I received my marching orders from all of you, ride the Quickbeam you said, and I did.
View My 2013 JBK Haleiwa Metric Century Ride in a larger map
The 2013 JBK Haleiwa Metric Century Ride was a blast this year. I’d signed up with my friend Keith a few months ago after we’d had a discussion about what sort of rides were around. Keith had never done this ride before (or any?), I’d done this one before and knew more or less what to expect. I’ve also done multi-day tours with distances about this length (usually with far more hills), so I’ve some experience at this distance.
The day started reasonably early. The ride was to start at 7:30am at Kaiaka Beach Park in Haleiwa and we had to drive there from Honolulu. We’d agreed to meet at 6:30am but both of us had the same idea and I was over at Keith’s place at 6:15am having ridden a couple of warm-up miles. Actually they weren’t so much of a warm-up as simply ‘riding over to Keith’s place.’ The morning was beautiful but promised to be hot with light southerlies and Kona conditions (read vog and humidity).
Keith was ready to go and we headed out. Keith asked if I wanted breakfast but I turned down the chance. I find I do better if I don’t eat a big breakfast on a ride day and simply stick to snacks along the way. Heat, exercise, and too much food don’t work well together for me.
Keith all ready to go (missed the bike in the pic…sigh!)
We arrived in Haleiwa quickly as there was little traffic this time of morning on a Sunday, found a parking place near the park serving as the starting place and got ourselves organized. Mostly this consisted of me hurrying things and hoping I could make it to the restroom. I did. I was ready.
Ready to go…
We joined the throng of starters, at least those who wanted to ride out with the pack, and listened to a few minutes of announcements – most encouraging us not to crash as we left the parking lot as that would mess things up. No one did to my knowledge.
The starting groups were organized into the groups A,B,C,D. The first, of course, was for the racy types, those who think about splits and wattage. Here’s the list:
- Group A If your distance per month is over 300 miles (482 km), average more than 19 MPH. (30 km/h), and you are used to riding in a group.
- Group B If you cover more than 125 miles (201 km), average more than 13mph (20 km/h), and have experience participating in long rides.
- Group C If you average 6-7 MPH (14 – 17 km/h) and your goal is to ride slowly while enjoying the scenery.
- Group D For parents with keiki under 5 years old.
Now I’ll be honest, my monthly average is just shy of 300 miles in general. I’m close, probably 50-60 miles a week which means some months I do get 300 and some I don’t. But these aren’t “training miles,” I’m a commuter so mine are mostly town miles with some recreation rides thown in. Keep in mind all my rides are fun. I also only ever hit 19 MPH when there’s a wind at my back or I’m headed downhill.
Indeed while I’m well over the mileage for the B group, my average speed isn’t generally more than 13mph. Town miles are like that and I’m afraid to say my tour mph isn’t anything to write home about. I’m slow and okay with that.
I’m really a ‘goal C’ person in my heart.
Still I have bits and pieces of A, B, and C (and no keiki so D is out).
Keith was open to starting anywhere so we went to the back of B, just ahead of C. This turned out to be more or less about right for us. There were, I’m afraid to say, rather a number of folks ahead of us in B who should have really been behind us…and soon were.
After a last check of things and some wiring issues (I used my solar panel to keep my phone charged up – worked good though without direct sun it just keep phone even – no loss, no gain – good deal though) and we were off.
Riding in these mass starts can be a bit trying as many, many folks really have no idea of how to keep going in a straight, predictable line. This time it was good and I saw no trouble, though there were some close calls. Soon though the peleton had stretched out and just as soon it wasn’t a peleton anymore – just folks riding in smaller and smaller groups.
Keith and I had agreed to stick together for a while with the caveat that if one slowed or one simply wanted to go faster they should do that and not worry about the other’s pace. Having ridden with others before I’ve found that for me it’s best just to ride at my pace and not overwork trying to keep up with younger, fitter folk or wait for them either. I rode a few miles together than then Keith took off.
We both, as it turned out, by-passed the first aid station, the 25km turnaround. After 12.5km, or just 7.75ish miles, I certainly didn’t need a rest and neither, as it turned out, did Keith. At this point it was still morning with some of that freshness still in the air. The vog was apparent but really the views were lovely.
The first part of the ride rolls past the famous beaches of the North Shore and we could tell the surf was beautiful. The beaches weren’t yet crowned and traffic was light (later in the day the former would remain true, the latter not so much).
Keith was waiting for me down the road near the 2nd aid station where we did stop. As I was getting off my bike and grabbing my water bottles I heard an “are you Statrix?” Yep, tis me. And there was a gent in MUSA pants I know only from online. We chatted for bit and I discovered I’d actually been his pace ride for that leg. Later I would see him going in the other direction which means I’d definitely ceased being a pacer and had become out-paced.
Our bikes at rest
Keith and I rode together for a while taking a couple of turns at drafting each other. We also picked up a fellow on a folding bike who, by virtue of being somewhat smaller than either Keith or I didn’t create a pocket to ride in quite as large as ours. After a bit their pace got a bit much for me so I dropped back and rode on my own for the last couple of miles to the halfway point.
It was here I realized I’m mortal. It seems I’d let myself get a bit dehydrated and was experiencing some rather unpleasant symptoms including a bit of dizziness and clammy skin. Of course I could have been having a heart attack as well but my pulse seemed fine and dropped to a resting rate pretty quickly. Something to ask my doctor next time I see him but a lot of water, some fruit, and a peanut butter Clif bar fixed me up. I also increased my fluid intake on the way back and had no further episodes or strange feelings. I thought I’d been drinking enough, which is to say it seemed like quite a bit, but as I didn’t have to pee when I got to the halfway point I realized I was wrong. When I got to the finish it was a different story so there’s a tale, eh? Drink plenty of fluids isn’t a recommendation, it’s a necessity.
The ride back was fine for me. I’ve been riding a lot so I didn’t feel tired or even stressed, at least once I’d eaten a bit and hydrated fully. This time we stopped at both aid stations for a few minutes, but they were already almost deserted and getting ready to close up.
There were a lot of riders on the way out…but as we got further and further from the start it seemed many turned around. I don’t know how many turned at each rest station as records aren’t kept, this is fun ride, not a Randonneuring event or a race. I do know there were few riders on the way back which makes me thing some did the right out to the end and got picked up there…not a bad idea really and one I’ve done with the Honolulu Century Ride.
With little wind during the ride the trip out was easier than the last time I rode the JBK (2010), but also less of a tail wind on the return. Still the return was surprisingly easy. I never bonked or wanted the ride to be over.
I more or less stayed ahead of Keith from the midpoint to the aid station at Sunset. On the leg from Sunset to Kahuku we were more or less even…I drafted longer than I should have methinks. And on the last leg Keith got out ahead an stayed there, though I picked up a rider who almost drafted me for miles. I wish she had as it would have been a good break for her but she stayed just wee bit too far back for much benefit. Still it was nice to have company of a sort visible. It had really thinned out by now.
Coming in to Haleiwa was like hitting a rush hour traffic jam. Traffic was bottled up through town and even on a bike I ended up having a bit of a wait to get over the ‘Rainbow Bridge.’ I could have gone on thep pedestrian side path except there were…yep, pedestrians.
And then it was over. Keith was waiting for me, though it hadn’t been too long. This time I’d made it back with plenty of time to spare of the refreshments and events at the finish. I had a steak plate which was simply ono and then it was back to the truck and home.
My only regret is that somewhere along the way, most likely on the truck ride home or in taking my bike out of the truck I lost my Garmin 850 Oregon. It’s on the expensive side and, while I didn’t use it a lot, I’m sorry to see it go. I don’t know if I’ll replace it though.
Oops, I do have another regret. It seems one of the stays for my fender was uncapped and somehow during the truck ride manage to pierce the sidewall of Keith’s front tire. Sigh. It didn’t flat the tire, but he’s got a hole in the side wall which…um…will probably cost him the tire soon. He should be able to patch it internally though…maybe I have a sidewall patch from Park…I know I ordered some once.
In any case, it was a great ride and I’m super glad to have done it with my good friend Keith. He’s a great rider…a metric century on a fixie is no mean feat, and he was cheerful at the end to boot! Go Keith!
Here’s a flyover of the whole thing! If the iframe isn’t working, here’s a direct link: http://goo.gl/JP6zS