Guy with the Bike

Richard Ha writes:

Mike Tanabe emailed yesterday after he read the blog. He is a professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Agriculture. More than ten years ago I audited his tissue culture class and, with his help, made a commercial tissue culture lab to produce banana plants. 
 
Mike is also an elite master mountain bike racer. He is not your average weekend warrior. He is an inspiration and role model for bikers half his age. He and I put on mountain bike races 10 years or so ago. I even entered several novice races back then.  
 
Mike wrote that I was becoming recognized as the guy with the shorts, which represents the casual and comfortable attitude that Hawaii is known for. Now, with all the concern about global warming and energy supply, he said, how about being identified with a bike as well as short pants? I hadn’t given that a thought. 
 
I thought to myself, I am 61 years old now and way overweight. I can’t do this.

He went on: You could be identified as the guy with the bike who cares about his health, and a person like this might be perceived as one who produces healthy food products and cares for the health of the earth, using less petroleum products and hence producing less harmful emissions, etc. This could be two-pronged in that it could serve as a marketing tool but also, you may be coerced to start riding again and the result would be an excellent supplement to your weight training program, he said. I had seen him at the airport a few days ago and we caught up with each other’s training programs. 
 
Imagine, he said, photos of you next to your banana plants, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, watercress, herbs, etc. with a bike. Even when receiving awards. Perhaps even from the President of the U.S. who has been very open about his passion for riding mountain bikes. Hmmmm!!! I wouldn’t have to wear long pants. 
 
But then again, Mike probably really just wants to get the President to accompany him and the boys on the Friday Kulani Trails ride. Less than ten of the most hardcore mountain bike riders do this ride. I’ve tried to keep up and I saw them for a few minutes and lost them for the rest of the day. I’ve even tried to start mid-way. 
 
I wonder what those trails look like nowadays? 

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