firmly tucked within for Ironman CDA. Those gulches, an unknown ride with the familiarity of my bike, and having the guts to just get up and go after something has me really inspired. Everything felt happy landing in Hilo and having Mike at the "finish line" was the very best part. This morning I was still so happy that I didn't even realize the fatigue lingering in my legs and somehow managed my long run feeling fresh. Okay race day, do you hear me? Let's repeat this...
Today was Kainoa's special day, Long Course swim meet. He had a bit of a break through in the back stroke with a 27 second PR in the 50. I'm not sure if he just worked really hard today after a dozen other swim meets of goofing off to tackle that big feat, but to see a child light up by reaching a milestone or whatever you want to call it, sure set me into the best mood for Mother's Day tomorrow.
#33, #34, I am coming for you :)
Have a good weekend & Happy Mother's day to my mom friends and my mom!
PS. Kainoa thank you for being my son!