We left the condo at 7:00 yesterday morning to once again attempt the West Maui loop ride. We had set out to do this once before, but were turned back after we had ridden 37 miles due to road paving.
We arrived at our jumping off place about 40 minutes later and proceeded to unpack our bikes from the car. The skies were overcast, but the weather forecast looked promising.
We had decided to start in Lahaina so that our legs would be fresher for the hill work that we knew was coming. As we rode north and then east, I wondered whether the weather forecast was accurate. It looked like it might pour any minute. As it happened, however, we were able to complete the ride with no rain, although it was obvious by the number of rocks on the road and the standing water in places that the areas we were riding through had recently experienced a torrential downpour.
The first big challenge was what is commonly referred to among cyclists on the island as "the wall" - a hill with an 18% grade. The first time we rode up this hill during our 75-mile accidental odyssey, I had to get off my bike for the last third of the hill. Yesterday, however, I was able to make it all the way to the top, using what I call my "Zen" method for climbing challenging hills, i.e., focus on the pavement immediately in front of the bike and keep peddling.
|These two pictures, above and below, show the "wall," rising steeply from right to left.|
|This is the place we got to on our previous ride. The road up and out of this little cove can be seen cut into the side of the hill, both in this photo and the one below.|
|The view as we approached Wailuku. The mouth of the valley in the middle of the island is visible, as well as the lower slopes of Haleakala.|
Once we reached Wailuku, we knew all of our hill work was behind us. We had a burger at McDonalds, then set out across the valley, then up to Lahaina. 60 miles in total. It had been a good day. We did it.