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Haleakala ride report with pictures(35 posts)

Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 3:31 PM
We started the ride by taking a shuttle up to 6500 ft and rode down to the base. Once there my wife Judy turned in her bike and I rode up to the top and she drove the car up to the top a few hours later to pick me up.

I want the thank the folks at the Haleakala bike company in Haiku for the shuttle and the bike. In particular the wrench (who was a rasta guy) went out of his way to get the bike right for me and then personally went out of his way and picked up the bike from me after hous at a McDonalds near his home. He had made the Ride to the Sun ride a couple of times and said it's a killer.

This is Judy and I at 6500 feet starting out way down
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 3:34 PM
View down at the switchbacks and the base valley below. You can see a fire in the valley where they are burning off sugar cane. This was take at about 6000 feet just below the cloud layer.
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 3:41 PM
One of the road hazards to watch for on the way down. From about 4000 feet to 6500 feet is open ranch land and cows are free to share the road with the cars. You also have to keep an eye out for those slick brown patches coming down.
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 3:45 PM
Me changing from jersey to jacket just inside the park at 7000 feet on the way up. I had already gone through 5 liters of gatoraid and that much water. Judy dropped of a care package of two more gatoraids and two snickers bars. Mmmmmm those Snickers wer GOOOOOD!
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 3:55 PM
View just above the clouds at about 7500 feet
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 3:57 PM
Another view just above the cloud line
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:00 PM
Is it the moon, no it's the "House of the Sun" which is what Haleakala meens in native Hawaian
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:02 PM
Me riding into the parking lot just below the summit. The observation building in the background is the summit.
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:04 PM
Another view of the crater at the top
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:07 PM
If you look close you see someone leaning forward at the top. That's me a few feet from my goal.
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:08 PM
Me posing at the top
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:10 PM
Picture from the top of the two larger mountains on the neighboring island of Hawaii (the big island)
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:11 PM
Another picture from the top
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:13 PM
Picture of the road leading up to the top
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:15 PM
My bike got Lei'd
re: Haleakala ride report with picturesbimini
Dec 30, 2003 4:16 PM
Packing it up and going home
Nice milestone in your cycling career!pedalAZ
Dec 30, 2003 4:36 PM
Thanks for the post. Looks tough!
Awesome pics and a killer ridebigrider
Dec 30, 2003 4:42 PM
We want the details. Length, elevation gain, temp, etc. etc.
Awesome pics and a killer ridebimini
Dec 30, 2003 5:39 PM
Some stats.

I started up at Haiku at an elevation of a couple of hundred feet. The top, like the sign said is 10,023 feet. It was about 35 miles and took little over 5 hours real time or about 4 1/2 hours on the bike. The first 5000 feet was about 20 miles and was fairly easy. I did that in just about 2 hours. I was hoping to finish in about 4 hours. The best time ever on the Race to the Sun is 2 hours 45 minutes.

The last 5000 feet did not come as easy. Once I hit the switchbacks at 5k it was all moderate to hard climbing. It just never lets up. I did not get out of the bottom two gears on my triple with either a 27 or 29 on the back.

Made my first stop at 5k and made 4 more after that in the last 5K of climbing. At 6 miles to go I thought I might have to call it quits when one of my leg muscles cramped up and spazed out on me. I had to stand motionless stradling the bike for about 5 minutes until the cramps subsided to the point I was able to move. I took another 10 minutes to recover and then I finished the ride to the top. I was afraid to stop again in fear I could not start again. I was totally exhausted at this point, probably a combination of the altitude I am not use to and the constant non stop pounding up the mountain. Relentless is what I would call it. Just never a break.

It was 85 degrees at the base and I would guess in the 50s at the top.

The last 2000 feet of elevation had the steepest incline. I think it was 5-6 miles for the 2000 foot change. And of course the absolute steepest was the last 1/2 mile to the parking lot. No room for switchbacks you just had to pound your way up. This is the only place on the whole ride I was forced to stand.
That sounds super toughbigrider
Dec 30, 2003 5:48 PM
Congratulations. That is one of those rides you don't even try to explain to someone who doesn't ride. What blows my mind about that description is you have to fight all that climb and your lungs must be screaming when you get up to that elevation. That is a real accomplishment. I hope I get there some time to try to drag my fat carcass up that monster.
some statsflying
Dec 30, 2003 8:29 PM
Heheh fun huh?
What you say is true.. that last little hill before the parking lot is the worse of the whole ride isn't it?
I raced up it in 89 & 90 & that is what I remember most ;-)
Well that & a little hill just above Makawao.
Thanks for the great pics & story.
Topo Infojs5280
Dec 30, 2003 9:39 PM
Thought I'd get some use out of my Delorme Topo software. Here's a 3D Map and some elevation profiles (overall from the T intersection and final mile)

Topo Infoflying
Dec 30, 2003 10:34 PM
Wow very cool software !
Looks about right compared to how it felt heheh ;-)
Dec 30, 2003 7:25 PM
Great ride report and pics. I've only ridden it down so I guess I owe the volcano a ride up one of these days.

For anyone in the Maui area, the ride out to the Winery from the base of Haleakala is a nice, easy ride with great scenery. The tour and history of the area was highly worth drinking the so-so pineapple wine ;-) Here's link if interested:
Those above the clouds shots are amazing. nmdivve
Dec 30, 2003 5:54 PM
Thanks for sharing your epic trip up the mountainaOldMan
Dec 30, 2003 4:16 PM
I enjoyed looking at the pictures. Congrats on your epic trip up.

Do you have any idea what the average and steepest grade is going up the mountain? Any idea of your average speed climbing?
That's one sweet ride report, thanks, man. nm4bykn
Dec 30, 2003 4:34 PM
Very impressive, well done, thanks for the pictures (nm)kai-ming
Dec 30, 2003 4:48 PM
Great photos & report....PdxMark
Dec 30, 2003 7:31 PM
I now have yet another ride that I want to do. Thanks.
And in Tennies no less.shmoo
Dec 30, 2003 8:17 PM
Congrats, and great ride report.

I can't tell if the Lemond has toe straps or not. Even with them you can't cinch down on the tennies tight enough to be able to pull like you would want to. (Well, you could, but then your toes would turn purple, wouldn't they). Without them, it's 100% quads. The bottoms of your feet must have been toast after pushing through the rubber soles all day.
And in Tennies no less.bimini
Dec 31, 2003 6:27 AM
Yeah, I brought my shoes along but forgot to bring the pedals. The shop did not have the right pedals and my shoes would only accept Look cleats, so I had them set me up with rat traps and straps. I figured I rode that way without a problem for 25 years, and another day wasn't going to hurt me. I did have the straps buckled down well and know how to work the feet to get the most out of straps.

My feet were okay and I don't think the rat traps made it much harder.
Bimini, That is my favorite story of the year...Dave Hickey
Dec 31, 2003 6:01 AM
This is my vote for favorite ride report of the year.

Thanks for sharing
Agree, esp. since many of us are caught in winter's grasp nowhrv
Dec 31, 2003 7:52 AM
And a virtual trip to Maui is exactly what we needed! Oh, to be riding in 80 degrees (insert Homer Simpson drool image here).

Lucky Dog! When I went up there, I couldn't see 50 feet!Matno
Jan 1, 2004 11:04 AM
But then, I was in a car, so I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as you did anyway!

Congrats. That's one heck of a climb!
In case you missed it the first time around...airwreck
Jan 1, 2004 10:23 PM
here is my post from this years race up Haleakala.
airwreck "Cycle to the Sun, race report..." 8/20/03 11:05am