Sunday, 22 September 2013
The planning was long and drawn out for this ride. As the week progressed and the weather forecasts deteriorated, the committed participants steady dwindled down to Ckucke, Root, and myself. We were nonetheless enthusiastic, and with cool, breezy conditions, took on the leg-burning, lung-busting, constitution-breaking climb up Government Road and into tail end of Demon trail up to the melaleuca grove. There was a lot of weed growth along Demon toward the lowest extent. The dark places were damp and the water crossings were running slightly, but the general conditions were dry and grippy. There had been some hard rainsqualls early in the mornings for several days preceding the ride, but there were no issues with mud. There was, however, and issue with fallen guavas. With the hot conditions all summer, we may have encountered the second fruiting season. Ckucke was happy to find some ripe mountain apples. He was limited to grabbing what he could reach on the lower branches, but the trees were loaded with fruit higher up. Too bad there wasn’t any bamboo within easy distance.
Along the climb up Government Road, Ckucke stopped as something green crawled across his line. It was a wayward male Jackson’s Chameleon. He scrabbled across the road and at a speed that qualified as chameleon-fast, climbed up into the koa haole bushes to get away from us. That wasn’t the only critter we saw – there was a giant rat at the end of the road, but it was dead – quite freshly dead, as the swarming ants had only just gotten into his eyes, and the first carrion flies didn’t find him stinky enough to identify as maggot food, so flew off without laying eggs.
Ckucke was commenting that all the riders we encountered that morning were somewhat cold. The horse people and pedestrians were all happy and friendly. Maybe biking just sucks? There were two dudes who we kept encountering along the trail who were cold at first, but opened up more and more each time we passed them or they passed us. They could also not have known what we were all about. Just as we were heading back out from the furthest extent of our ride, down the trail came Chip from the formitive Oahu MTB days. He had ridden over the Pali and done the trail all the way, then was going to ride back to town UP the Pali! Some things never change.
(bike computer was offline, so there was only GPS data. GPS batteries died about half a kilometer from the trailhead, so some data is approximate)
D = 8.5km (5.3-miles), Vavr = 5.6 km/h (3.5-mph), Vmax = 22.3 km/h (13.9-mph), T = 1-hour, 35-minutes (total trail time about three and a half hours); Ascent/descent = 232m (min 79m, max 311m)