Authored By Brian

Yesterday (Saturday), we rented a motorcycle here in Honolulu and rode out to the North shore across the island. It was a Shadow 600 which is more of a roadster than the Ninja I normally ride and the steering was a bit tricky to get used to. The guy who rented it to us sounded like High Pitch Eric from the Howard Stern show and was listening to ABBA in his SAAB (”If you’re in a swedish car, you have to listen to swedish music”).

On our way to the Banzai pipeline, we stopped at the Dole Plantation and then rode northwest to check out the Vans Triple Crown surf competition going on. Unfortunately it wasn’t happening that day but the surf was about 10 feet high and we sat on the immaculate beach to catch some local heroes doing their best. Some awesome pipe riding, some awesome wipeouts and a bunch of O’neil people hanging around filming stuff. Surfing competitions are strange because they typically take place over a couple of weeks where the morning of they will announce “It’s on” and then everyone rushes to get the good waves. If there are no waves, there’s no riding that day. Kind of a tough spectator sport.

We rode back down the coast a bit to Turtle Beach where sea turtles are known for coming up to shore. Sure enough within about 10 minutes of being there, we saw a turtle in about 3 feet of water. There were too many people present for it to try and come on shore and everyone was clammoring around like crazy. The turtle was *huge*.

As is my modus operandi, we stopped at Killer Tacos in Hale’iwa to see what kind of mexican food the island had to offer. Not taqueria style, but pretty good tacos.

We rode all the way down the coast to the army base on the southwest side of the island looking for a beach to hang out on for awhile. This half of the island was cloudy though so we watched some glider flights for a couple minutes before heading back to about 200 yards south of Turtle Beach. Jennifer hopped off the motorcycle and her calf touched against the hot exhaust of the bike burning her enough to blister the skin. Some people get tatoos on the island to remember their visit… Jennifer will remember it another way. :-\

The Dole Plantation has the world’s largest human maze. And really good chocolate-covered bananas.

We packed up and stopped at the Dole Plantation for a chocolate banana before riding back into Honolulu. The Shadow was a nice bike except that without a fairing, it felt like someone was trying to sandpaper my face all day. I now know why bikers always look like they’re pissed off – they ARE pissed off that there is crap hitting them in the face all day long.

We got back in time to return the bike and then went to pick up our rental car. Our guidebook said that on Saturday nights you could do night snorkelling at Hanauma Bay and recommended hitting the Kona Brewpub for beers afterwards. We mounted our trusty steed, a beat-up Geo Tracker, and headed east around Diamondhead to check out Hanauma Bay. Apparently during the day it’s so busy there that it’s almost impossible to snorkel but the guidebook said that night snorkeling was very approachable.

And it would have been approachable, except it was closed. The gates were locked, there were no lights on, nothing. Strike 1 against the guidebook. Luckily the brewpub was open though and we had some great local beer to ease the pain.

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