Spacemen and Kona Hills

So, now, let me back track a little bit to recount yesterday’s activities.  The day started with a somewhat, ok, no, totally weird request from Mike’s coach (who, I should mention, is also a friend of ours) to take a picture of Mike’s backside in a speedo….yeah…..I decided the best place for this rear end photo shoot was probably at the beach and perhaps underwater for that matter.  So we headed to the beach for our morning swim/photoshoot.

Euro photo shoot pic #1

Euro photo shoot pic #2

After our risque photo shoot (I should mention, I did not play a part it–rather it was an awesomely European bonding moment between BDubbs and Ironman Danish offshore a ways….I am not even jealous) we headed back to the condo for some eats and some down time before heading out on our respecitve bike rides for the day.  Rae and I decided to snap some sweet shots of the space men before heading out.

Spacemen prepare for flight

BDubbs putting out the vibe

Ironman Danish….yeah

Ironman Danish and BDubbs had some specific workouts to do, luckily Rae and I did not.  So we headed out on a three hour ride in the Kona hills.  We rode up to 2000ft in pretty much 2 miles (the road, which had a name that sounds like someone saying aloha like 20 times, kicked up to 20% at the end).  The final 20% kick at the top almost killed me as I was rocking a sweet time trailing cassette on Fergie’s loaner wheel–an 11 x 23.  Yeah–that sucked and I almost died of an asthma attack.  Luckily, crisis averted by the trusty inhaler.

We then were in some beautiful rolling hills that overlooked miles and miles of lava fields that run all the way down to the Ocean.

Goats chillin in the lava fields

Regina and Fergie taking in the views

We turned around on our out and back course and had an awesome cruise back towards the Alohaalohaalohamahalo Road for a fun filled descent that began with negative 20% (we were going about 45 mph–way more than 30).  The only thing that made it not that awesome was the shakey front wheel I had going down it.  Turns out Ironman Danish was trying to kill me, when we built our bikes at 2am East Coast time the night we arrived apparently my front break cable got a little frisky and decided to get closed into the stem….yeah, turns out my wobble wasn’t a speed wobble but rather a “your break cable is attached to your stem” wobble.

My “yay I didn’t die” photo op….

After not dying, we headed away from home a little longer on the Queen K to get in some extra time to make our ride a full three hours.  On the way home we collected some serious giveaways and had two opportunities to refill our bottles at a Gu roadside stop and a Island Bike Works roadside stop.  Not bad.  We swung into the Energy Lab for some shots before heading home.

Fergie loading up on some energy at the lab

Rae posing at the Energy Lab next to a sign that we are clearly past that commands no cyclists beyond that sign….oops…

Upon returning home, we stopped in and thanked Planet Sun for their amazing sun protection they provided us with on our ride (and everyday of the year).  I then headed out on my mission to get Fergie leid….she shall have more glam lei shots today.

Fergie leid on lava beach

Upwind Uphill BOTH ways???

Yeah, so, this morning I ventured out to ride the Ironman WC bike course….

what I was getting myself into...

I had heard a great many try geeks out here (including Ironman Danish AND BDubbs) say that this bike course is said to be upwind and uphill BOTH ways….IMPOSSIBLE! I thought, and I really looked at the two of them and assumed they knew better as both are sailors (not like once and while on a cruiser sailors, I mean like pro sailors)….I was actually meeting LeeZ, a fellow MIA cyclist (and owner of Body Zen) to ride the course (minus the loop around town).


While I was getting ready to start MY day, Ironman Danish and BDubbs started their day with an early morning swim “workout.”  I say “workout” because I am not 100% that they were not snorkeling….based on photographic evidence of their “workout” and the expresso boat….hmmmmm

workout or photoshoot? who brings a camera to a workout....hmmmm

the AWESOME Coffee's of Hawaii Expresso Barge

Anyway, back to the bike course. LeeZ and I left Lava Java at 7am sharp.  We headed out on the course right away.  As we got past the airport we both commented that at least we had a headwind on the way out, as most certainly we would have a tail wind home….Anyway, it was not super grueling as we were fresh and had some amusement on the side of the road…there are designated donkey crossings here on Kona…and after seeing one that said “Caution, Donkey Crossing next 2 miles” shortly thereafter was this AWESOME sign:

Donkeys at Play perhaps? I mean, kids with a ball means kids at play....hmmmm

We continued riding after this brief photo op uphill and upwind from where we started.  We stopped at mile 35 to take on some water/gatorade and proceeded on to Hawi–which as it turns out was uphill and upwind from the quicky mart.  By uphill, I mean it was a 12 mile climb at 3% grade average with a 25 knot headwind….yeah, it was awesome!  By the time we got to Hawi, I was pooped.  Half from the actual ride and half from missing so many hours of sleep on our trip here.  I got a smoothie and a coke and was ready to head the 53.53 miles back.

We descended back down to the quicky mart with a tail/stiff cross wind.  At times, my bike actually went past the point of no return, but I was able to save it.  It was pretty gnarly and fun….Towards the bottom of that descent, however, the wind slowly shifted towards on the nose.  We stopped again, got some more gatorade and headed uphill and, yup, upwind home…by the way–the scenery, they make it look much more scenic in race replays…it looks like this for almost all 107 miles…which, coming from Miami is pretty AMAZING the first 53.53, but after headwind turned headwind the only thing you have to check out is how some lava looks different from other lava…and you try NOT to look at the water, as the white caps remind you of the wind…

the scenary

At about mile 90, we hear (and then see) a sweet white chevy impala rollin our way…

yeah, this thing is sweet!

its Ironman Danish and BDubbs!  Yup, they have come to bring us some COLD gatorade and cokes!  Woo hoo!!  Just when I thought those two were doing nothing all day but frolicking in the Pacific…Anyway, that stop actually gave me enough to battle the 17 miles of headwind and hills we had left.  And, it also helped me struggle this smile:

struggling a smile at mile 90

We made it home, and despite the challenging conditions, the fact that it is ACTUALLY uphill and upwind both ways, we managed to average 17mph…not terrible for a training ride.

Now, I will say, several times during this ride, I blurted out “F” bombs, screamed “uphill–really?,” muttered “are we ever going to go downwind”…which leads me to say I am 100% attending the “thank God I’m not racing” party on Friday night…and also leads me to say I am also 100% going to “workout” tomorrow like the other two and hit up the swim up expresso bar….and maybe, just maybe, hit the “underpants run…” lead by our fearless leader–Nelson (Danish’s Bestie who flew out to HI for the occasion)….



It was in fact upwind and uphill both ways…here is a wind graph from the Upolu Airport when I was passing by on way up to Hawi–it was gusting to 33mph!!!  Urgh!!!