Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Black Friday

Instead of waking up before dawn and waiting in a line to grab some deals, I woke up at 10, had some breakfast, lounged around for a while, and then went for a bike ride. I decided to check out the "waterfront" area. I checked out some piers where some fishing boats come in and where the fish auction is held. The area was pretty quiet, due to most of the people being off that day. I started off at Kakaako Park (the first two pictures) and then headed west towards the piers. I stopped off at Aloha Tower Marketplace where a huge cruise ship called the Golden Princess and some kind of Japanese ship had docked. Snapped a couple pics of Honolulu harbor. You can see the docks where a lot, and I mean A LOT of our resources come in. I wish I could have gotten a closer look, but safety and security reasons prohibited me from doing so. Headed down a little more to visit the "fishing" section, then u-turned it back toward the park. A short ride, but a fun one. Saw some cool things, got some new ideas, and didn't have to fight crowds or lines.

Honolulu and Diamond Head from the end of Kakaako Park

The Golden Princess cruise ship

Honolulu Harbor

Aloha Tower

The Fire Boat

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Got back late Sunday night from St. Louis, MO for a classmate's wedding over the weekend. Nothing like a mini reunion with some close classmates and friends and meeting new ones. It was nice to be back in the midwest to see and feel "Fall." The leaves and the chilly air (temps were in the 40s/50s). Anheuser-Busch tour and two free beers was definitely one of the highlights.

The Arch...

Gonna try to get back on the saddle before devouring turkey tomorrow. North shore had a massive swell roll in today, but it may taper off. I may head up North this weekend for a ride on the trail that parallels some world class surfing to bring you some pics and vids. Here are a couple pics from Alii (Ah-lee-ee) beach in Haleiwa (Ha-lay-ee-vah) courtesy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekend-O-Fun (and many more to come)

The weekend started on Friday the 13th with a hike up Diamond head crater, a short bike ride around the end of Waikiki, and another bike ride later that afternoon with fellow "fixators." Saturday was a day off, and topped off Sunday with a "solo mish" (solo mission) through waikiki with my first flat (with the bike) on the way back. Check it...

Diamond Head crater is a dormant volcano located at the South Eastern part of the island. It is a state monument and commonly recognizable landmark. It's named Diamond Head because early British sailors mistook crystals in the soil as diamonds. There is a trail that is about .75 miles from the bottom of the crater to the rim of the crater which takes 1.5-2 hours on average to traverse. During WWII bunkers were built into the south facing side of the crater. These bunkers were used as look-out posts and gunner stations. Check out the pictures to see the layout within the crater's side and the views.

I haven't been back to Diamond Head probably since I was in elementary school! The state had made a lot of improvements over the years to ease access to and from the crater rim. I was glad to see many tourists making the trek to the top. Young, old, in designer jeans, shorts, t-shirt, slippers (flip flops), dresses, and skirts made it to the top and back down. Total round trip was about 1.5 hours. I hung out at the top for about 30 mins to take in the view and shoot a 360 degree view for you folks to see what it looks like at the top of the crater...

Trail Head


Switchbacks leading to the top

Closer view of the switchbacks

Stairs, stairs, stairs

View to the East. Foreground is the inside of the crater.

The Elev. at the top of the stairs

Spiral staircase that leads to the next picture.



The inner workings of Diamond Head

"You are here" Orient yourself.

View to the West

View to the North

Something special was waiting so patiently for me at the bottom.

Queen Kapiolani Statue at Kapiolani Park

Now here is the most exciting part of the weekend. On Friday evening I met up with three guys I met through AlohaFixed, a forum for riders here in Hawaii. I warned these guys I'm a beginner: track stand tally=0, still running front brake, and skid skills=none. I had hiked diamond head earlier and my legs were a little tired, but I wanted to meet up with the guys and ride. The turn out for the 5:30 pm ride was 4 including me. Seth, Sau, Michael, and myself. We met up at a grocery store parking lot, introduced myself to the three others, talked about our bikes, and headed out. It would be my first experience riding on the street with traffic. I trusted these guys I was riding with and they helped me out a lot with pointers, didn't leave me in the dust, and just wanted to show me a good time on two wheels. We weaved through traffic (cautiously, not recklessly), I got my first "honk" of anger to get on the side, f-word, s-word, and everything in between from another guy. They prepped me on mashing down the main street that runs along Wakiki beach called Kalakaua Ave. (Ka-la-cow-ah) as we rode, and when we finally hit it, it was awesome. Plain and simple. Green lights all the way, lights of Waikiki a blur, the hustle and bustle of the tourists turned into mumbling and all I could hear was my breathing and my tires on the road...It was by far THE most fun I've had on my bike. Here's a map of the route we took.

I had to stop right before Diamond Head, as I was running low on fuel, and the other three headed up Diamond Head. It was just as exhilarating on the way back!

Since I didn't ride on Saturday, I was determined to ride again on Sunday night. Guess the route I took...The only thing that threw it off was my first flat with no spare tube. My fault. I only had to walk 2 miles back to my car, but It was such a good ride until the flat.

I was not able to hold the camera on the rides because I needed both hands on my bar, but have no fear, once I get comfortable with the route I'll shoot some footage of the ride and fellow riders. So you can say the fire has been stoked this past weekend for sure. I start to get angry if a chance to ride ever becomes questionable! Chee hee!

Friday, November 13, 2009

This was a nice way to start off the day. Sunrise. Approximately 630 AM.

I started work in the afternoon today so I decided to go for a ride in Manoa (Ma-no-ah) this morning. On my agenda was: pick up some produce from the small farmers market that takes place every Tuesday and Thursday; and ride around University of Hawaii's campus. For the past day or two rain has been in the forecast, but if you take a look at the pictures, there's not a rain cloud in site (at least in this part of the island). Lucky. A little lightning tonight, but no real down pours here in Aiea (eye-ay-ah) yet. Flash flood watches are in effect till tomorrow though.
Due to Hawaii's nice weather, which I am very grateful for, farmers are able to grow year-round and farmer's markets are able to be held year-round. I've been fed up with the wimpy stuff that some super markets put out for their produce. I was getting a little but paying a lot. It was also attributed to the fact that I was lazy and wanted the convenience and location of the "supermarket." I'm a big fan of sustainability and supporting the local economy. I took a step back and applied the saying "if it is to be, it is up to me." I got my lazy butt in gear and have been putting forth an effort to do my part. The results have been: fresh produce, a lot for a little, a great experience, great conversations with the growers and sellers of their produce and products, and piece of mind.
Here are photos of the farmer's market at Manoa Market Place. I ended up getting the following (all for $19): Roma tomatoes, Jalapeno peppers, a bag of grape tomatoes, a bag of lettuce, basil, cilantro, mushrooms, japanese cucumber, corn, and onions.

Rode through the Manoa campus of UH. It was more of a recon mission to see the who's, what's, where's, and how's of the campus.

I didn't get many pics, but I took a short time-lapse video of the "mall" on campus. Check it out:

It was nice to see bikes, and a lot of them all around campus. A lot!
Riding around Manoa I found some ducks just cruising in the stream...
The Roll taking a rest in Manoa Valley without a cloud in the sky...
Here's the view I had riding around the Manoa neighborhood.

The weekend is coming up so stay tuned for adventures...