Sunday, October 9, 2011

Maui cycling: miscellany and more thoughts

Here are a few miscellaneous thoughts and notes from our Maui cycling adventures.

Cycling up Haleakala was one of the big goals for the boyfriend. We stayed in Paia on the north coast of Maui, in part because it's the start of the famed "Ride to the Sun", an annual race from the ocean up to Haleakala Summit. Also, Paia is convenient to hiking and cycling, has a good bike shop & being kind of a hippy town, had an excellent and massive health food store & lots of vegetarian food.

We stayed at the Paia Inn Hotel for much of the week. They let us store our bike boxes in their storage space for the entire week and were low-key about having bikes in the room. Bonus, the Inn is just across the parking lot from Maui Cyclery. We would definitely return to this cycling-friendly hotel. Plus, they have access to a nice beach with fun waves:

Bike shop: Located in Paia, Maui Cyclery was generous with route advice (and lent us a pedal wrench- thanks!). They rent Scott road bikes. Interesting fact: Tyler Farrar's Felt from his record-breaking Haleakala ascent is in the shop. .

Our rides:
Dan: climbed to Haleakala Summit, which is about 37 miles up and 10K feet of climbing. He'll blog about his adventure soon. What an epic ride! Here's his Strava info from the climb. Handy fact: there is a weather number for Haleakala summit- you can call the night before and get the forecast for the next morning.

Me: I tested my legs (feeble and aged, as noted before) and just headed up the hill from Paia on Baldwin Avenue, through Makewao continuing on Olinda. Baldwin is pretty, passes through sugar cane fields, past a historic church, and has views like this for the first couple of miles:

It winds up with a gentle grade (4-5%) to the town of Makewao, known for its cowboy stores and art galleries. There are markets here for snacks or drinks. Crossing the intersection, I continued on Olinda Road, which starts with a steep little couple of blocks, then mellows to a sustained 6-7% for a mile or so. At a T intersection (go right for Halekala), the road steepened a lot-- sustained 9%, which reasonable segments of around 12%. I ran out of steam after about a mile of this, but still made it up 2400 vertical feet of climbing in about 12 miles of climbing. This ride can be done as a loop, which Dan did later in the week. Here's his strava info. A "nice little climb", as the guys at the bike shop characterized it.

Hana Highway: I said a bit about this last time. We started our ride from Kenai because that's where we happened to stay.

This worked out well for minimizing auto traffic, as we were ahead of the day trippers to Hana (in our direction), and traffic in the opposite direction was limited, mostly folks driving to work by appearances. The ride started with an about 1100 foot climb, with a fairly moderate grade (avg about 5%, occasional steeper bits, but nothing crazy), then continued to be either up or down. It was a ton of fun! Dan also did a side climb down a single lane road to the town of Nahiku and reports that it's scenic and a nice side ride-- adds about 700 vertical feet of climbing to the day. Here's Dan's strava file.

(Dan at one of the bridges)

We also rode on the Kalekeli highway, which I described last time.

Off-camber single lane road cut into the cliff:

(I love the creative sign annotation. Saw a lot of this on Maui)

Views like this a bit further along the road:

I did a fairly short out and back, then hung out by the beach waiting for Dan to get back from his longer ride. Next time, I'll shoot to ride the entire loop around West Maui-- about 65 miles.