Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sharon's Ride/Run/Walk for Epilepsy Ride Report

Ride Report
time- 4:07
distance- 62.8mi

This morning was the 10th Annual Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii Sharon's Ride/Run/Walk. This event has the distinction of having a name nearly as long as its course, rivaled only by the Jim Bob and Cooter's Meander Through The Swamp Lookin' For The Beers We Stashed Somewheres 'Round Here Last Week 5k. Sharon's Ride, though, is for a much nobler cause:

Sharon's Ride is a unique memorial to Sharon Rosenfeld, a nurse and teacher who cared deeply about epilepsy and epilepsy patients who was killed during a cross country bicycle ride in 1993. Sharon's Ride Run Walk for Epilepsy was started in 1996 in St. Louis, Missouri by Dr. William Rosenfeld and Dr. Susan Lippmann, neurologists who specialize in epilepsy and who created the event to honor the memory of Dr. Rosenfeld's sister.

Today was the first ride of this type I haven't done alone. Of course, that isn't saying much because the only other ride of this type I've ever done is the Honolulu Century, so don't put too much stock in this sentence. It's mostly just a semi-awkward (and getting worse!) introduction into the ride report. We should all probably just move along now.
The Grey and Diesel decided that the ride sounded like fun too so the three of us, plus Super Awesome Wife, met up at Kapiolani Community College at 6:45am for the scheduled 7am start. Super Awesome Wife signed up for the 5k and I hope I can get her to write a short thing about how that went. This ride was different from the Century right from the get-go, in one major good way and one mostly-major negative. Let's make like report card comments and hit the negative first, then finish with the positive.
With over 400 rider, walkers, and runners participating why don't you guess how many Port-a-Johns the event organizers choose to bring out. Guess. Write the number down somewhere and don't let me see it. Dirtbag the Psychic says your number is...TOO HIGH! There were exactly ZERO Port-a-Johns at the start. What the hell, People Who Put This Thing On? Our choice was the public bathroom, which would be fine if there were a few people. But for this many that's a planning faux pas. I have one more issue with them, but we'll talk about it later. But the nice thing about the ride was the kicked-backness of it all. No timing chips, no awards for cyclists, no stress at the start line. The Century was a mosh pit of bodies all slowly streaming towards a start gate, most of whom were too slow to be in the group starting that early. Sharon's was chilled out cool. We lined up near the exit of the parking lot, some dude blew a conch shell, and away we went. My favorite part was listening to the cyclists around me all clip in within a few seconds of each other. Popcorn and whatnot.
The course was an easy out-and-back that pretty much followed the Century course. And for good reason: there is exactly one road on that side of the island which will support this kind of event.

The out was uneventful and easy. We did stop for a nature break pretty quickly due to the above mentioned issue, which led to a small problem for both Diesel and myself. The Port-a-Johns we stopped at were surrounded by mud. Mud which got into our cleats, making clipping back in very difficult. Small kine grumbles (Ohhhh, the white boy busts out some local-ish lingo!). The two toughest climbs of the ride happen inside the first fifteen miles or so, Heartbreak Hill and Makapuu. Nailed 'em. I felt so damn strong on both of those ups, it was great. Heartbreak isn't that long, but its pretty steep and I got my cadence up and went for it. Same with Makapuu. Confidence: Built. Struggled with Makapuu a little coming back and the Grey got me there, but no worries. His age/power graph on the downward slide, mine's just coming up. Watch out!
The whole way out we were hitting some pretty decent headwinds and struggling to get low on the aerobars to make life as easy as possible. And the Grey kept talking about how these were the kinds of winds that follow riders and on the way back they would magically be turned around. He was right. Jerk.
Lani Kai was pretty, as always, and it was nice to take five at the aid station which had been set up there. Got to see Kepa, the Tri-N-Hawaiian, and chat for a while. Always cool to see fellow bloggers out at events. We both agreed Tri Cook should have bandited the ride (not that I would ever advocate stealing...which I guess that would technically be, not that anyone would have known if he threw on an old race number).
After an abrupt turn-around, seriously, the 100km turn was a U-turn sign in the middle of a seemingly random intersection, we headed back. Into some damned big time headwind. For which I blame the Grey. He got his. Diesel and I got into a groove of sorts and started grinding away, fighting our way down the coast. We assumed the Grey was right behind us. Not so much. The Curse of the Flat strikes again! After repeatedly looking back and no seeing hide nor hair nor bright red jersey and yellow bike Diesel decided a search party was in order. So we got to take small advantage of the now-tailwind for about a mile and a half, get there as the Grey was finishing changing his flat, then re-make our way forward. You heard already how Makapuu went.
From there its a pretty easy finish. The guy at the final aid station wasn't a ton of help. He was out of water but still had a tub of Gatorade. On the ground. Which another cyclist picked up and put on the table. Which is kind of crap, Chris. Up the easy side of Heartbreak, which I remember being much harder at the end of 100 miles, then past Hawaii Kai and to the Community College where Super Awesome Wife and a free lunch awaited. And some water and juice and root beer floats. But not very many of the Sharon's Ride/Run/Walk-looking people. Super Awesome Wife said that after the 5 and 10ks were done they did the drawings and then packed up and went home. So the runners and walkers got some love as they crossed the line and we got some dude in the shade waving us towards out fried chicked, macaroni and cheese, and ummm, I think it was coleslaw. Even after a long ride it wasn't good enough to eat, and I'll eat damn near anything after four hours on a bike.
I know it looks like the Grey is beating me, but that's only an optical illusion caused by perspective

Up that last little hill I come
I don't want those final impressions to leave you with the idea I didn't enjoy myself or that it wasn't a great ride. I did and it was. I had a ton of fun. Beautiful day, friends, clear roads, can't complain. Except for the little bit I just did. Much thanks to the Dirtbag Official Sponsor, Background Profiles, for helping make signing up for nice days out like this possible.
Diesel, Dirtbag, the Grey (OR Clarkson, Hammond, May)

Super Awesome 5k


  1. Congrats on your ride. The available restrooms were a disappointment. I could not tell that they have been doing this for 10 years. I thought this was year 2 by the lack of direction when you get to the finish line. We did not know where the drinks were nor the tshirt pick up. We ended up not getting a shirt because all they had were XL and XXL. I did enjoy the ride, I don't think there were enough volunteers nor snacks along the way, because when we stopped by the one before heartbreak, they were down to a few bananas and a container of pretzels.

    Even when Franklin and I came through the finish line on our bikes and people were still there for the run/walk stuff, we really did not get too much direction etc. In fact people walked right infront of us as we came through the finish line and I almost crashed into a lady.
    We ended up going to Lanikai Juice for a Monkey Bowl. Very ono btw.

  2. It was great to see you at the start and the at the aid station at Lanikai. It was great to finally meet Sean and "The Grey". Sounds like you demolished Heart Break Hill. That hill was tough on me! Btw, after some discussion, my buddies and I decided to do the 100km.

    Oh, and I know what you mean about the "facilities". The men's room had a line going out the door just before the start so being a "guy" I rode out to a secluded tree.

  3. I decided to "Ninja" the race so that's why you guys didn't see me. Haha.

  4. I remember 3 years ago having much better stocked aid stations, but I think the bathroom situation was equally bad.

    BTW DB, I'm not a jerk, I just underestimate my wizardly powers sometimes. Sorry for not being more careful with my mojo!