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Aloha two-wheeled commuters… Just a reminder to all those reading from the mainland, Japan, and Hawaii that the annual Honolulu Century Ride is on our tails! The ride is coming up at butt-crack of dawn next Sunday, September 25, 2011 (butt-crack = 5:45am for open ceremonies). With over 2000 riders each year, 30 HBL friendship ride leaders, and a buttload of volunteers (that’s right, I said it. Buttload.) the HBL century ride is equivalent to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for cyclists on Oahu. Okay, maybe a really really long parade and without balloons.
The route stretches from Kapiolani Park all the way to Chinaman’s Hat on the windward side and back. Turn around points are at 20, 25, 50, 75, and 100-mile markers; it’s really a ride for everyone! I’ll be volunteering putting up and taking down signage for the ride in my BikeCommuters.com tee shirt, so come say “hi” if your in HI for the ride.
I might add that this is a COMICAL parade of bicycling awesomeness ranging from insane riders from Japan – about half of the riders fly in from Japan just for this course – which results in some crazy cycling outfits. Last year I saw dude dressed up as the jolly green giant and a woman wearing a jersey and a skort printed to look like denim. Kids and families come out for the ride too since it is a very safe and fun day to ride for everyone. I saw a family on a five person tandem (what the heck is that called anyway, a five-dem?) bike. The smallest kid was such a peanut that it looked like there were only four on the bike with an empty seat! There were teams from Texas, Nebraska, Idaho – you name it. My comical event last year included throwing up HEED out of my nose and mouth… Heat stroke took me down YET AGAIN since – apparently – I am incapable of riding any significant distance past 11:30am in Honolulu. AND it was overcast…sigh. I made it to 90-mile turnaround point (we made this one up since I wasn’t about to make it to 100) and considered that enough puking for the day.
Also, to note: the Zach Manago Ride in Paradise resulted in tons of camaraderie with first names written on the back of all rider bib number thingies… you could shout out to people and chat on the ride, or let people know if you were passing. (During the Honolulu Century Ride, listen up for the Japanese riders “on your Reft” …so cute!) HBL has recruited 30 volunteer riders to act as friendship leaders, to encourage groups to ride together and regroup at each rest stop. The idea is to promote “bike-friendly Hawaii” as Zach Manago’s dream. Maybe everyone will swap emails at the end – you could meet your future ex-spouse or next best friend on the ride. I have made friends commuting before, but that’s more of a regular sightings than one-off event.
I’ve never done one of these anywhere else, but I can say that despite the cluster-eff at the beginning of the race (still dark outside with 2000 peeps and 4000 wheels, that’s a lot of wheels) – the ride is funtastic with awesome views. Even if I’m just proving to myself that I don’t need a car to make it to the other side of the island: as long as I have my bike, a lot of water, and commiserating friends! I know several cities offer some type of century ride, any other BikeCommuters readers hit the saddle for that long? Thumbs-up or Thumbs-down to riding with 2000+people? Hit us up in the COMMENTS. Catch you later, cycle gators!