Our dear friend and winner of the 2013 Dave Zabriskie look a like contest- Tyson Wiles, sneaked away to Maui with his family for a few days and bagged one of the longest paved climbs on earth.
Enjoy his ride report:
I heard Mt Haleakalā was an awesome ride. I made a few calls and reserved a rode bike with compact gears (only two rentals with compact gearing so i had to wait an extra day for one to be returned). The mountain bike guys at the shop were very pleasant and flipped the stem, adjusted the bars, saddle and even gave vague instructions about where to start if I wanted to ride Haleakala. The looked at me in board shorts like this guy has no idea what he is getting himself into. When I left with the bike they said "good luck". I got the feeling from a hint of sarcasm in their voice they thought I wouldn't make it.
Paia to the peak is 37 miles of uphill and 10,023 feet. Nothing super steep just steady. They said the average grade was 6-7%. The shop employee murmmered something like the record to the top was 2 1/2 hours. Maybe Porter Wesson recently fixed his brake rub and made a top secret trip over there to set the bar high.
They told me to start at 6 to beat the heat and the afternoon weather. I loaded up from the other side of the island at 5am and made the trip in total darkness. The sun didn't come up until about 6:30 and without lights I didn't feel good about riding in the dark so I waited in the parking lot until I could see. Sure enough, uphill and into the wind from the first pedal stroke. Beautiful morning though. Only saw one other rider the whole way up. I caught him about 8 miles into the ride. Military man from texas who was vacationing in Maui so his wife could run the Maui Marathon the following Sunday. We chatted for a few thousand feet and then he indicated the pace was too much and we parted ways.
Eventually I made it to the top. It took me about 4 1/2 hours to get there and just over 1 hour to get down. The road was pristine. extremely smooth with ample bike lanes. It sure was cold up there. I'm glad I carried my warm Capo jacket, head band, gloves and knee warmers for the descent.
A must ride for anyone in our group who goes to Maui.
For the record: Tyson stood on the podium at the 2013 Cobble Classic