Day 2: 171 mile ride from Volcano National Park to Hawi.
Day 2 was a cold start after a night at a B & B in the rainforest. It was a really cool spot that would be fun to go back to for a really chill vacation. Up around 4,200ft, at 6:30am, it was pretty chilly, just below 50 degrees and pretty wet.
|Sweatshirt, snow jacket & typing the 1st tweet of the Day on HBs crackberry|
So we took a little detour that allowed for a cool stop in Volcano Tree National Park. This place was awesome. I felt like I was on the set of Lost.
After meeting back up with Hillary we basically continued the same thing as the day before, leap frogging her in about 30min gaps. Of course we had more than a few fumbles, and instances where Hillary would inevitably call out for something we didn't have in hand, forcing a frantic rush back to the car and a quick re-do.
|Coming thru Hilo with Shanna|
|On the road out of Hilo|
|Climbing out of one of the gorges|
|Cat like reflexes|
Shortly after the wheel change at about 120 miles in, HB started to come back around. Much to our joy she started asking for food! She even cracked a smile. Coming into Waimea things were really beginning to look up. Which was fitting since the last big climb of the day began about 150mi into the ride and forced the competitors to climb up and over the Kohala Mtn. range before descending down into Hawi. It was a LONG day, but thank Sweet Baby Jeebsus that HB started coming around at this point. She was climbing very well and even smiling and talking to us at roadside stops to cheer. It was almost as beautiful a sight as the views from up there.
|Hawaii is incredible|
I don't think I have ever seen a person as ready and willing to never see her bike again as Hillary was after this stage. When she dismounted (pardon me for this HB) she was walking like a 90yr old woman with severely arthritic hips. It wasn't pretty. But after a shower and a massage... well it still wasn't pretty but she was looking better. I would be lying if at this point I wasn't genuinely concerned about Hillary's well being, and wondered to myself if she was going to be able to make it through the run. Actually, I should elaborate on that. I was pretty much 99.9% sure that Hillary would keep pressing on through the run no matter the circumstance or consequence. But that is exactly what I was concerned about. I felt it was somewhat of my responsibility as a crew member to be concerned foremost with her safety in both the short and long term. The absolute last thing I wanted to come of this event was some sort of injury/physical debilitation that would have negative impact on her racing career going forward. I felt it was part of our responsibility as crew to do our best to ensure that didn't happen. And knowing Hillary, I was well aware that we would have quite a fight on our hands if we had to step in and tell her it was time to quit. Luckily we had the "Good Doctor" Michael on the crew. I figured he could provide some sort of empirical (at least to Hillary) evidence in support of our decision should it come to that. That night I lay in dread of that event coming to pass.