Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two New 400k Routes

As you know, last year's floods affected canyons used by the Lefthand 400k and St. Vrain 400k loops.  Several events are affected:

400k/600k on May 17
400k on June 7
400k/600k/1000k on June 21

So here are a couple of ideas for new 400k routes we could use this year.

Black Forest 400k

This is an idea from Charlie Henderson, based on the Black Forest 300k route with a 100k round-trip spur from Elbert to Bennett.  The Black Forest and Back 200k Permanent previews that spur (in reverse).

This route has some benefits, and some challenges, including a 100k climb, quite possibly into the wind, from the turnaround point and course low point in Bennett.

Rustic 400k

The Rustic route has the familiar plains start of our 400k's and 600k's, followed by access to Poudre Canyon via Stove Prairie.  (If that road hasn't reopened in time, we can take Horsetooth Reservoir.)  This is followed by a spur to Livermore.  

These sections have high scenic value, but also some traffic.  As this is a Louisville start, the route could be used for the 600k's and the 1000k.

Let me know what you think!  Alternate ideas are welcome, too.


P.S. The 1000k may have increased interest this year, as it did in 2010, because of the ACP's pre-registration policy for Paris-Brest-Paris.  So we certainly would like to offer a scenic and enticing 1000k for our guests.  The third loop (up Big Thompson Canyon, and down via Devil's Gulch) will also need some attention or a substitute.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Hana Hiatus 202km Perm - A Nice Break!

It's been in the teens all day as I write this, with a mixture of snow and graupel ushering in a Colorado month of March.  While many of us have been eking out a Platteville Poke-Along or Kersey Kick permanent in between snowstorms and the polar vortex, a few lucky riders - four so far this season - have been able to enjoy my Hana Hiatus 202km circuit of south Maui, starting with our own local luminary, Ray Rupel.

You can read Ray's write-up in the spring issue of American Randonneur.


The route takes in South Maui, featuring the Hana Highway, the quiet south coast, and the SW flank of the Haleakala volcano.

Here are some photos I took researching this route.  The ride starts in Lihei, on the west coast of South Maui, near hotels and services.  You pass the local rowing club's canoes arrayed on the beach.

A tranquil start on the bikepath from Kihei to Kahului.

Beyond Pukulani is the route's high point, just above 3,000 ft.  

After a flat start, you climb (if you're riding counterclockwise) up the shoulder of the Haleakala volcano to Pukulani. (Clockwise, it's a nice downhill treat towards the end.  There is a runaway truck lane, by the way.)

Some traffic heading down the Haleakala Highway on the way to work.

The road becomes pastoral and even quieter.

Looking up the flank of Haleakala.

Verdant stretches even on this, the leeward side.

The Piilani Highway descends to the south coast.

Nice views of the Pacific and nearby islands.

Some fun on a twisty descent!

This quiet road narrows to one lane.

More volcanic terrain.  Yes, we're looking down on the bridge we just crossed.

Nice outcroppings on the coast.

The segment just pictured has fairly new asphalt, and is in wonderful shape.  What follows is eight miles of rough pavement and (somewhat smoother) dirt. 

This pavement feels even rougher than it looks!

This shot of the bridge shown above - courtesy of Google StreetView - shows the pavement before it was redone.  Now it is very smooth. 

Goats graze on a ridge.

The road traverses volcanic outcroppings.

In this verdant country, even the cattleguards are overgrown with grass.

Deep ravines proceed to the coast.

The services tend to be isolated ranch and general stores.

A tempting sidetrip ... up to 10,000 ft.

Enjoying the beach at the start/finish, looking towards cloud blowing off West Maui.

Jenny and Shawn Hatfield are the latest to have ridden the Hana Hiatus as of this writing.  Check out Jenny's photo report.   And remember to look for Ray's article.

The Hana Hiatus is a tough 200k in some ways.  It has almost 11,000 ft. of climbing.  The south coast can be hot and has limited services.  The Hana Highway - a succession of rollers and bridges over inlets - has cumulative climbing and being on the windward side, can be wetter.  But with the right preparation and attitude, you're in for a rewarding, scenic experience!


P.S. I have not posted info on the Colorado Permanents pages (because it's not in Colorado), but you can find basic info here and a RideWithGPS map here.