Rob and Frank on the road back from Hana

The Sunday Morning Reasonable Ride

The Sunday Morning Reasonable Ride

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I rousted Frank early. The Sunday morning group ride rolls out at 6:30 am from Twin Falls. As I put bikes in the truck  I saw a sky full of stars, a good indicator for a beautiful morning ride. I have been crazed to show Frank our local Sunday morning group ride and now he was on Maui it was finally going to happen. It is a casually deliberate ride along the north shore of the Haleakala volcano – the windward side, which is also the wet side. Frank is from Seattle and actually prefers to ride in the rain, I knew a little rain would not scare him off. We start at dawn to avoid the mid-day heat. A brief rain storm is a welcome way to cool off and still be dry twenty minutes later.

Some light mist was hitting the windshield as we came around the volcano, the wipers went on. This grew into a healthy, steady rain. We passed one rider using a headlight and rear flasher. I couldn’t tell who he was but I knew he was heading where we were heading. No one would be out on a bike at this hour for any other mission. When we finally pulled into the gravel parking area it was a proper wind/rain event. I wanted to invoke Peter Van Petegem’s beautiful line about how this weather was good for us. If the sun was over the horizon, no light was penetrating the clouds. My wife pulled up in a second car just long enough to curse the weather gods, bid us a fond farewell and head to a drier, warmer part of the island for a more civilized ride. Most reasonable people would have done just that.

We are not reasonable people. A few more unreasonable guys showed up. A reasonable girlfriend/cyclists was overjoyed to hear my wife had departed, she did too, leaving her shivering man and his bike behind. Starting a long ride wet is never great but it is warm here and we would get some dry and sun eventually. This group of unreasonable cyclists rolled out in good spirits. This was the Sunday group ride.

Frank had his new ultra-light carbon climbing wheels and their braking in wet conditions needed to be understood. He likes his brake calipers set very open (which I don’t get) but it made the testing even more exciting. Even my aluminum rims were only partially effective on roads this wet, I felt like I was pulling on the levers half the ride. Frank said the carbon rims worked well in these conditions; he could feel warm water coming off the wheels in the corners.

We reached the half-way point where coffee and food are enjoyed at an outdoor but sheltered picnic table. This was by far the wettest of these rides I’ve ever done. I’m not sure the rain stopped for one minute. Frank was in his element; talking cycling and being wet. Even through the rain and mist he understood this was a special route.

From our coffee stop in Nahiku, the strong continue on to Hana and the not-as-strong start the long initial climb back, happy the climbing will eventually put some warmth under the soaked lycra. Frank went to Hana, I headed back.

A friend and I spent the return ride diagnosing an annoying click coming from his bike. The rain never let up. Every descent was done squinting into the wet, hoping the piss poor visibility was sufficient to avoid mayhem. A moment behind another rider meant a face full of water coming off his rear wheel.

By the time I returned to the truck I had eaten everything in my pockets and rifled the glove box in the vain hope of finding something else edible. Every part of my kit was soaked many times through. Frank returned a bit later, buoyant, not the least bit annoyed at the weather. This was not a Rule #9 ride; we were not bad-asses for going out in these conditions, but we are not normal people.

This was a great ride.

// The Hardmen // The Rides // The Rules

  1. @wiscot

    Hey Gianni, is that an EPMS you’re sporting there on your steed?

    Hush your mouth! That might be an EPMS on Rob’s bike. I had mine surgically removed.

  2. @Gianni Apologies! I had no idea it wasn’t you. As a keeper I know you’d never break a rule or if you did, post a picture of you doing it!

  3. He might be all smiles now, but once Dad gets a look at the road bike he brought onto the boards, Axel is going to be in for a whuppin’.


    If that is Axel. Paging Oli! (where’s he been – New Year holiday?)

    Also, The Prophet’s jersey is incredible. Sporty yet classy! And is he wearing Gazelles?

  4. There we go, got it. Dad always said, don’t ride road bikes on the track. C’mon now, Axel’s gotta be at least 8! He couldn’t ride a fixed gear drivetrain yet?

  5. @frank I was 3:41:49–a whopping 5.9 secs too fast. I must have miscalculated the advantage of your new Café Roubaix wheels. Good enough for 2nd place?

  6. @wiscot I’m with you, brother.  I spent the holiday in West Bend.  Never got above -3 or -4C, and there was 31cm of snow.  Glad to be back in Colorado.

  7. @graham d.m.

    @Gianni You are a New Englander originally, right?

    Yeah. Massachusetts boy. Not too far from Milton, snoov!

    @wiscot

    @Gianni Apologies! I had no idea it wasn’t you. As a keeper I know you’d never break a rule or if you did, post a picture of you doing it!

    Stand by. Photo of my bike with Lezyne mini-pump on down-tube will appear shortly. Not everything is going in my damn pockets, FFS, despite Frank’s admonitions.

  8. Speaking of warm water, it was 40C plus today in Melbourne and the water in the pool is a bath like 33C degrees.

    I read of you guys battling cold and crap weather in the North, down here it is so hot. But great dry heat, not humid.

  9. @anotherdownunder

    Speaking of warm water, it was 40C plus today in Melbourne and the water in the pool is a bath like 33C degrees.

    I read of you guys battling cold and crap weather in the North, down here it is so hot. But great dry heat, not humid.

    Reminds me of a beautiful poem about the Australian summer by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre;

    ‘An Aussie Summer  ‘ a poem by  Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre

    Fuck, It’s HOT !

  10. @anotherdownunder

    Speaking of warm water, it was 40C plus today in Melbourne and the water in the pool is a bath like 33C degrees.

    I read of you guys battling cold and crap weather in the North, down here it is so hot. But great dry heat, not humid.

    yeah it hit a lazy 46 here in Adelaide today…apparently it’ll cool down before I head out tomorrow morning.

  11. After weeks of sub zero, the last few days have seen East Scotland in balmy double figures. 12 deg C today, global warming having a positive effect at last. 3 deg more and it’s shorts weather. Must shave the guns again though. I had been relying on that extra insulating layer under the roubaix lycra…

  12. @Gianni I had the privilege to ride the West Maui loop in September. The VMH allowed me a day to get up at 6AM to get the loop in one morning. Could not beleive how many other cyclists were out there. I started in Lahaina then went over to the tropical side and on way back had the winds at my back and averaged 45 KPH on final 25 KM on my beaten down guns.

    Too scared to Climb up Haleakala, maybe next time! Did not want to die on my VMH. Broke one of the rules and rode up for one of those sunrise tours and rode down though. I regret that decision mightily.

  13. @bdias85

    Good on ya. The east maui loop is a real beauty.

    Too scared to Climb up Haleakala, maybe next time! Did not want to die on my VMH. Broke one of the rules and rode up for one of those sunrise tours and rode down though. I regret that decision mightily.

    You are wise. it’s not a ride to be taken lightly. Those downhill tours are rubbish, sorry you got sucked into that. Better to ride up to the park entrance and descend down as fast as you want on a nice road bike.

  14. @frank

    @Deakus, @wiscot

    I would give Lance’s left testicle for wet conditions like that….warm….dry….what words are these that you speak of in the dead of winter?

    Great ride though….you are blessed to live where you do!

    This was most unique – warm water in the rain…strange. Very pleasant. I’ve been diving headlong into 40 minute hot showers after my rides back home.

    @Dan_R

    Regarding the warm water – I was in no mood to test the upper limits of the wheels or my gluing job, but under the circumstances, my confidence is buoyed. The major difference was that while with alu rims you hit the brakes, wait for the water to get rubbed off before any “slowing down” happens, and then use the brakes normally, carbon is somewhat different.

    You hit the brakes, nothing happens – so you hit them harder, until hot water hits your face, presumably from the heating of the rim. At this point, the drying of the rim is accelerated and moments later, the pads will grab on the rim like it’s dry. If you are over braking because you don’t trust the rim, this could cause a face-plant. If you understand how the rims work, then they will brake normally. Basically, it means you just hold the pads to the rims for a bit before you need to use them. Helps to know the route, as it turns out.

    You know what is music to my ears? Hearing someone that know how to break with carbon rims! I know some mechs who will never recommend carbon clinchers for the fear of an idiot riding them through a whole descent and exploding the rim from the heat. First, I say, well then teach ‘em how to break downhill – not. And, maybe you need to lighten up Francis. But thanks for the description Frank. I like teaching people how to brake carbon rims, but some fuckers just like to ice skate uphill.

    On that note, I am en route to Oregon, I should be there tomorrow. I brought a few wheels to test out, including a set of clinchers to hammer downhill. Should be fun.

  15. @Gianni

    @Dan_R

    Your wheels are testing through the roof! Perfect for climbing, great in the rain, great on rough descents.

    If Frank takes these on the Cogal and they survive, we will all need a pair.

    Thanks Gianni! Ummm, the 24mm wheels on the pavé? Oh oh, I better get Frank to pay up before going to the Low Countries…hehe

  16. @Dan_R

    where u riding in oregon? Couple of us actually live here…

  17. @gaswepass Has Joshua arrived yet? Did he bring bear repellent spray?

  18. @G’rilla

    @gaswepass Has Joshua arrived yet? Did he bring bear repellent spray?

    Havent heard word nor seen the fallout of said bear spray…

  19. @sthilzy

    @anotherdownunder

    Speaking of warm water, it was 40C plus today in Melbourne and the water in the pool is a bath like 33C degrees.

    I read of you guys battling cold and crap weather in the North, down here it is so hot. But great dry heat, not humid.

    Reminds me of a beautiful poem about the Australian summer by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre;

    ‘An Aussie Summer ‘ a poem by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre

    Fuck, It’s HOT !

    50C??? Holy shitballs. That’s just wrong.

    @gianni – great write-up, sir! I took several opportunities during the storms we had in November to get a few rain rides in. Sadly, both times ended up being beautifully dry rides after the first hour.

  20. @Xyverz “shitballs” I always love to hear that one!

    @gaswepass As a part of my retirement from the Canadian Army, I was entitled to some vocational retraining. I already have a degree, so I convinced them to send me here to Ashland to do the pro mech and frame building courses at UBI! Shawing!

    I am going to get a long ride in tomorrow as I did the 1800km in time to have a day ahead of start on Monday.

    And yeah, I plan on trying to link up with a few V since I am in the neighbourhood.

  21. @Dan_R

    @Xyverz “shitballs” I always love to hear that one!

    @gaswepass As a part of my retirement from the Canadian Army, I was entitled to some vocational retraining. I already have a degree, so I convinced them to send me here to Ashland to do the pro mech and frame building courses at UBI! Shawing!

    I am going to get a long ride in tomorrow as I did the 1800km in time to have a day ahead of start on Monday.

    And yeah, I plan on trying to link up with a few V since I am in the neighbourhood.

    the weather is uh, yeah, right now. did a couple hours today in mostly dry 2C weather here in PDX. Have fun in Ashland land.

  22. @Dan_R

    @Xyverz “shitballs” I always love to hear that one!

    @gaswepass As a part of my retirement from the Canadian Army, I was entitled to some vocational retraining. I already have a degree, so I convinced them to send me here to Ashland to do the pro mech and frame building courses at UBI! Shawing!

    I am going to get a long ride in tomorrow as I did the 1800km in time to have a day ahead of start on Monday.

    And yeah, I plan on trying to link up with a few V since I am in the neighbourhood.

    Ashland is a great little town. If you ski, Mt. Ashland is super close to town, and has some steep stuff (I grew up skiing there, being from Yreka just over the hill in California). Great food and brews there too. I’m a bit jealous you’re going to UBI, I’ve always wanted to take their frame building classes. Cheers!

  23. I love Ashland. Great theatre (during the season), great food, fabulous landscape.

  24. Yeah, I just had a pint and buffalo burger tonight at one of the local pubs. Approved.

    Today’s ride turned into whatever I can do on an empty stomach and on my dead legs. I guess 1000 miles of driving will effect my wonderfull stroke. But I should be able to get an hour in after class every day before dark. And since it is model diet month, maybe a few short loops in at lunch. Otherwise the weekends should be nice – even if it snows or whatever you guys call snow here. I am considering a ride up Mt Ashland, something like 5000ft unless I hit hard pack snow before the top.

    @gaswepass I drove over the Cascades on the way here and it was a mess. For all the American drivers that is. I did plan on getting into PDX for a few hours, but did an early turn off, so said fuck it. That said, I think I will be taking the coast on the way back, so if you don’t mind waiting at teh top for a fat canadian that smells like “little brother syndrome,” I may stay long enough to get the bike on the road. We’ll see, as I do have that whole starting and running a business stuff to do back home….maybe a weekend before I leave.

  25. @Dan_R

    enail fronk for my email address, see what we can work out. Next weekend has some promise for modified Rule #9 weather. even if u cant make it to pdx, can let you in on some interesting terrain options for riding further north along the coast near Tillamook. I know the area fairly well.  Have fun!

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