Control crash rider
Joined: Jun 2007
[COLOR="DarkOrange"][/COLOR Big Island Lava Butt 400
Aloha once an awhile Dual Sport riders and all time couch potatoes.
Friday Nov 23 2012 8:am, 17 Big Island Dual Sport Association riders, six from Oahu, clad in high tech off road armor riding gear, riding tricked out go anywhere over anything $10,000+ Dual Sport motorcycles leave from Hilo's Big Island Power Sports parking lot, off on day one's 215 mile section of BIDSA's Big Island's gnarly two day Lava Butt 400 dual sport ride, heading off to a 4WD dirt road that follows the coastline in the lower Puna area.
At one mile into dirt Beach Rd a downed tree with a lot of branches stops the riders as we watch Big Island Power Sports top mechanic Craig Good hack it away busting off half of his machete blade in doing so, but that didn't stop him, he wailed on a six inch limb like a butcher on steroids as we benchrace joked and unloaded early morning coffee D&A fluids in the bushes.
Within 15 minutes Craig did his blurring chop-chop magic to the road blocking tree and we were back on the gas for a few more miles popping out of a lush green fern and Mango tree lined dirt road as we turned maki down a cinder road that dead ended into a narrow trail through a short jungle zone that ended abruptly onto the stark black 1960 Kapoho lava flow, and on that flow is a very nasty rock & roll trail that disappears in some spots into gnarly "go faster than the crash" lava rock sections as it follows the coastlines edge, this being a pro off road rider section because of hundreds of tall rim bending tire flatting sharp square edge lava rock ledges and thousands of loose a'a' rock chunk's that will kick out the front wheel putting a rider down quickly for the "big hurt" if he's not hard on the gas skimming over'em at no fear speeds.
Half way through this 2+ mile section it started to rain making visibility through blurry fogged up goggles more of a challenge to ride this tire chewing, bike busting, body beating, trail from lava rock Hell.
(see my FB video)
When we finally popped out a the Kapoho Lighthouse one rider got a front flat tire and had to change it in the pouring rain, if that wasn't bad enough he pinched that new tube putting it in and and had do it all over again, lucky for him someone else had a new tube.
Back on the gas going down the Highway we headed towards Kalapana where we got on to a short coastline 1 mile section through an Ironwood forest that we had to wheelie over three challenging wet slippery logs at odd angles to go over and duck under a low fallen tree, then it opened up into a long sandy Hawaiian tropical beach laced with hundreds of coconut trees that we serpentine through leading to a short big roots infested trail up an out to the Highway as it began to rain hard again all the way to gas check #1 in Pahoa.
Leaving gas check #1 in the pouring rain we took a dirt road through a multi water puddled subdivision working our way up to Volcano where we did an unplanned pit stop at a Volcano Village tour Bus snack stop because Steve's KTM rear wheel bearings gave out and Wayne was near hypothermia shivering cold, we were all cold and soaked to the bone, I had to pull my boots off to pour out the water.
At this tourist Bus stop, old grey creaking wobbling perfumed tourist on their last vacation breath streamed out of a nice warm bus and they were just wide eyed blown away to see a bunch of wet laugh joking guy's riding muddy dirt bikes in the cold heavy rain…thinking who's that nuts to do that dangerous thing?…die hard pro Dual Sport off road riders, that's who!
Anyhow, a little warmed up and back on the Highway we revved the guts out out of our off road steeds to gas check #2 in sleepy Pahala town where we found the gas station was closed as thunder and lighting lit up a dark purple sky on the old upper sugar cain haul road we were going to take from Pahala to Naalehu looked nasty, this being a sign that the two cement flash flood river crossing may have fast moving deep water, so we took the wossy ride Highway to Naalehu to gas check #3 where the weather broke into sun shine.
All gassed up, off we went to fun section 3 on down Ka'alu'alu's rough 4WD 4 mile long dirt/rock road down to South Points coastline, at speed, brake sliding into the dirt berm edges and roosting out of the many rock infested turns as we hauled okole down the dense Haole Koa bush lined road hard on the gas clutch blipping to bunny hop over chunky tire flatting lava rock clusters.
When we got down to the coastline trails, we wicked up the speed more, roosting out of every sandy or dirt turn and getting air on any bump or rise…just having fun like a bunch of young wild horses feeling their oat's, my kind of cool off road reckless fun @ 71 years old…after all, the closer to death you are, the more alive you feel going faster than the crash.
So after 17 miles of letting it all hang out in the rock's and yellow dusty dirt heading towards the South Point windmill's we road sanely back up to the main Highway going to Ocean View to gas check #4 to get ready for the nastiest section of the Lava Butt 400.
This is the Maunka area of 6+ miles of radical coastline a'a', Pahoehoe, rounded sea rocks, and deep sand at the oceans edge where the trail just disappears in places into WTF? nasty seemingly unridable zones that look like dead end's…I've explored and punched my way through these lava rock maze's before on my KTM 200 and knew the way through to get to the rough unforgiving tire flatting Manuka Bay Rd that goes 6 mi up to get to the main Highway.
Ok, now let's reel back to gas check #4, as the Sun was getting lower to the horizon I said to the (snacking, laughing, joking, benchracing riders), dude's we got to get going we still got a bike and body killing coastline ride waiting ahead of us…dude's benchracing talk story time is pau, you don't want to spend the night down there all body buss up or a no go engine, we got to get on the gas now to beat the setting sun because it will be pure Hell riding out of the nasty square edge rock infested Manuka section in the dark!
I was the only one that knew this gnarly section, so I got hard on the gas trying to beat the setting sun leading the pack of riders down the long wide super dusty rock infested Road To The Sea, where we turned off on to a kick ass suspension sucking 4WD a'a' trail that began the ride from Hell+2, that eventually pounded Criag Bauer's forks to ridged uselessness and flattened Matt's front tire 5 miles away from the exit of Hell, he had to ride up nasty Maunka Rd on a flat tire to a cement slab a short distance from the Highway where he anxiously slipped in a new tube as the Sun was just 10 minutes from disappearing below the horizon plunging us into darkness.
I hauled okole up to the Highway before total darkness set in to where Wayne was supposed to be waiting, only to see his red tail light way down the road as he was headed 40+ miles to Kona to where we stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Resort for the night.
So off I go ringing the KTM piston beyond logic to catch Wayne on his 510 Husky but he did a few three car passe's and went out of sight as it got dark quickly as I then discovered that the rough Maunka section consumed my headlights wiring, so I had to ride 40 mi to Kona on a winding road in the pitch black night (ask me if that was fun?)
Early morning day two, leaving from Kona, we road the Queen K Highway to Kawihae and hooked up with Hilo's 808 Motocross officials Phil Oveland and Kelly Krall and some other Dual Sport riders, now there were 22 riders heading to Hawi to ride some dusty coastline dirt roads and then we high speed worked our way up for miles on a dusty lumpy bumpy narrow cow pasture fence line road up to Kahua Ranch where Pro MX rider Phil Oveland works and he took us on "his" trails and made us ride 4 miles of okole kicking off camber Cow pie tire spinning Cow trails high up on the steep sides of tall volcano Pu'u's (pasture grass covered cinder cones) this ride was like being in motorcycle heaven, having an up high blue Pacfic ocean view over electric green cow pastures with many volcanic Pu'u's that were dotted with black Angus cows, and deep rocky gulches, you can't buy this, you got to be an off road dual sport or MX rider and know Phil, who is one cool go the extra mile for you type guy…my kind of brother. Phil's famous quote is "Go fast take chances"
Next section was a loop from Waimea to Mud Lane to Waipi'O Valley and back to Waimea via Old Mamalahoa Hwy that goes through ranch land with beautiful looking electric green cow pastures.
Knowing that we would be getting back to Waimea late in the day for gas to take Mana Rd to go back home to Hilo, I opted out of that section at 1:30 pm taking Mana Rd to Saddle Rd in the light of day because my headlight was not working and I didn't want to take nasty rough, foggy, raining, cold 47 mile dirt Mana Rd and Saddle Rd home in the dark with no lights.
The 400 mile Lava Butt Mana Rd story that reads like a Chinese fire drill;
Mauna Kea 200 trail Boss Ed Ung was our chase truck driver with extra gas, he waited in the cold foggy/rainy/windy weather at Pu'u huluhulu for the riders to pop out of Mana Rd about 4:30 ETA, well at 5:30 pm dusk set in and only Anthony and Steve Lau were the first to pop out of foggy/rainy Mana Rd and reported that Matt had broke a chain 27 miles in, so Steve volunteers to ride Ed's Quad (he had on his chase truck trailer) with a tow rope in hand to go retrieve Matt, well Steve comes back an hour and half later and said Matt and Joe where not there at the spot he broke down at, so about a half an hour later Ed gets a cell phone call saying that Matt and Joe where back in Waimea with both bikes…come find out Grant had an extra Master link, being a cool go the extra mile riders friend, he put the link on thinking he fixed it, then he road off to get far ahead so he wouldn't dust out the other riders, also it was getting late and darkness was near setting in, so Matt gets all his riding gear back on, hit the starter button and only went about 20 feet and somehow the chain blew off again!…it's dark now, so Joe put his boot on the rear of Matt's swing arm and pushed him for 20+ miles on an up and down curvy pot holed dirt road at times up to 50 Mph plus Joe also had a rear flat tire that came off the rim when doing this!!!…If you know (big Superman built) Joe Edsmen you could see how he could pull off this heroic Superman stunt…"The real off road adventure's start when shit happens"
If you want to have a good time beating yourself up on challenging off road trails with a bunch of hard core laughing, joking Dual Sport dirt bike riders, don't miss Big Islands Dual Sport Association (BIDSA) next Two Day Lava Butt 400 ride or the World Class two day Mauna Kea 200 Enduro.
Go to> mk200.com to stay plugged into Big Island Motorcycle action.
Also go to Nelson Parker's> http://www.hawaiimotorhead.com/ for complete articles and photos of Big Islands custom/race car's, bike's, racing on all levels, and bike runs and rides, if it's got wheel's that turn, Nelson's the man who know who, what, where, and why you should know about it.
Shoots I rode it give me back my Beer!
Gasser screwed with this post 11-28-2012 at 12:35 AM