I have arrived in Hawaii! The trip yesterday was very easy. I was actually surprised at how smoothly things seemed to be going. I woke up nice and early to finish packing, while Amanda was out doing her early morning track workout. By nine o’clock, I was just about done, which meant I had time to make the 9:50 bus to the airport. I had never taken this bus, so I wasn’t aware of how easy (and cheap!) it was going to be. Amanda dropped me off at the bus station about 24 seconds before the bus showed up: so far, so good. I hopped on the bus, paid my ten bucks, and settled in for the hour-long drive to DIA.
Anyone who’s ever traveled from Denver, and especially anyone who’s ever traveled on United from Denver, knows that it’s not easy to show up with overweight luggage. I had a few extra pounds in both my bike box and my suitcase, so I was prepared to pay the overage fee. For some lucky reason, the ticket agent, who is normally one of the harshest stickers for the rules, not only let me go with my heavy bags, he also neglected to charge me the bike fee! As an added bonus, my new friend at the ticket counter gave me a free upgrade to Economy Plus. I was off to a good start.
The flight to Honolulu was a surprisingly painless seven hours. I got some work done on the computer, and then I settled in to view two enjoyable movies.
After an easy layover in the Honolulu airport, I was off to Kona. My good luck seemed to be continuing, as I found both my bike and my bag to have made the inter-island flight: never an automatic guarantee. Off to the car rental, I was fortunate enough to get an upgrade to a convertible! Amanda and I had planned to rent a Jeep Wrangler for our last week here, but the opportunity to jump right into a fun car was too much to pass up.
After dropping off my stuff at the condo, I headed out for another bite to eat, and to get some groceries. Right about the time I hit the produce aisle at Safeway, I also hit the wall. My body was suddenly aware that it was just past midnight. Ouch.
Returning to the condo, I went directly to bed. Normally I’d attempt to get the bike built, as well as to unpack, but I was too beat to consider it.
About nine hours later, I awoke to a beautiful Hawaiian day. The sun was slightly hidden by an overcast sky, and the temperature was just about right. I always love that first run back in a warm and humid environment; the body just seems to work better.
However, just before I went out for that lovely run, I decided to build the old Javelin. This way it would be all set for a ride later that day. Imagine my surprise, the veteran traveler that I am, to open the bike case and see that I had forgotten two very crucial pieces of equipment: my wheels. Oops.
You see, I had packed my bike on Tuesday evening, and was very careful to put everything I needed in my box. I even managed to double-check things. However, Wednesday morning, when I was packing my suitcase, I found that there was no room for my training helmet (something I bring just in case I do not want to wear my Super Cool Darth Vader Helmet all the time). It would appear I had opened up my case, inserted the extra helmet, and sealed up the box… without replacing my wheels. Seems like that would have been a pretty obvious thing.
Ah well, it just goes to show that even on my eighth time racing this event (and my millionth time traveling with a bike) that I can still make a mistake or two. Ha!
Rest assured, our Most Excellent House Sitter and friend, Jen Martinez, has arranged for a speedy delivery of the wheels. They are slated to arrive on an 11:30 flight Friday morning with our friend Brandon Del Campo. And in the meantime, I’ll just have to borrow Amanda’s wheels! Yet another reason I’m so happy she’s arriving today!
More updates to follow… and as soon as I have wheels, I’ll post a shot of the new race rig.