Sixty Two Miles of Heck: the Haleiwa Metric Century

No, it wasn’t hell. It was quite short of it, but it was still pretty tough.

That makes it more like sixty two miles of heck.

The Hale’iwa Metric Century started on Sunday morning at 7:30 am in, of course, Hale’iwa, which is on the north shore of O’ahu and far from me. I got up at 4 am and was there around 6:30; met up with my Twitter buddies @Lavagal and @AlohaJohn (and later @FATJEFF); hit the start line at 7, was out the chute about 7:35 am and headed out to Ka’a’awa.

This 62 mile course is mostly flat, with a couple of long but not steep climbs along the way. However, it felt like I was going through molasses for the first half of the ride. My hope was to complete the ride in four hours, but I got to the halfway point two hours and 13 minutes in, and I considered my hopes dashed. The issue seemed to be more wind than anything else, and I couldn’t find a group to ride with that was consistently my speed (whether this is their issue or mine I don’t know).

Things turned around, ironically, at the turnaround.

For the first half of the course it felt like I was barely averaging 13 miles per hour (realistically, given the time, I was actually a hair over 14 miles per hour). To finish the course in under four hours I needed an average speed over 15 mph and I thought it would take a miracle for that to happen.

If that was really the case, a miracle happened.

The return was much faster–exceptionally so. The wind was at my back and I was stronger than I thought I would be. In fact, I was so much stronger that until the finish I was passing people more often than being passed. When I got through the finish line, my watch read the magic time: 11:29–I figure I probably shaved a total of four minutes off of that because I didn’t actually get out of the starting chute until at least 7:33 am and I didn’t immediately grab my phone out of my pocket to check the time, so my belief is that my total time was actually three hours and fifty five minutes for a 62 mile course.

That would work out to an average speed of 15.8 miles per hour for the entire course–meaning I averaged 17.4 on the way back! That’s way faster than I would have expected.

In retrospect, I have to say that this was the best large group ride I have ever done. So it’s a lot less than hell, and maybe even less than heck. Thanks to everyone who participated!
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This entry was posted on Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 10:30 am and is filed under Bicycling, Organized events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Sixty Two Miles of Heck: the Haleiwa Metric Century”

  1. Carnival of New Blog Arrivals! Says:

    […] Suenaga tells us about his Sixty Two Miles of Heck: the Haleiwa Metric Century posted at The Athletic Diabetic.  You know, Ryan, that’s a round trip from Nu’uanu to […]

  2. Evelyn Says:

    That sounds like such a long journey but it also sounds like fun! Um, what was your recovery time like after the race was over? Just wondering. 🙂

    The thought of getting a bike has entered my mind more and more recently!

  3. ryan Says:


    One of the best things about cycling versus running (for instance) although swimming is even better is that it’s very easy on the joints. I’ve had 100 mile rides I’ve not done all that well with but been able to go back to work the next day with nothing but a little soreness (at least the next day). The same day as the metric century I was at the Geek Meet at Ala Moana Park with no ill effects, and back at work the next week.

    But of course, it’s not the full century, just 62 miles.