Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ride Report - Old Mamalahoa Highway

This is another awesome ride, from Waikoloa, up through Waimea, and then on to Honokaa via the Old Mamalahoa Hwy. You have to ride about 3 miles from Waimea on the main highway, which is slightly uncomfortable.

The climb from the Queen K up to Waimea is a nice one. 10 miles at about 5% gradient. It is about 50 mins of climbing from the volcanic wastelands of the beach area to the green ranchlands of Waimea. After a brief stint on the main highway, you turn off onto the old road, which winds it way through ranches and beautiful vistas. Once in Honokaa you can ride out to the Waipio Valley overlook, but I did not have time.

I was originally intending to go do Kaloko Drive again, but I ran into Lance and spun around to ride with him. When he turned off, I decided to go to Honokaa because Brad had recommended the old highway, and I know that Lance rides it as well. I was relieved, because Kaloko Drive scares me, whereas the climb to Waimea is tolerable.

The best part of the ride was the descent back down to Kawaihae from Waimea. After a couple of gradual miles, you get into an 8 mile motorpacing session. The average gradient is 5%, and it is pretty consistent, so you can motor. The shoulder is a bit narrow, so you need to motor unless you like traffic passing close by.

I spent 14 mins going down this section in the 53x11 and 12, at threshold the whole time. It was really fun to work hard for so long going downhill.

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