Editor M’s first-time participation, what to do?
“Inexperienced rider at the Honolulu Century Ride 2023”
#Bonus Episode / An Accident as Expected.
A newcomer participating in the Honolulu Century Ride 2023.
It wasn’t just one accident.
According to Heinrich’s Law (1:29:300),
several accidents fitting the 29 and 300 categories were experienced.
I’m grateful for completing the ride safely, but
I want to remember that I was just a ride novice
until I finished the ride.
During the ride, every time I met the camera crew,
I was asked, “Are you okay?” and “How are you?”
Checking myself as I was in the stage before “Do your best” stage, haha.
And there’s a good reason for that…
🚲Fell right after the start.
As expected. Furthermore, I started in the super front rows, about 10 rows from the front. The reason I fell was because the event organizer waved at me, and as I tried to look back, I let go of the handlebars and lost my balance. So typical! And embarrassing! To make it even worse, I almost fell onto a person pushing a stroller, causing a big commotion from the start… 😢
*YUSUKE-san, I’m sorry.
And KENTARO-san, thank you for your help at the aid station on the way.
🚲My sunglasses blew away.
During the ride, various things happened, and I accidentally blew my sunglasses that were attached to my helmet (these were quite handy) backward. I sensed more bikers approaching from behind. I had neither the skill nor the composure to make a U-turn to retrieve them. I felt that attempting it might result in another fall. So, I decided to let it go and focus on moving forward.
🚲I got a flat tire on my bike.
The climax of the events. However, this unexpectedly turned out to be a valuable experience.
Around the last aid station, the side road was very bumpy. My unpleasant hunch came true. I felt a different riding experience than before, and when I checked it hesitantly, the rear wheel was wobbling. Of course, being a novice road bike rider, I had no idea how to repair a flat tire.
I was told that “When you get a flat tire, someone will definitely help you out,” and “If you just wait with a troubled expression, you’ll be fine.” These were the only pieces of advice I had, but my face was probably not just troubled, but also rather fierce, and time-wise and personality-wise, I couldn’t wait. There were probably about 40 minutes left until the finish gate closed, with just under 15 km to go. Thinking logically, that should have been plenty of time, but I had heard stories from experienced riders about flat tire repairs taking 40 minutes.
I needed to hurry, or the gate would close!
I immediately called out to a group of 4-5 Japanese riders who were coming from behind.
“Excuse me!!! I’ve got a flat tire. Is there anyone who can help me with the repair?”
While they looked a bit surprised, two of them (strictly speaking, one) offered to fix it. I’ll never forget your kindness, I thought while watching them from the side, and they seemed to be struggling a bit. Just as I was starting to worry, a rider came back at high speed from the front.
“What happened? How can I help?”
The rider talked to two people who were working on the puncture repair beyond me. The rider rapidly replaced the inner tube and reattached the wheel.
I thought it was Kāne-roa, the highest-ranking god in Polynesian islands.
Upon inquiring, it turned out that this rider was the owner of a specialized sports bicycle shop. For this event, the rider was riding as a tour accompanying mechanic from Japan. The quick and skilled work made sense. The rider had noticed this because the two people who had repaired my bike earlier were participants in the tour.
So kind… What a lucky encounter. This is what they call beginners’ luck.
In the end, despite the 15-minute delay caused by this puncture incident, I was able to finish within the time limit, all thanks to the help I received. I reached the 80 km point with an average speed of just under 18 km/h.
In my previous post, I wrote “#7 – Finished safely,” but I couldn’t have done it alone.
I may not want to sound self-important as a beginner, but I think riding is like life. Falling at the start or blowing away sunglasses, I was actually overwhelmed by that until about 20 miles. I’m not good at switching and my tendency to be sensitive comes out in riding. Maybe I prefer riding alone, but I thought that fan rides create the joy and fun of not being alone. Above all, the kindness of the riders after the last accident was deeply felt. Better a neighbor that is near than a brother far off… (this is also life).
Fun Ride🚲 and Hawaii🌈
I hope to meet again.
Text_ Mayumi Kamura
I’m a Global Ride editor. My expertise lies in visual expressions like design, art, fashion, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted me to focus on my physical and mental health. I started playing tennis and resumed taking contemporary dance lessons. Considering that bicycle-related accessories often boast high design quality, I have a feeling I might become a fan during this experience.