Today was a very cool workout for me. A friend who does not have a Dirtbag nickname yet, I'm thinking, has decided she wants to be a triathlete. I know her through Super Awesome Wife's knitting group, and of course she asked me for help. After all, I am the guy who is going to take down Lance Armstrong. Who better to ask, right? She is registered for the Lanikai sprint next month and I am helping her to prepare. How? By taking her up Kolekole and seeing if her legs come off! Duh.
The Lanikai bike course is almost completely flat save Radar Hill, a steep but short climb on Kaneohe Marine Corps Base. She hadn't been doing the kinds of climbs that would prepare her for it. To fix that we rode from the house onto Schofield and up Kolekole.
I've never ridden with someone slower than I am before. I wanted to help her as much as I could to get up the hill without hating life too much. I wanted to help like Diesel helped me Sunday. So I was either right in front of her (on the narrow parts) or right next to her, talking to her, checking how she was feeling, and trying to keep talking to keep her mind off her legs burning like fire.
We did stop once, for a minute or two, right before the hill really got cracking. Kolekole starts with a long grinding climb. Its a barely perceptible grade and if you aren't paying attention it just makes you think you've suddenly replace the water in your bottle with weaksauce. The grind, coupled with her knowing a more serious climb was coming but not actually knowing what that would entail, make her choose to take the break. No problem, sometimes you need a break. If it was that or turn around, then take the break. I had let her know how I felt my first time up, how much it hurt (wow, that was an old post!) so she wouldn't be taken by surprise when the pain came. It isn't a bad climb, not now, but the first time for a new rider isn't fun at all.
After our short break we pressed on. She thanked me for helping her out at the bottom, "just in case I kinda hate you at the top." But she toughed it out and only cursed at me once I think. I tried to keep a running commentary going, telling jokes and making one-way small talk. Strange to be on that side of the conversation, rather than the one gasping out one word responses. She even managed a small "Woohoo!" when we reached the top.
Here is where she really impressed me though- We turned around to head back down and when we got to where she'd taken the break she asked to turn around and go back up again. Hell yeah, that's what I like to hear! So we flipped a U-y (U-ey? U-ee?) and back up we went. We were probably only a mile or so away from the top, but that is still kick ass for a new rider. I know the first time I went up I really didn't want to do it again, not even halfway.
We rode home, watched The Full Monty (great movie, find it, watch it) and hung out and it was a good time. Until she went to leave and realized some coward jackass stole her bike out of the back of her truck. Not to end such a positive post on a sour note, but I'm glad I didn't catch the guy when I went driving around the neighborhood to see if he was dumb enough to still be around. The cop who came when she reported it stolen said not to engage the criminal if we do see him, and I know that. But it would have been really tough not to run him off the road and beat the crap out of him. I'm not prone to tough talk like that but...fuck. Anyway, a police report is filed and craigslist will be scanned. Hopefully he is dumb enough to try to fence the bike there. I feel bad for letting her leave the bike in the back of her truck. Should have insisted she bring it inside.
Still, she had a great ride, she says she has another bike at home she can ride, and hopefully the cops find the guy or at least the bike.