I think this may be a first for me in Kona – we got up early to ride rather than swim. I met Roger, Mel and Brett in Tantes when it opened at 7am for breakfast. It was pretty busy almost immediately. It’s one of the things I find really nice in Kona – the rhythm of life seems to fit closely to daylight. This means by 7am the place feels busy and by 8pm it’s dark and it’s quietening down.
Brett and Mel had decide to get a cab out and meet us at Kawaihea. I didn’t want to completely destroy myself so we held a steady pace riding on the hoods out to the meet point. I think we more or less chatted the whole way and the time flew by. Largely the discussion was all around Peak Oil and what lies ahead. It was good to talk it through with someone like Roger.
At Kawaihea we had our first “Big Gulp” … since I’ve given up diet coke all year and try to avoid sweeteners this time I went for a fully sugared drink. I’d worked up a thirst by avoiding drinking for the prior 30 minutes. I do this regularly as it’s such a great pleasure to quench a raging thirst.
Next up was the climb up to Hawi. The winds were very benign so we made good progress. We still deserved a sit down, coffee and soak up the atmosphere. Photo above is at the turnaround. The descent back to Kawaihea is good fast going and before we knew it we’re back having another “Big Gulp” to ensure full hydration for the final 55km back to Kona. Funny that as we’re ‘gulping’ Rachel turns up … another big fan of the “big gulp”
This is when it really kicks in as the wind had picked up and was largely in our faces. A timely reminder of how hard the final part of the bike course can be. It’s vital to hold something back for this section because if you don’t you can completely detonate (like I did last year).
My legs had a good solid ache by the end. I was impressed again with Mel who the whole way back hung on to our wheels. We weren’t going easy and she was so tenacious (just like yesterdays swim) and stuck with us.
We’d completed 170km of the Ironman route in 5:30 which I was pretty pleased with. Given the recovery from Ironman Wales I felt this ride was pretty important so it was pleasing to get it done and feel strong. Now it’s all about rest and recovery from now till the race.
Rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing before meeting up with Nick for a coffee and for dinner with Roger, Mel and Brett. Another fantastic sunset. Great end of the evening when Pete and Susan (from Christchurch) came by so I had a second beer and had a fun time catching up.
Final task for today is to enter Ironman Wales !!