Xmas Folly?

It’s a holiday, everyone is occupied with one or another thing, our rides earlier in the week got rained out, so after lunch I hopped on the Yeti for a spin. I packed the medium photo gear and tripod and headed out to my usual area between Hanauma Bay and Lanai Lookout. Bay was closed. Sat on the flat rock I usually do and hung out. Winds were trades and was blowing briskly over the point. Waves weren’t very big, but the winds were kicking up some chop. Conditions weren’t as good as the past couple times for spotting whales, and I didn’t see anything. Got on the bike, rode through the glass field down the ridge toward the mouth of the bay. I did spot a kame-chan popping it’s little head out of the water near the rock face below. By the time I got the camera out it had disappeared underwater. Oh well.

Got back on the bike and started the uphill grind. As I pushed the granny gear, which I’m glad I still have, I came across two hikers who were heading down. Stopped to chat and asked if I knew were the “famous” rock bridge was. I actually only became aware of this within the past couple months when I was forwarded web link that showed pictures of it. I told them I didn’t know where it was, but from the pictures I’ve seen told them it’s probably beyond the point on the opposite side of Hanauama Bay.

Continued up and then picked my way through the rocks and funky formations toward Lanai Lookout. Some trialsing territory, the Yeti did great when it was downhill, but trying to climb up and over various shelfs would repeatedly encounter pedal strikes. Climbed back to Kal Hwy to avoid little valley. On foot it is negotiable, on bike it plain sucks trying to go through the little gorge. Came out across from the shooting range and zipped down the road to the lookout.

Spent a bunch more time looking, but didn’t see a single sign of whales. The lookout was pretty busy, telling of the times where Japanese tourists were the minority now. There was more Korean and Chinese. Eventually gave up and backtracked my way through the rocks. I suppose with the bay closed could have gone through the parking, but I didn’t want to tempt the kiawe thorn fate. Took the road back and turned onto the closed rear exit to Koko Head Park.

The Koko Crater “Stairs” trail was as busy as expected. In recent times I’ve seen a trail paralleling the tracks become prominent and heard rumours from someone at the shooting range that mountain bikers were riding it. I’d heard back when the new BMX jumps were being built that guys on bikes were making a side trail with jumps but that it was discontinued when parks officials told them it was too exposed to the range. I don’t know if this is a part of that, but it’s a real obvious trail now. Since the range was closed and I still had more than hour before sunset, I decided to check it out.

The trail from the paved road has lots of tall grass obscuring it now, but once you push through that I found the trail and it was quite clear. This first part was rideable but quickly overcame my capacity and gearing. Even walking it was a grind, but at least I could push the bike. It wasn’t like the weird lopsided stairclimb of hell that the tram tracks are.

I figured I would keep going until either it got unrideable (downhill), I got too pooped, or I ran out of time. After the initial wide dirt trail, it became narrow and more rocky. The plants started to close in but the trail was still clear and looked rideable. I pushed on and it occasionally found a small clearing.

Was actually getting pretty close to the top when I hit this. Branches at perfect clothesline height. I took a look further on foot and it seemed ok, but I was calling it here. It was getting really steep so stopping to dismount would not be smooth. It didn’t look like pushing further would be worth it.

Turned the bike around, mounted up, and set off on the adventure. Ugh. Steep, technical, thankfully no big drops. But honestly on the brakes constantly and picking way down there was no flow. Only when I reached the smooth dirt  could you let go some and enjoy the downhill. Honestly it’s not worth the uphill slog. I know there’s the saying of earning your turns, but in this case I was feeling pretty ripped off.

Well, I can say I did it, and it’s doable, although I didn’t go all the way to the top. Would have been amusing to see peoples reaction to the bicycle, but it wasn’t worth it.

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