Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 28, 2012. Waimea to Hapuna, HI. 46 miles.

The top photo is yesterday's elevation profile--you can see that we had quite a climb after lunch, and then a little coast down at the very end of the ride. Today's profile is a bit different. We had a very short coast, then a climb of 6 or 7 miles, then a very long coast down with a few smaller hills at the end.It was a lovely morning to be on a bike! Sunny and bright, chilly enough to start out with a jacket, but VERY windy. There was a cross wind of about 30 MPH with gusts up to 40, according to Kristen who looked it up on her smart phone. We were in what I would call "high desert" when we started out--it was very dry, with little vegetation.

We were in rural areas all day, with cattle farms and horse ranches along our route. We could see the Pacific Ocean off to our left all morning. What a view these cattle have! I would bet that they don't even notice...

After a pretty tough climb, made tougher by the crosswind, we reached the crest at 3564 feet above sea level. The van was parked there for support; some riders had chosen to skip the climb and go straight to the downhill. Linda warned us that the downhill was more dangerous in the crosswind than the climb, but I was not giving up on my ride today!

Here is Dianne just ahead of me on the downhill ride.

At mile 22 we stopped in Hawi, a small town with galleries, cafes and shops. We spent about an hour there, having coffee and snacks, and SHOPPING, always a dangerous thing to do on a bike tour. The van was there to haul our purchases to the hotel.

The terrain had flattened out by the time we left Hawi. It was a lovely ride, and now the Pacific was on our right. We could see Mt. Haleakala on Maui in the distance across the blue expanse of ocean. We stopped a few times to look at the spouting of whales very close to shore. In the 18 miles from Hawi to Kawaihae Dianne and I saw 4 or 5 groups (pods?) of whales. Apparently this is part of their migration route. A couple of times they were close enough that I could see they were orcas. The cuesheet told us to ride 2 miles into Hapuna Beach State Park and then turn on the first paved road to the right--but the first paved road was only about .2 miles into the park. I turned there (and that was correct) but about half of the riders did not, and got some very hilly bonus miles on our last day of riding!
Dianne and I toasted the end of another great bike tour, removed our pedals, and gave our bikes to the leaders. We were both highly impressed with the quality and fit of the bikes we rented from Cycle Station back on the first day in Kailau-Kona. It gave me a whole new attitude toward renting a bike. It was so much like riding my own bike that I sometimes forgot that I wasn't!

We checked into our rooms and I went down to the pool--this resort has a 50-meter pool! I swam 1000 meters and then we went to the beach. I did not swim there since the red flag was up and I'd already swam. The water was clear and warm (we waded), and the beach was beautiful. What a great place to end our tour!We were all invited to Jen's room for a pre-dinner reception at 5:30. Here we are, drinking wine, enjoying hors d'ouvres, and saying farewell.

Jenny, Judy, and Ellen.

Sue, Denise, and Liz.

Ruth Ann and Kristen.

Me, Dianne, Kristen, and Jenny. Natalie and April.

Leaders Laurie and Jen (with the very chic key chain we used for the van all week).Cheryl and Linda.And Linda B, who was fashionably late. Somehow I missed photographing Tina...


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