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Mauna Kea the beast is conquered
Last Post 07/15/2018 09:02 PM by Orange Crush. 9 Replies.
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Orange Crush


07/05/2018 12:40 PM
(Those wanting pics will need to get an FB account alas) Ride report - we made it. The day started with brutal tradewind headwinds for first 25k. The mid portions of the approach we had tailwind only to get headwind again for final section to Mauna Kea access road. By the time we reached access road after 66km of climbing in blustery conditions and 2000m up we were toast. Next up 10kms to visitor centre at 2900m elevation with pitches to 17%. After that 8kms of unpaved barely rideable loose gravel at 10% grade topping out at 3500m Beyond that we entered thin air and more unrelenting pitches but at least the finish at just over 4000m came into view. Fresh wings for yours truly and the final 3k was a bit of a victory lap. Managed to find our way on loop around all the observatories which took some route finding and minor gravel. The return brought endless downhill and more variable wind. Almost missed a turn near top. Maybe discs don't cool well in thin air? Left 5.30 am. At top around 3pm. Back 7pm thanks to two flats. Sunrise to sunset.


07/05/2018 02:07 PM
Congratulations. I hope “missing a turn” was trivial.
What’s your FB handle?
Cranky Tom


07/05/2018 02:57 PM
Congratulations OC. I was on the Big Island (staying near the Mauna Lani) two weeks ago. Fantastic place.
Now that you've conquered the beast you should spend the rest of your time on the Big Island as god intended - laying on the beach, snorkeling, swimming and drinking Kona Longboard Lager!
Cosmic Kid


07/05/2018 08:49 PM
Congrats, OC...sounds epic!!

Almost makes me wanna get on FB...almost.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush


07/05/2018 10:43 PM

Haha we did all those things already Tom including downing a case of the longboard lager as part of my wife's 50th celebration. That and Mai Tais. Also hiked Polua Valley. Several families came over for this trip.

Next leg is just us. We are in Volcano now. Hunting for lava.


07/06/2018 06:25 AM
I rode Haleakalā and thought I earned stud status. I surrender my title to one more worthy.

Well done you beast!


07/11/2018 10:38 AM
Well done Jos!! That climb is on my bucket list for sure!
Orange Crush


07/13/2018 11:08 AM
First commute to work after 8 days of doing "nothing". Yikes.

Dale - I rode Haleakala in 2016 as part of prep for Tour of Flanders. Like Mt Evans and most high elevation Colorado climbs it has nothing on Mauna Kea, no gravel, no grade, just long. I've come to conclusion for a while now that when calculating the hardness of a ride all grades below 7% should be discounted. They don't matter. This is how I approached Haute Route Alps in 2015 to assess the pinch points in the week. And before you know it when thinking this way, you have as my kid calls it "Mauna Easy".

Best part about doing these endurance efforts is that it is rubbing off on my 15 year old (one of them anyways). He did a half marathon earlier this year (a year and a bit underage to officially enter) where he got a top 5 in the under 19 category and placed in upper 5th percentile overall. He's already talking about a 1:25 time for his next half (November) and longer term Boston entry and Hardrock100 in CO as soon as he's eligible. Already a slave to endurance and even on vacation he put in 80+km running on weekly basis. I'm going to try him on one of my training hills next month; I know he can do the effort, he's just a bit apprehensive about cycling after a couple hard crashes.


07/15/2018 08:32 PM
"all grades below 7% should be discounted" Mostly agree with this, you just find a gear and ride. The stuff that kicks 10, 12, 18% just destroy you. When I did LOTOJA the guys in the line with me at the registration pick up we're telling me about the beast climbs and told me (being from the midwest) I'd die a miserable death. Their climbs were 12 miles at 5%, the ones out here are 1/2 mile at 12% followed by a descent then back up again, rinse, repeat. Now those will crush your soul.
Orange Crush


07/15/2018 09:02 PM
Hardest climb I did in Colorado was Sugarloaf. You turn left in the canyon...BOOM.

This made Mauna Easy so hard. 24k at 9.2% unrelenting. Nowhere to hide.
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