Friday, September 2, 2011

Mama's Gold Chain

So on Sunday I'll get to race my road bike around the island... the 112 mile road race that inspired the original Ironman way back when... 

We start down there on the south side of the island and ride around clock-wise. It doesn't get hard 'til we hit the middle of the island- that's where the shit hits the fan climbing starts... It's super important to get in the right group on that climb b/c after that there's a fast descent down to the North Shore and then ~40 miles of headwind heading around to the east side. I do that headwind section all the time on my normal route and it's really not fun to do alone! Definitely best to be in the middle of a pack of strong men on that section. The last ~25 miles it becomes a race of attrition b/c that last bit is filled with short steep little hills that will break riders one by one as their endurance runs out.

I won't lie- I've done a bit of secret training for this race... I want to win it! (Did I just admit that??) I'm really not sure if I can which is what makes it intriguing... I know my endurance is there but fast/hard climbing? Ouch. That has not been my focus this year, and last time I tried a bike race (July) I got my ass handed to me when it got fast and furious uphill... In an effort to avoid that this time around, the last 3 Saturdays I've driven my road bike to the middle of the island and tried to completely trash myself on those long hills so I guess we'll see if that's enough? I think if I make the right group on the first big climb I'll be in good position for the rest of the race so we'll see how it goes! I know there are some other very strong women who will also be racing - my biggest challenge may actually come from a gal I am coaching (and I *know* the hard training she has done!) and of course we are not the only ones who want to win... In good news, we are all friends and after the race we will buy each other beers and tell good stories about the deciding moments of the race. And if Teri wins she's already agreed to buy the beer. :)

In good news, my road bike should now be in tip top shape for the weekend. Since I haven't ridden it much this year I haven't taken extremely good care of it (are you surprised?)... but my friend Dennis took it last weekend to wrench it for me... I told him it was pretty much fine but just that shifting into the big ring it was kind of sluggish (i.e. I had to push the lever in twice and stop pedaling for a moment to get it to go into the big ring.) Dennis of course knew better than to believe the bike was basically fine so he took the whole thing apart and said it was all completely corroded... so he replaced the cables and the bottom bracket and the pedals and the tires... and he put a new chain on it too... a gold one! Did you even know they made gold chains? I'd never seen one. But it is sweet. I'd take a picture and show you but it's been raining the last few days (shocking, I know) and my bike is a mess again because of course I've been riding it on those wet roads. But it feels like it's brand spanking new and I'm stoked to race on it this weekend.

Anyway, apparently when Dennis took my bar tape off he said the handlebars were completely pitted/corroded and flat out not safe. Lovely. So I got new handle bars for that bike too. This was the email he sent me earlier in the week... Yikes.
"i keep discovering things on your bike, my dear
took the tape off your handlebars, discovered that
the metal (aluminum) is extremely pitted. i am guessing
from a combination of salt, rain, and sweat. i have to confess,
i have never seen a pair of handlebars like this...
usually, they just have a white patina of corrosion."

My poor bikes. I guess that's proof they get used though, eh? I've always said that I don't mind dirty bikes. The only clean ones around here are the ones that don't get ridden. Take my new P3 for example. I keep waiting for a dry morning so I can go out and ride it but we have not had one yet.... so it still looks absolutely perfect. ;)

Anyway, stay tuned for fun bike and swim race stories from the long weekend!

*As an aside, the 3 original events that inspired Ironman were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles which I will do on Monday) and the Around-Oahu bike race (112 miles which I will do on Sunday) and the Honolulu Marathon (which I will do in December). The original Ironman event was held on my 4th birthday (Feb 18, 1978). Pretty cool that I get to do all three of those original races plus Kona in the same year!


Beth said...

That is SO cool that you are doing all the originals plus the Ironman all in the same year!!

Good luck on Sunday and Monday!! Can't wait to hear all about it!

mmmonyka said...

Good luck! Having ambitious goals and being confident that you can fulfill them is the best feeling ever, isn't it?
I would love to do something like that bike race, it sounds like a lot of fun.
Isn't coaching your rival a conflict of interests? Secret sabotage, hm?:)

My bikes are probably in the same shape as yours. I was told to take a good care of my tri bike but so far I have failed miserably. For me chain color wouldn't matter, gold, green, red, doesn't matter because it is always so dirty that you can't see the color anyway:)

Kiet said...

This was a good read, it was entertaining, and I just enjoyed it. The more I get to know you, the more respect I have for you Mama Simmons. You do a lot of things on a daily basis that would require a lot of discipline/perseverance on my part, thus I have mad respect for you.

mtanner said...

Give em hell!

Matt said...

pretty cool to be racing a part of the history of your A race! Rip it up!