Biking around Volcanoes National Park with Erik Storm
From time to time readers of this column will approach me and ask where I find people to write about.
I’m not a shy person and often times I will approach complete strangers who look healthy and fit and talk with them about their methods of staying in shape.
Recently, on a hike in Volcanoes National Park with my wife Randee, I overheard a healthy looking man explaining to a group of tourist about Halemaumau’s activity. That man turned out to be Erik Storm who is a tour guide for Bike Volcano.
“My position at Bike Volcano entails talking to groups of visitors from around the world at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park,” Storm said.
“I will discuss geology, botany and cultural dynamics along the way as I show them the beauty of the Park using trail bikes,” he said.
Storm got his start in sports at an early age and his favorite became soccer as he began to learn the game at age five.
“I played at the goalie position through high school and was varsity captain for two year,” Storm said. “I received a scholarship to play for the Washington Huskies, but I was not ready for the challenge of higher education at that time in my life and decided to leave UW after one year so that I could travel.”
Storm went on to discovering the joy in snowboarding and mountain biking and today will ride his bike between 40 to 50 miles per week.
“My wife and I will take our dogs out hiking over in Kau which is also great exercise,” he said. “I don’t necessarily workout, I just believe that consistent good exercise is a very important part of staying in shape.”
Storm has also been motivated by a variety of people that live in East Hawaii and credits University of Hawaii at Hilo professor, Dr. Tanabe, along with John and Mindy Clark as inspirational people who keeps him cycling.
“I have some friends here locally that I look up to as far as good people and healthy role models and most of them still ride bikes frequently,” he said.
“One of my favorite professors, Dr. Tanabe, still rides, along with the Clarks with whom I used to work with at Kalapana Tropical’s, that keep me motivated.”
Storm also credit Chris Seymour, owner of the Hilo Bike Hub, with keeping him active in the biking community.
“Chris used to laugh at me when I first bought one of the specialized bikes from him because I would hardly use it,” Storm said. “Chris would come over to my home and see that the tires had no tread wear on them at all and the whole bike was basically brand new and just sitting for months.”
Through Seymour’s urging Storm has now logged over 3,000 miles on his once new bike and owes much of his fitness riding to Mr. Seymour.
“Staying in shape and healthy is important to me because it straight up makes me feel good,” Storm said. “I also believe that a healthy mind is a big part of being healthy and I believe in keeping my mind sharp.”
Storm involves himself heavily in the Arts through music in order to keep his mind clear and strong.
“Art and music are both great ways to accomplish a well rounded healthy lifestyle,” Storm said. “I am also a big time plant nerd so I study the different dynamics of plants, mostly the native species, as well as the different varieties of orchids – I love orchids.”
Besides working as a tour guide Storm is also the owner/designer for Absouloot Design Hawaii and is a music producer/performer.
“Absouloot Design is a company I started up about seven years ago and we specialize in promotional tools for bands and artists here in Hawaii,” he said. “This business has been very successful over the past few years and we will be expanding it even more very soon.”
Storm will also perform live and is a recent member of a group called the Moemoea Collective.
“I am very inspired by musicians like the Funky De La Monsta, Hans Fahling and Moku and Kalei Young who all keep that musical fire blazing here on the Big Island,” Storm said.
Storm’s healthy lifestyle also extends to his intake of food where he will make good choices choosing to eat fresh local products over fast food and processed packaged foods.
“I don’t really eat out at restaurants very much,” he said. “I prefer a home cooked meal and I will spend as much time in the kitchen as I can cooking.
Storm will also add supplements to his diet which include antioxidants and probiotics which according to him keeps his body functioning at a high caliber.
“I believe that I can do anything if I set my mind to it and that true strength lies within our hearts,” he said.
Storm has overcome a variety of obstacles in his life through staying positive and motivated, while maintain a strong belief in himself.
“While good exercise and a healthy diet are an important part of staying healthy, a good attitude and hard work will take you to the next level,” he said. “Attitude shows a lot about someone. If you have a bad attitude then that comes back around and you get exactly what you put into life.”
Erik Storm is one of the many people that I’ve run into that tries to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle and has become a newest member of the Running with the Big Dog column.