Camelfred - Nice to meet you. But damn you euro guys are nuts. Riding 7 miles to the start, climbing 36 miles, did you ride down and back to Kahului?... At least it looked like a tailwind from Paia to Kahului! My ride didn't go to well, still suffering post-crash, but I guess I'll have to be happy with 19th until 2008!
Hi mike , i arrived home yesterday after a 36h-journey and still feel a little bit tired .
The seven miles from kahului to the start have been a fine "warm-up"-ride . Unfortunately we were not allowed to do the downhill from haleakala to paia so we had to go with the shuttle . While waiting for our bikes (came down not until 3pm
) we walked to paia (barefooted - for saving our pedal-plates
) , but then we were too tired to wait another hour until the steak-party began so we rode back to kahului ( supported by very much tailwind
Next day we went to hilo by plane (and rental car) , and on thursday i tried to ride to the summit of Mauna Kea . Saddle-Road was really amazing , but from the turnoff to mauna-kea-road it became very fascinating . Unfortunately the gravel-section was unrideable (don't know if the condition is the same all over the year , but i dare to bet my life that nobody has done this section on a roadbike on this surface before . )
The main problem has not been the gravel by itself , but the tires digged into deep sand even on the flatter areas....and furthermore the surface was ripply like a corrugated sheet roof .
Now i can understand why no rental-car-service allows to drive up to mauna kea ... we had to rent another (4x4) car for this day .
So i put me and my bike into the supporting-car (driven by my team-mate) and began riding again at the end of gravel for the rest of the climb til obervatory-center .
Luckily the weather was realy nice (nearly cloudless and only few wind) on this day (all days before there were many clouds in the vulcano-area ) , so i was able to enjoy this trip and the panorama .
When looking across to Mauna Loa i descried a road up to the weather-station , so i had no alternative than deciding to trying this climb anytime later .
On sunday the weather was nice again so i drove to the turnoff from saddle-road and rode up the mauna-loa road . The fresh paved single-lane-road in the beginning fooled me : 7km later the road became rough and bumpy , but i decided to ride on . The descent from the observatory nearly took as long as the ascent
and i arrived on saddle-road well-shaked , but i had another great day on my bike .
I hope meanwhile your wounds are healed and wish you all the best for the future !