2743.2m above sea level - starting from 0m - and about 300m to go.

V And V Makes VV: Haleakala Round IIV

V And V Makes VV: Haleakala Round IIV

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I can’t really call it an obsession. If it was an obsession, I would have commissioned a bloke I’ve never met to build me a set of ultra-light wheels and I would have spent an outrageous amount of money to upgrade my handlebars in an identical shape from aluminum to carbon in an effort to shave a few grams off the top end of my machine. After all, science has proven that buying lighter gear is a more effective strategy for climbing faster than that weight-weenie bullshit like quitting beer or steak. 

Alright, so maybe I’m obsessed. But it’s not an all-consuming obsession – not obsessive obsession. Its more like a weighty thought that bends all the other less weighty thoughts towards it, like Einstein described why gravity bends light. It started less than a single Cognitive Unit after the VMH informed me of my time up the mountain on Part Deux. (A Cognitive Unit, obviously, is the unit of time it takes one to process any piece of information after the dishing up of a massive helping of Rule V.) It was around that time that my thoughts started warping towards riding Haleakala again – faster.

It started in low, then it started to grow. No, I’m not quoting How the Grinch Stole Christmas; I’m describing what happened after my gut was accosted by the Holiday Season. I’m fat, I’m out of shape, and I’m slow. What training I’ve been doing has been done in Seattle around the freezing point in stubbornly wet weather. Maui, on the other hand, insists on having warm weather – something I’m unaccustomed to – and the forecast for the coming week is hot, hot, and hotter. Despite Ryder Hesjedal setting the record up the climb during this time of year, the conventional wisdom around these here parts is that this is the worst time of year to try for a personal record up Haleakala.

You will understand, then, that this is the perfect time for me to leave a lung or two on Crater Road for the third time running. Assuming the weather holds and D.S. @Gianni, Coach VMH (whose “coaching” consists mostly of chastising and comparing me to small and adorable yet unwanted rodents), and @MauiBike fail to come up with compelling reasons to move the effort to another date, I will be visiting Pele for the third time on New Years Day, 2013.

Prognosticate on my upcoming ride at your own risk. For your reading and viewing entertainment, the two previous editions of Frank vs. The Volcano are provided here: Frank vs. The Volcano // Frank vs. The Volcano, Part Deux.

// The Rides // Unforgettable Rides

  1. BUT did you ride down as well or was it treated as a mountain top finish?

  2. @Gianni

    @freddy

    3:41:49

    @Duende

    Good luck Frank. I look forward to reading your report and to watching the third instalment in the video series. I’ll guess 3:41.55.

    It’s going to be close.

    From the DS car it was a most horrible assault. Frank was on the rivet from start to finish. He is a tough monkey. A big Rule V effort if I’ve ever seen one. I’m tired and all I did was drive and curse. Some malted beverage recovery fluids will flow tonight.

    Alright, moving slowly here…I’m on vacation afterall. But it looks like the winner is @Duende on account of being only 1/100th of a second over (we’re not playing Price is Right rules, whatever that is, we’re just saying who is the closest…)

  3. @the farmer

    BUT did you ride down as well or was it treated as a mountain top finish?

    I think that to anyone who hasn’t ridden Haleakala, the notion of riding down seems very seductive. When you’re at the top, though, you’ll quickly realize that riding down is beyond idiotic.

    On the other hand, the section from 6,000 feet to 4,000 feet is possibly the best road for descending you’ll ever find, anywhere. Its great to do a Demi Haleakla (from about 1,000 feet to 6,000 feet) and catch the descent.

    @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    Nice effort Frank.I noticed few things though.From your new photos it looks like you changed your set up a bit.Since I don’t care about the direction of the fi’zi:k bartape finishing sticker I’d like to know what’s the reason you tilted up your new rotundos and why placing record shifters at such an angle.Do you feel discomfort on classic bars?

    No discomfort at all, and the bars are basically at the same angle that they’ve been at for years on the alu Rotundos. I like the bars at that angle as it allows for a very natural wrist angle, and similarly the hoods (mounted on the bars such that the levers are flush with the bottom of the bars) allow for a natural angle as well.

    I’ve ridden bars over the years at every angle and experimented with generating tension through having the hoods nice and low – I love how it looks, but I’ve found that having the hoods up more lets me pull better and generate more leverage. Especially since I’ve been climbing more, I find this position more beneficial. When I rode the flats more, however, I had them lower.

    There is some footage in the video I’m working on that has me from the side, I’ll be curious if you see anything unusual about the position.

  4. @frank I’ve got a pair of Haleakalas coming from Dan_R in the next couple of months. You’ve got me as giddy as a school girl with your reports of this week’s vanquishing of the volcano.  CAN.NOT.WAIT.FOR.MY.HALEAKALAS.  And, again, way to kick that volcano’s ass.

  5. @frank Though I would love to be able to take credit for having predicted your time to within 1/100th of a second, I will have to content myself with having been a full 1/10th of a second off. Still, the experience has left me wondering toward what other ends I might turn my newly-discovered power of prognostication!

  6. @Duende

    @frank Though I would love to be able to take credit for having predicted your time to within 1/100th of a second, I will have to content myself with having been a full 1/10th of a second off. Still, the experience has left me wondering toward what other ends I might turn my newly-discovered power of prognostication!

    Wait a minute!  I thought we were playing by the Price Is Right rules!  (Oh the agony.)

  7. @frank

    @the farmer

    BUT did you ride down as well or was it treated as a mountain top finish?

    I think that to anyone who hasn’t ridden Haleakala, the notion of riding down seems very seductive. When you’re at the top, though, you’ll quickly realize that riding down is beyond idiotic.

    What reasons?

  8. @frank

    Official time was: 3:41:54.9 – who came closest?

    Spot. Fucking. On.

    Chapeau Frank.

  9. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    @frank I’ve got a pair of Haleakalas coming from Dan_R in the next couple of months. You’ve got me as giddy as a school girl with your reports of this week’s vanquishing of the volcano. CAN.NOT.WAIT.FOR.MY.HALEAKALAS. And, again, way to kick that volcano’s ass.

    I am licking my chops just thinking about the build!

  10. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    @frank I’ve got a pair of Haleakalas coming from Dan_R in the next couple of months. You’ve got me as giddy as a school girl with your reports of this week’s vanquishing of the volcano. CAN.NOT.WAIT.FOR.MY.HALEAKALAS. And, again, way to kick that volcano’s ass.

    Well, you still have to pedal the bike – but the wheels are incredible. What you notice the most is that they spin up so easily, and since climbing is basically a non-stop acceleration, they really make a big difference. Especially when the gradient changes and you need to keep your momentum going.

    I found myself riding out of the saddle a lot more too, the bike would just spring to life instantly – something that was helped as well by the stiffer bars when I was leaning my fat torso on them.

    But like I say, you still have to pedal the bike, they don’t resolve that issue…

  11. I think I can answer for Frank about why you don’t merrily descend Haleakala after climbing it: you’re fucking DESTROYED. Summit temperature was maybe 10 C the day I was crushed by the ascent, and I had trouble staying warm while stationary and bundled in fleece. I’d planned on riding down, and was more than happy to relegate that plan to ‘another time’.

  12. This photo of me at the beach offers some insight into why I might have climbed slower than I had hoped.

  13. @frank

    congrats on the weight loss! U look so much better!

  14. @frank

    This photo of me at the beach offers some insight into why I might have climbed slower than I had hoped.

    And henceforth, you shall be known as Mr Creosote.

  15. @frank

    This photo of me at the beach offers some insight into why I might have climbed slower than I had hoped.

    I’m going to use this for my Gravatar.

  16. @frank

    This photo of me at the beach offers some insight into why I might have climbed slower than I had hoped.

    Frank noooooooooo – why are you not wearing a top – do you really want to break our hearts by disobeying Rule #7 in January.

    I mean what’s next? A Rule #8 violation with some fancy coloured bar tape?

    It’s like finding out the pope has sex at weekends…

  17. @wiscot

    @frank

    This photo of me at the beach offers some insight into why I might have climbed slower than I had hoped.

    And henceforth, you shall be known as Mr Creosote.

    Voila!

  18. And looky here – Mr Creosote also has some fancy wheels that make him go faster!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gs29sF7mcs

  19. You may be turning Scottish Frank…

  20. @frahnk

    as you yanks say: good jarb. it would inneresting to find out how your superfly wheelset compared to a factory set

  21. @the Engine

    @frank

    This photo of me at the beach offers some insight into why I might have climbed slower than I had hoped.

    Frank noooooooooo – why are you not wearing a top – do you really want to break our hearts by disobeying Rule #7 in January.

    I mean what’s next? A Rule #8 violation with some fancy coloured bar tape?

    It’s like finding out the pope has sex at weekends…

    Don’t worry, I used megatons of sun screen and my tan lines are sharp as ever. In fact, they’re actually visible. (It is January, after all.)

  22. Just wanted to say that the record has been broken.

    What a climb.

    http://www.strava.com/activities/99917806

  23. @rodd heino

    Just wanted to say that the record has been broken.

    What a climb.

    http://www.strava.com/activities/99917806

    Holy shit! He destroyed that climb and even road back down.

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