Share the Road with Us!

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Big shoulders on the Big Island made doing the Ironman 70.3 a relaxing ride. Headed north to Hawi from the Mauna Lani turnaround, 50 miles to go.

Big shoulders on the Big Island made doing the Ironman 70.3 a relaxing ride. Wish we had bigger shoulders on Oahu’s roads! 

Yesterday during our Boca Hawaii Summer Triathlon Training workout three of my teammates were in accidents with motor vehicles while we were riding our bicycles. No one was fatally injured, all are on the mend, and to the best of my knowledge, each was a victim of hit-and-run rudeness. It is illegal and morally wrong to leave the scene of an accident or to not assist people who are hurt.

In 2012 Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed the Vulnerable Users Law, designed to protect bicyclists, pedestrians and people who work on crews such as those who groom road landscaping, etc. It isn’t a snare net to capture and punish drivers. It’s to make drivers aware that they have to look out for everyone who isn’t in a steel capsule hurtling down the highway.

I live in East Oahu, and that’s where these accidents involving my teammates occurred yesterday. This part of the Island is chock full of Type-A captains of industry and their high-maintenance Rogue- or Cayenne- or Lexus SUV-driving wives in their yoga pants, phones illegally at their ears, kids set to ignore in the backseat. One woman in her Mercedes coupe got very close and then told me to get out of the way because she was in a hurry to get to her tennis match at Koko Head District Park. I was completely unaware of her importance.

The point is, people out here need a refresher course on sharing the road with bicyclists. We get the lane. We get the whole ENTIRE lane. Do we take the entire lane? Not unless the shoulder is junk. Most of us ride on the shoulder and we’re OK with that. Sometimes I see riders doubled up to shoot the breeze while we are out there on Kalanianaole Highway and I am not OK with that. I have a little mirror clipped to my sunglasses so I can see what’s coming up from behind me, so I can see that a city bus is about to pull up to the bus stop, or a car or delivery truck wants to turn right. The mirror is very helpful to me, but not everyone uses them or needs to.

East Oahu gets its share of tourist drivers, and I suspect it was a tourist who caused my two women teammates to crash by Hanauma Bay yesterday. I do not know how this person is enjoying their Hawaii vacation. One woman has a dislocated shoulder and the other one has a broken collar bone. Needless to say their bicycles are totalled.

Those of us who ride road bikes and triathlon bicycles have a healthy respect for the road and for the vehicles with which we share it. Most of us obey the laws to the letter. Some of us will roll through a red light if there is nothing going on. Most of us will help each other out if we’re on the side of the road changing out a punctured tube.

I make a point of making eye contact with drivers while riding. I always say thank you with a big smile and an Island-style shakka wave to convey my gratitude to those of you who are getting a chance to pass me because finally I have a shoulder to ride on. Believe me, if it were up to me all of our roads would have broad, clean shoulders for those of us who ride bike or who like to run along the highways.

I have a theory: Bicyclists make excellent drivers because we have the perspective of being both the vulnerable and the infallible user. We ride in the heat, the rain and the wind. These elements add to the challenge of navigating along the shoulder and sometimes in the path of traffic. We know we’re not as fast as you in your big truck or little sports car or your tourist bus or your delivery truck or mom mobile. But do you know that as a driver on Oahu’s roads, you must protect the rest of us who are considered by law vulnerable users? Awareness. We just ask that you have AWARENESS.

 

Run Like A Mother

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Over the last couple of days, a lot of searches to lavagal.net indicate folks are looking for Run Like A Mother, the blog by Hawaii’s Blonde Bombshell Super Triathlete Duo Rachel Ross and Katherine Nichols. It’s OK. I’d call them … Continue reading

Today’s Milestone

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This gallery contains 2 photos.


Mahalo, whoever you are, you wonderful soul who checked my site as visitor number 50,000 today. Lavagal.net got lots of hits today. It might get to 100 before I sign off. I’m grateful, even if it might be mostly paranoid … Continue reading

Anxious vs Eager: Running.


@postaday 255; #postaday2011.

As a writer, a proofreader, and an editor I have built up a little arsenal of pet peeves when it comes to other people’s grammar. I say other people’s, because my husband John reads my daily blog entries and secretly emails me edits. And my editor Lisa Baxa, the publisher of Island Scene magazine, and the perfectionist who scans every word the HMSA Mothership intends to communicate, never misses an error in my copy. I am grateful to them, and others who assist. In other words, I’m not perfect.

So if you’re excited about doing something, you’re EAGER. If something you are about to do fills you with fear, you are ANXIOUS. And let’s not get into apostrophes and possessives today. My gawd. Did Pet’s Discount really mean only one pet gets the discount? Why would anyone think it’s ever OK to write “Do’s and Don’t’s,” when it’s “Dos and Don’ts?” And yes, punctuation marks belong within quote marks.

Biking is my thing. This is what I do best! I've added swimming, and now I'm thinking about a 5K. Photo by David Lum, husband of colleague Kari Lum. We ran into each other at Makapu'u Lookout.

OK, now that that’s out of my system: About my anxiety and eagerness in regard to running. One of the Twitter accounts I follow, @BradGansberg, has a website that helps people learn to run a 5K in 100 days. Brad says on his site that he had an epiphany when he was a big fat blob on the sofa. We all get to that point, don’t we? I saw a tweet of his yesterday, noted the hashtag #5Kin100days and decided to check it out. So, following instructions, I sent him an email and I’m now drumming my fingers waiting to hear if I am in. And I think I should be because he tweeted today about how he’s looking for more participants. So, BRAD? ALOHA and here I am under your nose and you’re blowing me off.

Either way, if I’m in or not, there are other build-up-to-a 5K running programs. My concern, as many of you know, is the Achilles tendon drama in my life. I was trying to start a running program back in February 2010 when the 45-year-old wound popped apart. The doctor who did my surgery, Dave Mathews, said it broke right on its old scar. I’ll be checking in with my personal doctor to get a green light for my new goal.

When I wear athletic shoes to work on Casual Fridays, my right leg hurts by the end of the day. I put inserts under the heel, but I still get pain. Sometimes I think I would be better off starting a running program in high heels, but then I’d look like a drag queen! LOL.

After a fine personal finish in the Na Wahine Festival: first in my age group in the Swim and Spin, third overall in that event, I thought about how I might do if I could do the 5K that’s part of its triathlon. A year out is a reasonable time to try and see if I could do it.

I follow a lot of bicyclists and triathletes on Twitter, and I am humbled by their accomplishments. Mine are so small compared to theirs. I’m not going to set myself up for huge disappointments by aspiring to be a senior champion, but I am very competitive so I’ll have to work hard at not disappointing myself.

I’ll be walking a lot before I break into a slow jog. At this point, I wonder if I’ll ever run. And if  you see me out there crawling, literally crawling on my hands and knees, or fallen, please help. Part of me thinks that it might pop again. I think that with every step I take. I thought that as I struggled to get out of the water last Sunday at the Na Wahine to get quickly to my bike across the beach and across the road and into Kapiolani Park. It’s not that I don’t trust the surgeon or the surgery. I just don’t trust my own body.

Admiration for Tinman Triathletes.


Drizzly morning at the start of the Hawaii Tin Man in Waikiki.

@postaday 208; #postaday2011.

“But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man/
That he didn’t, didn’t already have…”

When I grow up, I wanna be a triathlete, too!

This morning I woke up early, the same time I get up for work, to ride my bicycle at the butt-crack of dawn to see the start of Hawaii’s Tinman triathlon event at 5:45 a.m. My ride in Hawaii Kai was already coned off but I passed the cone truck on Kalanianaole Highway before Maunalua Bay, so I was extra careful on the way to Waikiki. Along the Waialae Country Club golf course, I encountered no cars, and none passed me on Kahala Avenue until I was approaching Black Point. Then, while on Diamond Head Road, there was some punks-in-hot-rods stupidity going on at the lookouts. I expected to get harassed, especially when the BMW driver turned his lights on as I passed, but they didn’t bother with me. Thank goodness.

Triathletes and their bicycles launch through the chute at Kapiolani Park.

I got down to the Tinman start, which was relatively calm with the hum of triathletes tweaking their transition spots, and walking over to the start of the swim. I ran into two of my friends, Kevin, aka @ElementalGeek on Twitter; and Margie Davis, the Koko Head kindergarten teacher who taught both of my daughters and is a good friend of the family. They were both really calm. I think the gray of the morning is conducive to pre-race mellowness.

Swim caps are used to segregate the swimmers, and the first “elite” wave was that of those in yellow caps. Water patrol, aka, contracted beach control dudes on stand-up “SUP” paddle boards and surfboards, helped the swimmers stay on course. I was relieved to see that, as my swimming time for the Na Wahine Festival Swim and Spin event in September could possibly double because I have a tendency to zig zag!  Continue reading