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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cycle to the Sun - 2016

For those unaware: It's a 36 mile ride up to Haleakala Crater in Maui with 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

I'm going to be in Hawaii in June and I'm scheduled to leave the day of this year's ride (June 25). I'm considering staying on an extra day, but I'm a little worried about how tough it might be. For context, I ride about 5 days a week, 130-140 miles with 8,000 ft of elevation (total mileage and elevation) at sea level (Los Angeles). I know I can handle the distance, I could probably handle the climbing, I just don't know how I would be feeling above 7,000 feet or so.

Anyone have any experience with this ride?
 

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lots of people do it.

you'll be fine.

go have fun.

report back.
 

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You have until June to prepare. Climbing (at least the physical effort) can be simulated on a trainer. Just dial up the appropriate resistance and ride.

Training for altitude is another matter altogether. There is nothing you can do to prepare for riding at altitude that doesn't involved training at altitude.

You have lots of time to prepare yourself mentally and physically. Go make a dry run and see how it goes.
 

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Its not the grade that will kill you, it is the wind. Towards the top of the mountian the winds pick up a bit more. Also the air gets kinda thin.

Just have a compact front and at least a 28 rear tooth cassette.
 

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My matra for high elevation is, Don't go into the RED zone.
If you go there, it will require you to stop to recover, or if you don't it will slow you down for a long time. You can go hard, but not above your limit.
 

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back in 2014, I went to Maui for work... I was hoping to do the ride to the top of Haleakala, unfortunately, the one day that I had available to devote to riding, there were no groups going all the way to the top. I ended up renting a bike from Maui Cyclery and singing up for a group ride. The day of the group ride, no one else signed up so I basically got a one on one tour from Donnie, the shop owner. We had about 3 hours worth of riding time and I told him that I'd like to do as much climbing as I could, that I had prepared as best I could, being form New Jersey. We ended up doing 37.7 miles with 4,400' of climbing and got to an elevation of about 2800' on the crater. I hadn't started to feel any effects of the elevation, but I hadn't gotten anywhere near the top really. I can say that later on in the trip, my wife and I went up to the top to watch the sunrise and just climbing the stairs to the lookout tire was tiring. I'd say you can probably do it, just take your time, go at your pace, don't push into the red zone and you'll be fine. Here's my Strava file. It was absolutely one of the best rides I've done... I want to go back and tackle the full climb.

https://www.strava.com/activities/188128850
 

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^Donnie's routes around Haiku and Kula are more fun than just chugging up to the top.
A LOT of people ride up Haleakala so it's very doable. There are no steep grades (I use a 39/23), it's just long and sometimes windy. There's plenty of places to refill water so 2 bottles is fine (I use 1). Weather is the big consideration because it can get cold and rainy as you go through the cloud line so bring long finger gloves and arm/leg warmers or even a jacket. Usually I tell people to watch the forcast and pick the day that looks the least windy and driest but if you're doing the event you take what you get. Altitude at the summit is the same as some Colorado towns so not extreme and most people can handle it if you don't try to go hard (that's where the low gearing comes in). At West Maui Cycles we'll rent you a Tarmac S-works (36/52, 11-28) to lessen the effects of gravity or a Roubaix with 34/50, 11-32 if you wanna crawl up the last few switchbacks as tunnel vision sets in. Have fun and if you have time do the West Maui Loop, Road to Hana, Grandma's to Kaupo, and all the other awesome rides on this island. I'm up pre-dawn right now pumping the tires before doing a West Maui Loop.
 

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lots of people do it.

you'll be fine.

go have fun.

report back.
He'll need a bike with disk brakes for the descent..................

Oh wait....................
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
^Donnie's routes around Haiku and Kula are more fun than just chugging up to the top.
A LOT of people ride up Haleakala so it's very doable. There are no steep grades (I use a 39/23), it's just long and sometimes windy. There's plenty of places to refill water so 2 bottles is fine (I use 1). Weather is the big consideration because it can get cold and rainy as you go through the cloud line so bring long finger gloves and arm/leg warmers or even a jacket. Usually I tell people to watch the forcast and pick the day that looks the least windy and driest but if you're doing the event you take what you get. Altitude at the summit is the same as some Colorado towns so not extreme and most people can handle it if you don't try to go hard (that's where the low gearing comes in). At West Maui Cycles we'll rent you a Tarmac S-works (36/52, 11-28) to lessen the effects of gravity or a Roubaix with 34/50, 11-32 if you wanna crawl up the last few switchbacks as tunnel vision sets in. Have fun and if you have time do the West Maui Loop, Road to Hana, Grandma's to Kaupo, and all the other awesome rides on this island. I'm up pre-dawn right now pumping the tires before doing a West Maui Loop.
Thanks - I was looking at West Maui Cycles.

Still not sure what to do - I might try it on my own on a non-race day, only problem is I will be unsupported.
 
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