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Cycling UP Haleakala Maui, Hawaii

post #1 of 3
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I posted this in another thead (BobP's Teton Powder thread), but think folks missed it there. This was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Over 70,000 people coast down each year, one of the tour companies boasts "only 400 yards of peddling in 38 miles..." I saw 2-3 other folks going up the day I was there. The rest of the text is a cut and paste job....

Well, I made it. Sea level to the summit of Haleakala at 10023'. I did it last friday and took me about 4:25 (I was however the first one to make it to the top that day, I just started earlier than everyone else.) By the time I got to the top, I REALLY was wishing I had my triple. We made it and that's really all I cared about.

This was one of the coolest rides I've ever done. The views are AWESOME. Just that is enough to enspire you. I didn't get that many cheers on the way up and at the top, I could have used them. When the park service employee told me I had to walk my bike the last little distance, I yelled back "You don't know how happy I am to hear that" The whole parking lot was cracking up. I've got a few pics I'll try to post later.

The ride down was a bit sketchy. I got caught in rain/mist/fog. I overshot one of the switchback pretty badly. I stayed upright, but ended up in the oncoming traffic lane. Had a car been coming up, I'd been toast.

If you ever get the chance to do this ride, DO IT! It's a helluva grind, but one of the best rides I've ever done.

I've attached a few photos. I've got the "required" photo from the top. I got one where you turn off towards the National park (where the switchbacks really start), the volcano from a distance and one of what I though was the coolest part of the ride, and awesome eucalyptus forest at about 5000-6000'. The photo was take on the decent, among mist and rain. The photo is cool, but the SMELL was amazing!

A few more notes. If you look at the bike (for you bike geeks) it's was a VERY sweet Cannondale R5000 (full dura-ace machine), you'll see my GPS on the handle bars. This was a VERY good idea. Not only did it help me with mileage, it also gave me elevation. The mental math kept me going. My only complaint about the bike was that I'm so used to spinning on my triple that I "ran out of gas" for a good portion of the climb. I "think" the 5000 was a 38x25 vs a 30x25 on my bike. I just felt like I "needed" one more gear (Obviously, I didn't "need" it since I made it....) Only after a decent break to eat at the visitors center about 6700' did I regain some of my pep. I was still cramping pretty bad (off the bike) at the top. Enjoy the photos.....




post #2 of 3
great story, Lonnie! I was there about 1 1/2 years ago; did not bring my bike, but went hiking into the crater (I couldn't go 2 weeks without getting above 10,000ft!). It was amazing- like walking on the moon. I'll post some pictures when I get on my other computer.
post #3 of 3
I did the downhill bike tour with Maui Downhill. It was so awesome. The best touristy thing I've ever done on a vacation, even though a lot of the locals try to talk you out of it (they don't really seem to like tourists on their hill), don't listen to them.

Another great tour is the volcano/rainforest "hike" (it's more like light rockclimbing with mud) on St. Kitts.
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