Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Moving in Maui

And suddenly, you realize you can't look at the sun

I was actually fairly alarmed when my husband told me about the bike ride down the volcano in Maui.
He was so excited that he didn't even consider I wouldn't want to go with him.
He practically had his biking gear all packed before I could even go on the website to check it out.
A 26-mile downhill run from the summit of the Haleakala volcano to the center of the island at Paia, what could go wrong?
I signed on before I  really thought it through.
But for weeks afterward I'd go to bed reminding myself that I didn't have to worry about it yet. It was a long way off.
Then in late March it dawned on me: if I was going to ride a bicycle for that long of a ways I would have to prepare.
I realized I needed to get on my bike at least every other day and work out enough that it didn't kill me to go for a 26-mile stretch.
We got me some biking pants that didn't tangle with my spokes. I started wearing my helmet and I began to plan my wardrobe.
Since the ride started before sunrise it would be cold, then warm, then really warm.
A pair of kids in Maui, right?
I would need to layer and wear clothes that didn't necessarily co-ordinate color-wise.
I needed to get used to wearing closed-toed shoes instead of sandals or thongs.
(I know, these are basics for serious riding, huh?)
We watched a movie on the plane over to Maui where the coach was telling the kids on his running team., "Get to where when you see a hill (to run over), you smile!)"
I reached that point, I'm happy to say.
After the van picked us up (at 2 a.m.) and the staff handed out our bikes, our helmets and our outergear, I marshaled my courage and my wits and took off, smiling.
It turned out that we weren't riding in a straight, fast line to the bottom of a crater.
We headed out in kind of a single file herd down paved roads with a lot of curves.
Basically our guide wanted us to lean in and keep our wits about us.
Our bikes were heavy and came with wide saddles (thankfully) and drum brakes.
I was pretty proud of myself for a while there, riding along without trouble and mostly trying not to run into the lady in front of me. (She'd been put there with others who looked like they might need the guide's help and guidance.)
I figured I looked like I knew what I was doing. I wasn't crashing or veering or tensing up.
Or so I thought.
Partway through we stopped for a water break and the guide said, "Good! You are all doing well. Sharon, let's move you up to the front, ok?"
Oh well. OK.
It was still a beautiful, refreshing, remarkable ride.
I recommend it.
It's cold in the morning at the top of a volcano

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