Pedal pushing

If I could do the Snoopy Dance on my bicycle I would! Every Saturday my husband and I get up at the butt-crack of dawn to ride our bikes from Hawaii Kai to points unknown. We do have a plan, we just don’t really discuss it until we get to our favorite starting point and I start the Map My Ride app on my iPhone and check that my heart-rate monitor is working.
I’m still in recovery mode from my popped Achilles tendon injury that occurred in February. I have an ankle and a cankle. But with each time I get on my bike, the cankle starts looking more like an ankle. I continue to ride the bike mounted on a trainer in the dining room after work most evenings. The motion keeps the fluids from pooling in my legs. It is glorious to realize that something as simple as pedaling is hastening my recovery.
Last weekend my husband John and I went up the hill at Kamiloiki and then up Makapuu. On the first hill I had to get off my bike and walk it a little. At Makapuu I almost fainted. I kept my eye on the prize which was the low wall next to the bicycle rack. I managed to pop my shoes from my pedals without falling on my face. I sat there and heaved like an emphazema patient without her inhaler.
So this past Saturday, when John and I rode to Kapiolani Park and back, I nixed the hills. I whined about my knee and we cut the ride short to about 24 miles. So I felt a little guilty about whimping out. My husband, bless him, is a task master, which can be a real test on a marriage. He’s one of those guys that when I am so excited about the simple achievement of fitting into a pair of pants he will feel the need to ‘balance’ my exuberance.
I decided that since John was driving to Kapiolani Park on Sunday morning for the Honolulu Marathon Clinic, I could go with him and ride my bicycle from there. What a great idea.
I rode east on Diamond Head with a last-second need to switch to my smaller ring for ease. From there I stayed on my big ring all the way to Portlock. I passed a few riders, I passed quite a few runners, but no one passed me. Yay! As I was riding by Koko Head School, I made a decision. Since it was only 745am, I needed to ride more. I talked myself into going up Kamiloiki by myself, without Coach John’s encouragement.
As I’m heading back into the valley, I’m thinking how I could just go straight. I didn’t need to turn. But then I saw someone who looked slower than me turn right on Hawaii Kai Drive. They were going up the hill. Did I mention I was competitive?
Dang it. Now I had to go. So I turned. I caught up with her after she stopped on the side. I smiled and said, “You have to pretend it’s not there!” and I kept pedaling. I hate that hill. It was killing me. I got to that top side street right before the crest and turned into it to catch my breath for about 90 seconds. I didn’t get off my bike, I just circled until my heart rate came down from 182 to about 165. I turned back onto Hawaii Kai Drive and there she was AGAIN! But she had stopped past the street I was on and then was trying to get back into her pedals as I went by. I crested, popped onto my big ring and flew toward Kalama Valley.
YES! I did it. Of course it was easier to do it because someone else was. Of course I could have done it on my own, which was my goal. But the mini competition pushed my determination. I rode through Kalama Valley and headed back up the hill. The wind was such that I didn’t also want to tackle Makapuu.
Here’s Sunday’s ride: The link might be a little slow showing up, but it does. If we’re friends on FB the link is there, too.
John promised we’ll do all of it next week. Until then, find me in the dining room before dinner putting out some watts in preparation.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. Wayne, you are so funny. When are you coming to Hawaii again to hang out at the Keeaumoku McDs? I hate that place. It needs to be fumigated.

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