Monday, May 14, 2012

Ironman Kona Ride - One Way

On Hwy 270 headed down from Hawi. Beautiful, windy HELL.
Saturday's ride was pretty awesome! I did the Kona Ironman bike route (one way only though). I left Hawi early in the morning before everyone else was up. The plan was that hopefully we could time things right, and they would drive down a bit later (in both cars) and meet me in Kona, where I would throw my bike in the 4-Runner. Then we would continue on to south Kona to sailyak to the Captain Cook Monument for some epic snorkeling     (and I could get in a swim.)

The ride started out fine, but quickly the wind picked up and things became hairy. I have decided I hate hwy 270. Here you have this killer downhill that looks like you could just fly down at ridiculous speeds, but no, not if you are in favor of having skin! The cross winds were so strong that I could barely stay upright, and sudden powerful gusts threatened loss of control, so I was forced to govern my speed. Phooey. I think I averaged about 19 mph on that section. What crap.

At the bottom of the hill there is a gas station. I had planned to refill my water bottle there and grab something more to eat, but when I went to get my credit*%#*! Oh boy, now I had a problem! I was totally out of water, and I only had a few chews left! I called my brother and told him of my plight. I asked him to please bring me my card when they meet me in Kona. At that point, I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but I tend to be pretty resourceful. Going back up would have been worse, so I decided I had to push forward.

I knew that there was a Starbucks at Queens Market Place in Waikoloa Village, and that was only 11 miles away, and Starbucks is always awesome about filling up water bottles. That made me feel a bit better. 7 miles in however, I happened to pass a fire station! What luck! I pulled over and asked one of the firemen for some water and he kindly let me borrow a hose. After I said my thank yous, I was off again, and feeling much better. I had solved one problem, but I still had another problem, and it was fairly serious. I was going to run our of fuel, and fast.

That's when I had my brilliant idea! Starbucks was only 4 miles away at that point, and there are a few things you can always count on Starbuck for: 1. free water bottle fill-ups, 2. the use of their reasonable clean restrooms, and 3. their customer service. Since I had water, and I knew this particular store didn't have a restroom (heh), I was going to put their customer service to the test; I was going to ask them to take my credit card number over the phone from my brother!

Well, I must say that Starbucks was on their A-game that day, because the lady at the counter didn't even hesitate when I bashfully explained my stupid situation. What a life saver she was! I took a few minutes to eat and drink and then I was off again, into the now strong, relentless headwind. I was glad though, I'll take a headwind over a cross wind any day, and besides, I was refueled!

When I was only a few miles out from Kailua Kona, I heard some wild honking; it was the family! My brother, my nephews, and one of my sons in his truck, and my sister in law and my other son in the 4-Runner. They all pulled over so the kids could say "hi," and I could re-sunscreen. I was happy to do so too, because it was scorching out, there was zero shade, and I could feel just the slightest sting of a burn starting on my low back.

We met up again in town a few miles down the road, so I did not complete the last couple miles of the (one way) Ironman course. I can live with that though, considering I've done the route before. I don't think 53.5 out of 56 miles is too shabby. lol I did really enjoy the ride too.


  1. That's great stuff on a windy course, you'll feel super fit when you get back and its all calm again. Finally got back out on my bike!, but I seriously sucked. Grumble grumble!

    1. Sucked?? I seriously doubt that. What gives?

  2. All I can say is "whoo hoo!" Glad to hear about the kindness of Starbucks. I didn't know about the free water thing.

    (Okay, I guess that was more than "whoo hoo". But still, WHOO HOO!)