At first glance Haleakala doesn't look impressive as you don't see a majestic peak like Mt. Shasta or Mt. Diablo--as it goes clear into the clouds. But it takes up the whole South of Maui and looks like the Oakland Hills on steroid, a massive wall across the island
We were staying at lower dot to the left and planning to ride to the distant peak of Haleakala, dot on the right, hidden by clouds.
little bit of a pain taking apart-transporting-and then rebuilding my bike (@ 1 1/2 hours each-50 lb suitcase) for one ride but on the other hand Mike scrambled for an ill fitting rental and we later heard from another Club member who rode Haleakala on a badly fitted rental bike.
Stayed in a place with tiny rooms which would have been a dive in Northern California but was charming in Maui. Here prices were on steroids, a CO2 cartridge (screw in, 16g) was $10, as they have to boat them in. I wanted to stoke up on carbs so a bagel in a coffee shop caught my eye--nothing on it-- $3.50. Mauiflation. Paia is a nice oceanfront town with a main road running though it, kind of like Tomalas with more things to do and a lot warmer. Luckily soon found some locally baked (and reasonably priced) pumpkin bread, and later for dinner ate pizza baked in an open wood oven with the friendliest waitresses ever.
Haleakala from Paia--it is so big it looks real close, but it is at the other end of Maui, @14 miles away
Next morning we are psyched to start and are ready to go @7:10. Well I'm psyched to go. The sky is black over the left side of Haleakala, blue over the right side. Mike is still on India time and he says he isn't going if it is raining, and looks like he has little energy for the 10,000' climb. But he is a long distance bulldog so I just want to get him started.
The beginning of the ride is the toughest as from ground 0' you immediately start climbing.
Nothing bad, the whole ride is a constant 3-6%, but it seems like we were closer to the upper range at the beginning on tight legs. About every 2 minutes a car would pass on the road through ag land with a narrow shoulder. I was also worried about rain--but it seemed like the sky was getting a little clearer as we pressed on. I'm also po'd that my cyclocomputer died--but the road is marked with altitude markings, and this way I could just keep Mike's pace without trying to stay at a certain MPH. . Not to many turns on the ride, but aware that the Chain Reaction owner got lost we make sure we make a right in Hanamu, where traffic picks up a bit.
Mike is also unusually quiet, until a local come by, she is cycling to the base of Haleakala. There is a solid pack of white clouds about 5,000' up, so I stop and take loads of photos while Mike and local woman push on. Road is again quiet with the occasional car--but we have a good shoulder. .
3000' From the Chain Reaction site we are aware that no water is readily available so we stop at the Kula Marketplace, very nice place with local food and crafts, to get an extra water bottle to carry up. We are now at about 3,000' and haven't entered the park yet--this is where local woman turns around..
4000' In a little while, at mile 14 of constant climbing, we get to the turn into the park, which indicates that summit is 22 miles away. Shoulder ends but now traffic really lessons--maybe a passing car every 10 minutes. Still clear so I stop often to get more shots of where we had been. One time the quiet is punctuated by something we'd see a few times--raincoat clad full facemask helmet tourists who were vanned to a higher elevation coasting downhill on cheap mountain bikes.At about 4,000'("X" to right is where we started) --we haven't hit the first cloud level yet, and 6,000' to go.
I'm with Jamis S&S Bike by one of another small beach in Oahu,