Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Decided earlier in the week to go over to Maui and climb Mt. Haleakala. It's not an easy climb. The ride starts at sea level and climbs to 10,000+ feet over the course of 36 miles. Original plan called for a climb in March, giving me a couple of months to work on my climbing skills, but on Monday a couple of the guys decided to go next weekend...so I immediately cashed in a 2-day pass in order to cram in as much climbing as possible over the course of the next week. Today we did a 43 mile ride, covering 5 hills in the Aiea area. The highest elevation we reached was 1200'...I haven't found a road in Oahu that goes above 1500'. What these roads lack in elevation, they make up for it in steepness...we routinely hit grades of 12-15%, and the last climb of the day peaked at 20%. Total elevation gain on the day was 4200', and we spent about 14 miles actually climbing...tough ride, but I have a long way to go. I tried to capture the steepness with these photos, but you don't really know how steep it is until you heart's beating 180bpm and you're struggling to keep your bike rolling in a straight line.
Luckily, our Haleakala trip hit a logistical snag. We built our plans around taking the Hawaiian Superferry in order to have the right support vehicles...however, our Sunday evening return trip was cancelled due to the lack of coordination between the ferry people, the local government, hippy protesters and humpback whales. All our backup options were cost-prohibitive...so now, I've got 2 months to prep.