Curious about windward side -> Honolulu side commute
I've not ridden bikes since I was much younger, and am looking to get started again. Ideally, I'd like to cut out the car ride to town (I live in Kaneohe near MCBH) and make the commute via bike. I'm not really sure if this is possible. It's about 15 miles into town from my home, my home is at sea level or just above it, and I believe the highest point (mid-point or so) is 1500-2000 feet. In other words, a pretty good incline. I realize it'll take a lot of work to get myself to that kind of fitness level (just quit smoking as a start.)
So, do you think this is possible? Assuming I continue getting myself into shape and "build up" to it? I'm also doing weight lifting 4 times a week, and I've started eating a LOT more healthily. I'm eating fruit in the mornings, salads for lunch (with chicken and Italian dressing), and chicken for dinner. It's really hard to fit in a few more meals in the day, I can't take food with me to work in the morning (I ride the bus to save on gas costs and it doesn't allow food even in containers - seems the morning bus I attempt to catch is run by a super anal driver.) I figure if I can make the cycle ride though, I'll be able to bring along some food.
Another thing, for the average "decent" cyclist, what would be the time on a 15 mile journey with the climb/descent I mentioned? Right now, it takes an hour because of traffic to make the commute. I don't know if I can wake up any earlier than I do now (5am)!
I would, of course, be purchasing a good road bike, I've got an older mountain bike but I'm sure it's not the corrct size and probably not the optimal choice for such a trip! Suggestions always welcome (especially concerning local shops that aren't a ripoff like most places in Hawaii - I'll order online if I can't find a decent shop around here.)
Well, thanks very much for any input/suggestions/advice, I really do appreciate it!