Ride up Haleakala (long)

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Papayahed1, Jun 26, 2003.

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  1. Papayahed1

    Papayahed1 Guest

    Thought I'd just post my Haleakala ride experience:

    Interesting that I happened to do this climb on the anniversary of the first official Haleakala
    downhill ride (20 years ago, I think). We are staying in Ha`iku, so I left from there, which cut
    about 500 feet or so off of the total climb (oh gosh, I was heartbroken about that…). Everything
    was ready the night before, so I was out our front gate at 5:50 AM, turning….uphill. At that
    point, I had no idea what to expect. There were some showers in the area but they were kind enough
    to avoid me on the way up. I just ran into a few clouds and mist. Temperature at the start was a
    balmy 69 degrees.

    I wound my way up to Makawao where I turned up Olinda Road (did not see the beeg cat-the Cougar that
    is supposed to be in the area) and then cut over to Haleakala Hwy (377). The observatories on top of
    the mountain were glowing in the sun and didn't look so far away as the crow flies, just a lot
    higher than where I happened to be at the moment. The uphill was not hard here, and there had been a
    couple of dips where I didn't have to pedal, so I felt pretty good, thinking "I can do this, I can
    do this." I saw the first group of downhillers on this road. In general, they did not appear to be
    having a lot of fun (I'm sure it had been a long way down for them by this point).

    I turned left onto 378 where the National Park sign is and stopped for some gator aid at Sunrise
    Market (nice place with picnic tables in the back). I think I had gone about 10 miles at this point.
    Then the steady climbing began. I was pedaling fairly slowly to save myself. Legs felt good so far.
    Back was holding up. Life was great. Saw more downhillers. A couple shouts of "You're going the
    wrong way!" (argghh), but mostly encouragement from riders and some people in cars, which was very
    helpful, especially after I got into the higher altitudes.

    I began to go through the long series of switchbacks. It was neat to see the Kehei side of the
    island in one direction, then see the Kahului side when I changed direction. Lisa, Judy, and
    James passed me and stopped for a minute to check how the old man was holding up. Then they, went
    back down to Sunrise Market for breakfast. Me, I had a power bar-yum, yum. Everything was still
    going great at this point-bike behaving, back behaving, light wind, no rain, happy legs as I
    pedaled up, up, up.

    At the 6500 foot level, I was still feeling pretty good. L, J, and J passed by and gave me more pog
    (gotta be better than gatoraide!). James and I shared a power bar, and I rode on. Very shortly I got
    to the park entrance station. Lisa had paid my $5.00, so I kept going and caught up to them at the
    7,000 foot visitor center. I shared more power bar with James. After a brief stop there, I continued
    riding. Now it began to get harder. I rode through some clouds with only a little mist. Temperature
    was in mid 60s, and the moisture helped cool me a little. The altitude was effecting me a little
    bit, but not as much as I thought it would. What really became hard was the wind. It was great when
    it was behind me, pushing me, but when it was in my face or gusting sideways, I had to crouch down
    real low and try to keep from blowing off the road! People shouting encouragement as they passed was
    really helping me now.

    It had clouded up below me, so I didn't have too much of a view. There were also some whispy clouds
    above the summit. I kept going. It got harder. At 8,000 feet I was ready to be done. Also, the grade
    had gotten significantly steeper for a couple of miles (8-9% vs. 5-6%), but at least I gained
    altitude more quickly. It was going to be real hard for the last 2,000 feet, but now I knew I was
    going to make it. At about 9,200 feet a young woman passed me like I was standing still (actually, I
    was standing still, resting, but she was going up pretty steadily-aah to be in my 20s again!). She
    was from Nevada, so altitude was not a problem for her. It was nice to meet someone else riding up,
    not down. I passed her as she stopped to look at a Silversword, then she passed me again.

    Finally made it to the parking lot, where L, J, and J were waiting. I rested (actually panted) for a
    few minutes and then began the last quarter mile to the summit. What a quarter mile. I took it very
    easy and was going less than 3MPH, but you can get up almost anything if you go slow enough. I got
    to the top and rode up the little path to the 10,023 foot sign. Man, what a great feeling!!! Being
    up there and looking down into the crater at the alien beauty with the myriad of colors and textures
    was awe inspiring. Temperature was in low 60s, but it felt great! Legs were fine, life was
    wonderful! Lisa took a couple of pictures, I put on my arm warmers, and started back down, doing
    about 30mph. Wind gusts kept wanting to push me off the road.

    I hit the clouds, and rain, at about 7100 feet. I knew that would happen but figured it would be
    only for a thousand feet or so. All the sunscreen I had applied was now dripping into my eyes, I
    could barely see, and it was hard to go any slower than 25-30mph (I didn't want anyone coming up
    behind me in the fog). It was becoming very cold. The rain and wind actually lasted for 4,000 feet!
    It finally stopped at about 3100 feet when I got down to Sunrise Market and hooked up with L, J, and
    J again. I was freezing! My woman biking friend was there, and also had been surprised by the rather
    unpleasant descent. At least I got to get into a dry jersey at this point. I started down the last
    2500 feet to Haiku and was very very grateful as it gradually warmed, despite the sprinkles that
    fell on occasion.

    I made it home, flopped on the lanai, and closed my eyes. I wasn't asleep, but I couldn't bring
    myself to open them-it just felt so good lying there. L, J, and J finally made it back (they had
    missed a turn and had gotten lost, and had the house key).

    As far as suffering goes, the ride down was much worse than the ride up. People shouting
    encouragement, especially near the top really really helped. The ride was hard, but definitely
    not torture (except for the going back down part!). Would I do it again? Maybe next year when I'm
    57? Maybe.

    Can't wait to go back up in a couple of days (in a car!) to see the sunrise!
     
    Tags:


  2. Bill Artz

    Bill Artz Guest

    Congrats...takes guts and plenty of perservance!

    I'm impressed "Papayahed1" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Thought I'd just post my Haleakala ride experience:
    >
    > Interesting that I happened to do this climb on the anniversary of the
    first
    > official Haleakala downhill ride (20 years ago, I think). We are staying
    in
    > Ha`iku, so I left from there, which cut about 500 feet or so off of the
    total
    > climb (oh gosh, I was heartbroken about that.). Everything was ready the night before, so I was
    > out our front gate at 5:50 AM, turning..uphill. At that point, I had no idea what to expect. There
    > were some showers in the
    area
    > but they were kind enough to avoid me on the way up. I just ran into a
    few
    > clouds and mist. Temperature at the start was a balmy 69 degrees.
    >
    > I wound my way up to Makawao where I turned up Olinda Road (did not see
    the
    > beeg cat-the Cougar that is supposed to be in the area) and then cut over
    to
    > Haleakala Hwy (377). The observatories on top of the mountain were
    glowing in
    > the sun and didn't look so far away as the crow flies, just a lot higher
    than
    > where I happened to be at the moment. The uphill was not hard here, and
    there
    > had been a couple of dips where I didn't have to pedal, so I felt pretty
    good,
    > thinking "I can do this, I can do this." I saw the first group of
    downhillers
    > on this road. In general, they did not appear to be having a lot of fun
    (I'm
    > sure it had been a long way down for them by this point).
    >
    > I turned left onto 378 where the National Park sign is and stopped for
    some
    > gator aid at Sunrise Market (nice place with picnic tables in the back).
    I
    > think I had gone about 10 miles at this point. Then the steady climbing
    began.
    > I was pedaling fairly slowly to save myself. Legs felt good so far.
    Back was
    > holding up. Life was great. Saw more downhillers. A couple shouts of
    "You're
    > going the wrong way!" (argghh), but mostly encouragement from riders and
    some
    > people in cars, which was very helpful, especially after I got into the
    higher
    > altitudes.
    >
    > I began to go through the long series of switchbacks. It was neat to see
    the
    > Kehei side of the island in one direction, then see the Kahului side when
    I
    > changed direction. Lisa, Judy, and James passed me and stopped for a
    minute to
    > check how the old man was holding up. Then they, went back down to
    Sunrise
    > Market for breakfast. Me, I had a power bar-yum, yum. Everything was
    still
    > going great at this point-bike behaving, back behaving, light wind, no
    rain,
    > happy legs as I pedaled up, up, up.
    >
    > At the 6500 foot level, I was still feeling pretty good. L, J, and J
    passed by
    > and gave me more pog (gotta be better than gatoraide!). James and I
    shared a
    > power bar, and I rode on. Very shortly I got to the park entrance
    station.
    > Lisa had paid my $5.00, so I kept going and caught up to them at the 7,000
    foot
    > visitor center. I shared more power bar with James. After a brief stop
    there,
    > I continued riding. Now it began to get harder. I rode through some
    clouds
    > with only a little mist. Temperature was in mid 60s, and the moisture
    helped
    > cool me a little. The altitude was effecting me a little bit, but not as
    much
    > as I thought it would. What really became hard was the wind. It was
    great
    > when it was behind me, pushing me, but when it was in my face or gusting sideways, I had to crouch
    > down real low and try to keep from blowing off
    the
    > road! People shouting encouragement as they passed was really helping me
    now.
    >
    >
    > It had clouded up below me, so I didn't have too much of a view. There
    were
    > also some whispy clouds above the summit. I kept going. It got harder.
    At
    > 8,000 feet I was ready to be done. Also, the grade had gotten
    significantly
    > steeper for a couple of miles (8-9% vs. 5-6%), but at least I gained
    altitude
    > more quickly. It was going to be real hard for the last 2,000 feet, but
    now I
    > knew I was going to make it. At about 9,200 feet a young woman passed me
    like
    > I was standing still (actually, I was standing still, resting, but she was going up pretty
    > steadily-aah to be in my 20s again!). She was from
    Nevada, so
    > altitude was not a problem for her. It was nice to meet someone else
    riding
    > up, not down. I passed her as she stopped to look at a Silversword, then
    she
    > passed me again.
    >
    > Finally made it to the parking lot, where L, J, and J were waiting. I
    rested
    > (actually panted) for a few minutes and then began the last quarter mile
    to the
    > summit. What a quarter mile. I took it very easy and was going less than 3MPH, but you can get up
    > almost anything if you go slow enough. I got to
    the
    > top and rode up the little path to the 10,023 foot sign. Man, what a
    great
    > feeling!!! Being up there and looking down into the crater at the alien
    beauty
    > with the myriad of colors and textures was awe inspiring. Temperature was
    in
    > low 60s, but it felt great! Legs were fine, life was wonderful! Lisa
    took a
    > couple of pictures, I put on my arm warmers, and started back down, doing
    about
    > 30mph. Wind gusts kept wanting to push me off the road.
    >
    > I hit the clouds, and rain, at about 7100 feet. I knew that would happen
    but
    > figured it would be only for a thousand feet or so. All the sunscreen I
    had
    > applied was now dripping into my eyes, I could barely see, and it was hard
    to
    > go any slower than 25-30mph (I didn't want anyone coming up behind me in
    the
    > fog). It was becoming very cold. The rain and wind actually lasted for
    4,000
    > feet! It finally stopped at about 3100 feet when I got down to Sunrise
    Market
    > and hooked up with L, J, and J again. I was freezing! My woman biking
    friend
    > was there, and also had been surprised by the rather unpleasant descent.
    At
    > least I got to get into a dry jersey at this point. I started down the
    last
    > 2500 feet to Haiku and was very very grateful as it gradually warmed,
    despite
    > the sprinkles that fell on occasion.
    >
    > I made it home, flopped on the lanai, and closed my eyes. I wasn't
    asleep, but
    > I couldn't bring myself to open them-it just felt so good lying there. L,
    J,
    > and J finally made it back (they had missed a turn and had gotten lost,
    and
    > had the house key).
    >
    > As far as suffering goes, the ride down was much worse than the ride up. People shouting
    > encouragement, especially near the top really really
    helped.
    > The ride was hard, but definitely not torture (except for the going back
    down
    > part!). Would I do it again? Maybe next year when I'm 57? Maybe.
    >
    > Can't wait to go back up in a couple of days (in a car!) to see the
    sunrise!
     
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