I completed one of my goals in riding. My daughter and I rode from Kula, Hi(about 2500 ft) to the visitors center(9700+ ft) on Mt Haleakala. It was 23 miles each direction. There was over 6000 ft elevation change. We did not go to the summit...maybe next time....and from the ocean (about another . We have been weekend riders for the most part this year. She has done the Music City 1/2 Marathon and is getting ready for another. I on the other hand have only been doing 60 to 100 miles a week. I have spent some tike on the trainer, but not enough to even talk about. It took us about 4 1/2 hours with rest stops for the old guy....we were passed by two people who just hammered by us.
I do have to say that it was one of the most emotional rides I have ever done. At mile 13 I didn't know if I would make it to the top. We started out saying it would be great to make it to the top, but we were worried about fitness level and altitude problems. "If you develop a headache, turn around and come back down. You can die from it." It scared us.
Donnie at Maui Cyclery supplied the bikes, helmets, windbreakers, a couple of their logo bottles and even the car rack to get us the eight or so miles to Kula. We had taken our shoes (spd...they provided the pedals) and gloves. They even supplied my daughter with a jersey for her "energy suppliments"....gummi bears...hey, they work! A short car ride to Kula, two bottles of propel, a bag of gummi bears, a couple of 32 oz aquafinas with e-fuel electrolyte energy drink, one refill of water each, and four gels later and four hours and twenty minutes later we high-fived at the visitors parking lot at the overlook.
We had everyone asking how far and how long we had been riding...and how old I was. Japanese, Hungarians, Continental US, all congratulating us on the feat. It didn't dawn on me for a few seconds what my daughter had said at one point in the conversations...."I can't imagine doing this in 25 years."....Hey, that would be at 58....Hey, that's how old I am! Duh! I attribute that to the altitude.
The ride back was exciting....it started raining at about 9500 ft and we were soaking wet down to the ranger station....about 6500 ft. Thank heavens for Maui Cyclery! The windbreakers were an absolute must. It was 50 degrees F at the top and it started raining less than a mile from the top. It took less than 45 minutes to descend...including two "warm-up" rest stops. There were times that we both thought our hands were not going to work the brakes coming down. I was stunned on the way down how steep some of it was....average was 6-8 percent grade....with some short periods of 10-12. The summit was about 1/4 mile of 12+....we decided, "Next time."
Here are a couple of shots from the ride.