We loaded into the vans on this muggy morning and made the 25 minute drive to the town of Maalaea. Once there we unloaded and suited up. It was only 8:30am but the temperature was up around 25°C. And it only got hotter from there! We rolled out at a brisk 38km/h for just about 40km. We cut off the main road and detoured through the quaint town of Lahaina. It was nice to look at but not great for riding – lots of slow moving cars, sewer grates, and crosswalks. But I’m glad we took the detour as it was a neat town to see.
After rejoining the main road we followed the coast line all the way around the head of Maui, on what seemed like a road built for cycling. Amazing vistas, very little traffic, and a constant up and down profile made for an amazing day on the bike. And it was HOT. Crazy hot. The locals commented that it was probably the hottest day they remembered on this side of the island. When we stopped for some shave ice, banana bread and a Coke at Lorraine’s our sweep van driver said his in-car thermometer read 99°F.
Once we were all hopped up on caffeine and sugar we got back on our bikes to complete the loop. We were immediately faced with a tough climb – rough road, treacherous cliffs, and a steep grade. At what I thought was the top of the climb we were presented with more climbing. And then descending. And then more climbing. This up-and-down roller coaster kept up for another 10k or so before we finally started the descent back towards Wailuku.
On this day, unlike pretty much every other day in the history of Maui, we had a head wind as we rode south along Honoapiilani Highway. So a 7.2km stretch on which riders can average 45km/h+ we averaged roughly half that speed. Very disappointing as I was feeling strong and wanted to drill it.
For a more detailed look, here are the ride details on Garmin Connect. (Note the temperature chart – we hit highs of 33° Celsius!