When Particia Johnson moved to Honolulu from San Jose, California a few years back, she couldn’t find a recreational cycling club for women like her. Through the introduction of mutual friends, Patricia met Pattie Dunn. The two women hit it off and decided to start a club of their own, and so the Red Hot Ladies Cycling Club was born.
Initially intended for women over 50, the group today (4 years and going strong) has no official age limit, and gentlemen are welcome along for the rides as well. Pattie Dunn is emphatic that the group welcomes riders of all ages and abilities. “Any age is a good age to be riding,” she says.
The Red Hot Ladies ride in 3 different groups: “Cruisers” is for beginners and ladies getting back on the bike after a break; “Coasters” go at a moderate pace and distance; and “Chargers” ride at a faster pace and train for long distances. The Red Hot Ladies are organized under the umbrella of the Hawaii Bicycling League and run group rides typically on Sunday mornings throughout the year; twice a year, Tuesday and Thursday evening training rides are added in preparation a few months before the Haleiwa Metric Century Ride in April and the Honolulu Century Ride in September.
In addition to these regular rides, group members will also travel for cycle touring. Patricia Johnson rode the last week of the Tour ‘d France in the Pyrenees with TrekTravel last year. “It was definitely a Bucket List experience for me!” she says. 7 RHL members rode the IT&B Hana Ride on Maui, August 19-22. 2 other members, Dr. Jan Smolec and retired Col. Karen Helmeyer, were planning to tour Glacier National Park with WomenTours. It’s clear the ladies have an appetite for cycling whether it’s on the islands or off!
Hnlbike caught up with the Chargers on September 4 when they were planning to ride a 70-mile loop. Most of the group was training in preparation of the upcoming Honolulu Century Ride.
As the group began the long acscent up Tantalus, you could still see full smiles amid their heavier breathing. One of the members, Kelly, who is a breast cancer survivor rode throughout her treatment. She credits cycling as an aid in her recovery, “..the pedals sure slowed down,” she recounts, “…but they kept on turning. The bicycle is a powerful vehicle.”
If you happen to be a participant or spectator of the Honolulu Century Ride in 2 weeks, watch out for those fiery Red Hot Ladies! Visit the HBL Calendar for information on Red Hot Ladies Rides or contact them directly.
Red Hot Ladies Ride Leaders – Patricia Johnson & Pattie Dunn
Patricia 808.988.4633 patriciagj_at_aol.
Pattie 808.232.4536 pdunn_at_hawaii.ed