I got back on my bike and rode to Thursday night practice. It was the best one yet.
We warmed up with a circle around Kahala, turned at the gas station onto Kealaolu Avenue and did drills up over the ocean side of Diamond Head and down towards Kapiolani Park. We turned at the fountain outside the hotel where my parents and sister stayed when they were here last year and headed back up and over Diamond Head all the way to the end of Kahala Avenue. Back and forth, back and forth.
The first time up the hill I gave it my all. Coach C was behind me with a few others from the team and I kept a steady pace. Just before we crested the top a van pulled off the road in front of us causing us all to come to a screeching stop. Coach C said he was scared. As my dad would say, he thought I was toast. But I showed off my mad phat bike handling skillz, stayed positive and kept moving forward.
I thought about New York and BC adjusting her handle bars to accommodate her five months pregnant belly. Manhattan does a bang up job of teaching you how to not get killed by idiots. It teaches you to be tough no matter the circumstances. A slow moving van in paradise ain’t gonna trip me up. We cruised the rest of the way down, turned at the fountain, climbed again and coasted.
My second trip up from the Kahala side Coach C stayed right behind me at my left hip with his wheel overlapping mine by a few inches. I don’t know how he did it but I swear to you his energy propelled me to the top. Because of him I wanted to ride strong. I was so tired but I still wanted to get to the top quickly. And I wanted to impress him. He has come around to show me respect and in turn I want to respect him. I want to show my gratitude for his attention by pushing myself harder.
Afterward Coach J escorted me all the way home. Coach J and I make up the Broken Toe Squad, each with disfigured digits keeping us from joining the runs everyone else does after the rides. We rode fast through Kahala and down Kalanianaole, getting to know each other the whole way.
Friday I did two more Diamond Head drills on my own. Saturday I joined the group ride and logged 28 more miles. And today – a disgustingly rainy, cold, dreary grey day full of downpours – I climbed the Koko Head crater stairs, did a bike lap around Hawaii Kai and pushed myself through another Diamond Head drill for another 20 miles.
Coach J said tomorrow he’ll take me swimming at Kaimana Beach. Here’s hoping I don’t have a panic attack.
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