it was a good night’s sleep. waking on time is easy now, but your body doesn’t really wake up until you’re pedaling. after a quick breakfast and filling of the water bottles it was time to move.
the first few miles weren’t bad. it was going to be a long day of climbing for us though. we only had the opportunity to fill the water bottles before we left and about six miles in at pahala. after that, there wasn’t any water. when i say there wasn’t any water, that also means there aren’t any houses. you couldn’t stop and find a hose somewhere. no water at all after six miles. the convenience store that we stopped at got a bit of business. we purchased four 50 oz bottles, two gatorades and a few other things. our bottles were almost on empty when we reached the store, so most of it went to refill those. a few other cyclists from the tour passed the convenience store to head to the grocery store that was just past it.
on the way out of pahala, we saw a few more cyclists from the tour that were resting and waiting for the others that had passed us towards the grocery store. there were a few people that didn’t stop because of their larger water surplus they were carrying. from there it was only about 24 more miles.
pahala was a change in weather for us as well. there was a tailwind and tropical humidity and heat up until then. after pahala there was a headwind and dry heat. the headwind was the only thing to keep us cool in the climb. we stopped every few miles to get a drink and catch our breath. the climb was becoming trying on us with the combination of the heat and wind.
the day before was sera’s first day riding more than 45 miles. this would be another achievement for her, climbing up to 4000 feet from sea level. we stopped at the hawaii volcanoes national park entrance sign to have lunch. another cyclist was there resting when we arrived. he had let us know that one other was ahead of him. when they were both there resting, they had saw one from our group ride by in the back of a pickup truck. we rested for about twenty minutes while eating lunch and rehydrating. this wasn’t near the end of the day. this was only 17 miles in. thirteen more miles to go.
about ten miles from the destination, we stopped to rest. i had laid out on the side of the road. there was a slight sprinkle, more of a mist that was very welcoming after the dry heat we had just endured. we still had about 40 ounces of water left between the two of us, so it appeared we had got just the right amount. the higher we climbed, the more the rain picked up. seven miles away and it started pouring. the heat was gone, and the headwind was still there. one of the tour leaders was pacing with us, leapfrogging with alternating stops. it was great to have someone to help motivating us to keep moving. the three of us were getting exhausted from the day and it was just barely past noon.
the last few miles seemed to stretch forever. the road we had been on all day barely curved. you could see for miles in both directions. the final curve was what we were waiting for. this meant that there was only a few miles left and the actual entrance to the park. what we didn’t expect was that there was a slight downhill that carried us those last few miles in the rain.
black sand beach/punalu’u beach in the morning.
sera & jaik at the nps entrance for hawaii volcanoes national park.
showing off that red sunburned nose.