Monday, February 22, 2016

Waikoloa Walkalong 100k - A Nice Jaunt!

We who live in Colorado are so lucky in many ways, 
including wintertime activities.

Cross-country skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park.

But it's sometimes nice to take a break,
especially to a warm and interesting venue!
We did this not long after the above ski-outing.

The Big Island of Hawaii offers more expansive cycling opportunities
than the other islands. Here's a short jaunt,
that you can do in a morning, or afternoon, or whenever.

It has no stiff climbing or altitudinal challenges,
but there is a moderate climb up to Waikoloa Village.

I chose to start before dawn, to free up the rest of the day
for other exploring. In January, the lows are in the 60's,
so this was not a frosty experience.

At first light you can see the houses on the shoulder
of the volcano nudging into Kailua Kona.

Click on any of these to see a gallery of enlarged photos!

Pre-dawn highlights Mauna Loa ...

... and dawn illuminates the grasses growing out of the lava fields.

Hwy. 19, the Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway, is lightly rolling
across the lava fields.

I have yet to see the wild donkeys, 
but you may have better luck.

What you will likely see, as I did, are the wild, russet goats.
Sometimes traipsing across the grasslands.
Sometimes nibbling vegetation at the edge of the road.

Waikoloa Village is a housing community up the shoulder of Mauna Kea.
It has some shops including a convenience store where you can get
convenience store items and a receipt.

Some birds you may see on the lawns include java sparrows,
looking a bit like miniature puffins.

Also, wild turkeys.

Of course, these birds, the goats, and donkeys, are not endemic.

The climb and descent are very moderate ... and scenic!

Back on the coastal highway at an overlook:
the Green De Rosa is atypical
among Ironman tri-bikes and tourists' recreational bikes.
But everyone is friendly!

Postscript: They were widening the highway near Kailua Kona.
On the Big Island they don't have to haul gravel for underlayment.
They just excavate the lava, break it down to boulder-size chunks,
and break those down to rock size and eventually gravel size.

Here you see part of that production line,
the boulder-to-large-rock stage.

This, by the way, is one of the reasons - beside expansiveness - 
that it's nice to ride on the Big Island:
more miles of wide roads with pave shoulders.

Maybe that's why they moved the Ironman from Oahu to here.
Even the Saddle Road is now a cyclist's dream.

It's been a nice morning jaunt,
but could have used more sunscreen.

This is one of several new perms I cooked up
featuring the leeward (dry) side of the island.


Kona Kawi Hop (200km) - Starts out like the Waikoloa Walkalong
but then heads over the Kohala Mountain Road to the north point.

Mauna Lani Maunder (112km) - Based out of Kawi, 
visits Pololu Lookout (wet-ish)
and the North Kona coast (dry).

Mauna Kea Mosey (101km) - Like the Mauna Kea Meander,
but stopping short of the stiff Mauna Kea climb.

So if your vacation or business plans bring you to the Big Island,
consider one of these or other perms you could ride.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Our Colorado RUSA Awardees for 2015 ... and More!

We honored our 2015 Super Randonneurs in a post last summer.

Here we recognize those who've earned other RUSA awards this past year!

Also, we're covering awards that can be earned over multiple years. All Colorado randonneurs who've earned them over the years are listed. Special congratulations to these accomplished randonneurs!

While the physical awards are pictured here, we know it's the challenge (and accomplishment), not the trinket, that's most important.

The listed riders are drawn from the RUSA awards pages. A rider must apply for an award to be recognized (but need not purchase the physical award.)

One-Year Awards
American Randonneur  
Multi-Year Awards
American Explore
ACP Randonneur 5000
Ultra Randonneur
— other awards not covered here —
RUSA Distance Awards
Ultra R-12

Complete a 200km or longer RUSA ride in each of 12 consecutive months.

Catherine Shenk
John Lee Ellis
Paul Foley
Malcolm Fraser
Timo Haugen
Ken Heck

Ride a 100km to 199km RUSA ride in each of twelve consecutive months.

Paul Foley
Malcolm Fraser

ACP Randonneur 5000
Ride 5000km in events including Paris-Brest-Paris, a Flèche, and 200km, 300km 400km, 600km and 1000km brevets within 48 months. (An Audax Club Parisien award, not RUSA.)

Michelle Grainger
Steve Le Goff

And now for RUSA awards that randonneurs can work towards over multiple years ...

American Explorer
Cover at least ten different U.S. states and territories on RUSA rides.

Cathy Cramer (12 states)
Catherine Shenk (20)
John Lee Ellis (22)
Paul Foley (19)
Ronaele Foss (23)

Complete at least one of each type of RUSA event, accumulating at least 5000km over a two-year period.

Paul Foley - 2004
John Lee Ellis - 2005, 2009
Tom Knoblauch - 2008 
Cathy Cramer - 2011
John Mangin - 2015

Ultra Randonneur
Complete ten Super Randonneur series over any number of years.

Tom Knoblauch - 2013
Paul Foley - 2014
Dick Wiss - 2014
John Lee Ellis - 2007, 2015
Cathy Cramer - 2015

Coast to Coast
Complete four different RUSA 1200km or longer events over any number of years.

Paul Foley - 2012, 2015
Catherine Shenk - 2012
John Lee Ellis - 2010, 2013
Tom Knoblauch - 2013
John Flanigan - 2013

Complete 40,000km in RUSA rides - a lifetime achievement award.

John Lee Ellis - 2009
Catherine Shenk - 2012
Paul Foley - 2015

And finally, here is a one-year award, listing all Colorado awardees over time ...

American Randonneur Challenge
Complete two or more RUSA 1200km or longer events in one season.

2006John Lee EllisBoston-Montreal-Boston / Last Chance
2006Vernon SmithCascade 1200 / Last Chance
2008Tom KnoblauchCascade 1200 / Last Chance
2010John Lee EllisShenandoah 1200 / Last Chance
2010Irene TakahashiCascade 1200 / Last Chance
2013John Lee EllisGold Rush Randonnee / The Big Wild Ride
2014Paul FoleyColorado High Country / Natchez Trace 1500

Courtesy Randonneurs USA

A Final Thought

I would just say that this is both a recognition of accomplished - and persistent - randonneurs who are our fellow riders, and also an encouragement to you! 

RUSA has created these awards over time to give you more and more diverse goals to shoot for. Maybe you don't have the personal time to achieve K-Hound mileage, but have the grit to complete an R-12 ride each month for a year in hot and cold, sun and snow.

Then there are limits and expectations ... and what you can do about them. The Can-Am Challenge was created in the 90's as a challenge to ride not one but two 1200k's in a season. This had not been a rational expectation up to that point. The American Randonneur Challenge is the same award but for RUSA-only 1200k's. And plenty of randonneurs have manage to achieve it.

That doesn't mean you should aim for the ARC, just that you should leave your imagine open for new goals over time.

You can find details on each of these awards via the RUSA Awards page
including all those who've applied for recognition.

Bonne route!