10,000 feet above the sea? No, not some inverse Jules Verne reference. 10,000 feet, 40 miles, 3 climate zones equals a good morning ride. Start near the Hana highway, ride through Paia and up to the top of Haleakala mountain. Yes Maui!
It’s not set in stone, but is probably likely early next year. I’ve been dreaming of doing this climb. The climb is tough, especially the top, but it’s something that just begs to be done. Now all the fun challenges: rent or ship my bike? Stop at this ride or ride around West Maui as well? If all goes according to plan, we will be there for 9 or 10 days. I think that going to the top of Haleakala would be a fun family trip; it’s just that I would bike there and back.
Normally I would say a 40 mile ride would be a two to three hour trip, but considering the amount of climbing and the considerable altitude (altitude sickness is a very real issue above 8500 feet) and the fact that it is all climbing that a four or five hour limit is more likely. Considering that sunrise is around seven in the morning during the time of year that we would be going and that I would likely be riding from Makena (an additional 20 miles) I would probably leave around six and get to the top around noon.
Then I can meet everyone up there; explore life at 10,000 feet before heading back down…on my bike. With the hairpin corners and the 40 miles of downhill, I will probably beat everyone back to Paia. The other ride would be dependent on Trisha and the boys finding something to do around Kahului for half the day. That ride is 50ish miles, with a little climbing, but a very challenging road having a lot of very steep corners and roads only wide enough to allow a single vehicle. I expect it would take me in the four to five hour range again.
So in the end it would be two day that would be nearly filled with biking. I don’t know, it seems fairly selfish and if I’m keep to one ride then it will definitely be up Haleakala. Now, to rent or pack…