Day 1

11pm! Time to write a thing! A windy 55 miles today. Very exhausted so I'll keep it to the facts:
-woke up and had an awesome buffet breakfast, packed up, stored my bike box and suitcase (key play, thanks hotel!), checked out, got rolling about 9:30. Hotel:

-had to run shamefully to Walmart for a gopro mount (I forgot mine, also shamefully). Then rented snorkel gear!
-winds were relentless today, direct headwind nonstop. Turned an easy day into a hard day.
-biked through lava fields - super dry, very few plants, NO big trees, smooth but loud and highly trafficked highway shoulder. Kinda was like the moon meets the desert meets northern Africa.

-gradually turned a little more tropical
-stopped to snorkel. Let down a little. My gopro (it's waterproof!) battery died immediately. Probably because of the time lapse from yesterday. Very few fish, a little murky water. Also, my legs cramped up HORRIBLY in the backs of both of my knees simultaneously and left me temporarily unable to swim, rolling around in the water and groaning through my snorkel, which probably looked hilarious to the countless tourist families!
-a much needed pick-me-up: getting passed by/riding side-by-side with a convoy of 6 US Army APCs at 35mph on a descent into a valley. They were RIGHT next to me. Everyone thumbs-upped. Really awesome.
-It got prettier and traffic decreased significantly as I went further north. I even got a good 5 mile stretch with no wind! After which, of course, was very windy and shifted between "directly in my face" and "trying to knock me off of my bike from the west".
-I pulled into a campsite, Mahukona Beach Park, right as the sun was setting at 6:30. I instantly started talking with a super friendly and helpful middle aged guy named Van who spends 3 months of every year over here (in winter) and most of it at this site. He assured me I'd have no problems with the state park "authorities" (since I didn't buy a permit) and gave me the lay of the land. I set up my tent about 30 ft from the water, sorted through my pack for things, cooked dinner, and hung out with Van awhile. He was really nice to let me have some of his water and use his camp stove so I wouldn't have to set up mine. I made pasta mixed with a chicken and broccoli "rice side" - those little single-serving packets. Actually turned out pretty well! I also still have part of a giant loaf of sourdough from San Fran. Mmmmm. Weird part of the campsite: there are over 150 feral cats living in the wooded area that starts 50 ft away from the beach of where my tent is. They didn't bother me at all, but it was funny to see all of these little silhouettes skittering around in the night. I caught two kittens creeping around my tent and watched them run and hide in the rocks. Pretty cute, actually.

-I'm up at 6 finishing this post now. Fell asleep last night around 11:15, was SUPER tired. Stars out here are INCREDIBLE. Totally clear out and no light pollution anywhere. I slept without my sleeping bag and with my rain fly open to try to get a breeze. It's been around 60 all night. Couldn't have asked for a better campsite!
Today (Tues) I've got a huuuuuuge ascent up through the rest of this northernmost "thumb"-loop and into waimea. Should be a short day mileage-wise (around 32 without detours) but I'm going up about 4000 ft. YIKES. It should be super beautiful as I pass over a series of rivers and canyons. Hoping to stop and hike down into one to a beach at polulu valley, highly recommended by Dan and a random guy I met at a scenic overlook yesterday.

6:20am, getting light it now so it's time to get rolling!

Today's stats:
Distance: 56.13 mi
Time: 4 hours 15 mins
Avg speed: 13.19mph
Max speed: 32.71mph


  1. This bike trip sounds amazing! Glad the cats didn't attack you during the night. Have you tried any saimin (Hawaiian noodle soup) yet? Hope you have rewarding sites at the end of your long rides!

  2. Hey Mike! Sounds wonderful, hard too! Hope you're having a great time. Hope you remember me, we hang out at the border of NSW/Victoria in Aus and enjoyed a lovely meal together ;) All the best!