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  1. #1
    GiantOldGuy
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    Haleakala..Up and Back

    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by crosswater; 07-12-06 at 03:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Well, I'm impressed! That's one heckuva climb. Congratulations.
    - Stan

  3. #3
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Nice ride! Getting back to Hawaii is high on my list. I've only been there once and that was on a few day layover while going to Australia. My wife and I and our first born (9 months old at the time - now a teenager) spent a few days on Kauai, before Io devestated the island. My wife cried as we were leaving and I know what she was feeling. It is a really special place.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Good post. You've got a lot to be proud of, not the least of which is your daughter riding this with you.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  5. #5
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    WWwwhhhhooooeeee!

    GOOD STUFF!

    Tell your daughter that about 250 50+'rs are saying WELL DONE! (Oh, and you can give yourself a pat on the back, too! )
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Wonderful story and pics, now I need to add HI to my list of places I would like to ride!

  7. #7
    Pinstriper SemperFi's Avatar
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    Sounds like one terrific ride. Congratulations!

    My wife and I went to Hawaii on a cruise five years ago and had a truly wonderful vacation. We made a promise to go back...and we will.
    Specialized Sequoia Elite
    Ride On!

  8. #8
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Woot, woot woot!
    Carpe who?

  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Alright!! That is another one that is also on my list to do when we get back over that way. Great job!! And to do it with your daughter none the less.

    My wife and I rode down from the top several years ago but I'd like to ride up and then back down. We were up there for sunrise.......since we were above the clouds there wasn't as much to see but it was nice just the same. I do recall it being rather chilly at 5 am though!!!

    I also recall the pleasant scent of the Eucalyptus on the ride back down. I don't think we had to pedal but maybe a few hundred yards from the top all the way to the ocean.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Why do I love it when a Graybeard accomplishes something really worthy and admirable? Must be a BF50Plus thing. Just another Dad and Daughter adventure. We fathers of daughters are so blessed. Anyway, great post. What was your gearing?
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  11. #11
    Hwy 40 Blue Hwy 40 Blue's Avatar
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    You're bookmarked! That is one ride I definitely want to do. I was there two years ago on a non-biking trip (boohoo), didn't drive up there but sighed as our car drove past the turnoff. It sounds wonderful.

    Congratulations.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I want to do this and I have been there by car. Please tell me how you got along with the cars on that road? If my memory is right, there is no bike lane and fairly heavy traffic? Is it a question of what time of the year?
    I like to do this next year.
    Do they rent Tandems? Do you have a e-mail address of the rental place?
    Thanks in advance.
    Will

  13. #13
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    You soared to the land of the Nene and the Silversword! Well done. Now you are ready to summit Mt. Mitchel with jppe!
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

  14. #14
    GiantOldGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    My wife and I rode down from the top several years ago but I'd like to ride up and then back down. We were up there for sunrise.......since we were above the clouds there wasn't as much to see but it was nice just the same. I do recall it being rather chilly at 5 am though!!!

    I also recall the pleasant scent of the Eucalyptus on the ride back down. I don't think we had to pedal but maybe a few hundred yards from the top all the way to the ocean.
    We watched HUNDREDS of people do the downhill glide. (Only three were roadies, the two that passed us on the way up and one that went up earlier.) For those who don't normally ride I'm sure it was fun...exciting...frightening...most of all, cold. They do have a great setup for the coasters. I do suspect that the cattle guards were a bit easier on the tender parts for them than they were for us. We didn't understand the fun in the ride...perhaps fun is not the word I should use. Satisfaction or maybe accomplishment would be better words.

    When my daugther and I stopped at the Maui Cyclery shop, Donnie asked if we were looking for a ride on Haleakala. When we said, "Yes." he promptly said, "They're across the road." We laughed and told him we found them first and we had reserved a couple of bikes from his shop....he must not of been used to the contrast in age and appearance. He definitely was not disturbed by the coaster's success. Donnie and the crew at Maui Cyclery cater to hardcore roadies and give great tours around the island.

    The Eucalyptus groves were especially nice on the way up. The shade and scent was a welcome relief at that point. On the way down it was a marker that meant we only had a few more minutes in the saddle.

  15. #15
    GiantOldGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    We fathers of daughters are so blessed. Anyway, great post. What was your gearing?
    Amen! Thanks. The bike was a Scott Speedster 20. I think it was a 50-42-30 front and a 12-blah-blah--whatever-27. All I know was the advice Aaron(?) gave us. "Find the gear you can spin in and keep your head down." I was in 30-27 for a fair portion and 30-(two clicks up) for the rest. There were two short periods when I popped it up to the middle ring.

    The miles between 3 and 8 were the toughest (so they said.) I thought the last mile was the worst. We played the game "It's only as far from our house to Charlie's house." (Charlie is my next door neighbor.) The way the conversation went ...."We're to the first telephone pole........We're halfway down the corn field....We're crossing Buchanon Creek...We made it!"

  16. #16
    GiantOldGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I want to do this and I have been there by car. Please tell me how you got along with the cars on that road? If my memory is right, there is no bike lane and fairly heavy traffic? Is it a question of what time of the year?
    I like to do this next year.
    Do they rent Tandems? Do you have a e-mail address of the rental place?
    Thanks in advance.
    Will
    The address is donnie@gocyclingmaui.com

    They had a tandem on display. A gorgeous one I might add. Since my wife was not up for the ride... Like I was ..I didn't ask. They didn't seem to be interested in us riding it....don't know the size. It was setup for offroad.

    The traffic was very careful around us. The tour buses were the exciting moments. They already took up a lot of road and they were going uphill. They didn't want to slow down much. Almost everyone gave us the bike lane (sometimes wide sometimes not so wide) and half of the car lane or more. The traffic was light to moderate...never heavy; and that's by rural Tennessee standards. The only contact we had on the way down was two cars and we tailed them for several miles each before they pulled away on a long straightaway. I can't comment about the time of year issue.

    Both times I was on Maui, this June 23-26 and 26 years ago in June the traffic seemed to be about the same....you know how memory is....what was I saying? I don't know how it is any other time of year. Just keep in mind that it gets very cold at 10000 ft.
    Last edited by crosswater; 07-12-06 at 04:28 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    CrossWater,
    Thanks for replying....Whatever the gear, the weather, the whatever.....you're in our Hall of Fame. Keep posting!
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  18. #18
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    We drove up Haleakala and at the top is the volcano crater where you can hike. Even the hike is formidable. You can jog into it and back. I will guarantee you at 10,000 feet up it really takes a lot of effort.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    that's an amazing ride, I'm really impressed.

    and riding a steep downhill in the rain on a rented bike honestly scares me -- that's almost more impressive than the climb

    this is a great forum, would never know you could do this if wasn't reading it here.

  20. #20
    GiantOldGuy
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle
    that's an amazing ride, I'm really impressed.

    and riding a steep downhill in the rain on a rented bike honestly scares me -- that's almost more impressive than the climb

    this is a great forum, would never know you could do this if wasn't reading it here.
    The bikes were in tiptop condition. They were lubed, adjusted to our fit, tires aired and Donnie made sure we were equipped to make the ride just as though he was taking us on the tour....except for matching jerseys and shorts and support vehicle. The bikes had rain tires and it looked as though the brakes and tires were barely used. The guide on a tour had a Litespeed. The back tire was worn almost flat....almost ready for replacement and they were repairing a slight cut with superglue. Hey, it was the guides bike and they have a support vehicle with them. Oh, yeah, if you do their tours they provide you with Litespeeds. The Scotts are the unaccompanied rental bikes...not too shabby!

    The bike fit me and since I was not used to the saddle they provided me with a multi-tool should I need to do a micro adjustment..which I forgot to give back until the next day. It was a good excuse to have lunch at ?Charlie's?...great fish sandwich in the little historical town just before the turn off to Haiku. Their claim to fame is that is where Willie Nelson dines when he is on the island.

    I do admit having my own bike would have made me much more comfortable...It's steel; the Scott is aluminum. I use a Brooks B17 saddle or a fizik. I don't even remember what this was...too soft, IMHO. I am a big guy..6'5" and around 220. I had no problems with knees or hand numbness. I did have to mess around with my seated posture to accomodate the diifferent type of seat. It bothered my back when I finally got comfortable on the sit-bones. The carbon seatpost and fork ate a lot of the road imperfections.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Tip of the Helmet to you both!

    Nice post too.

    Jeff

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