It takes a special kind of person to seek out adventures that are beyond Type 2. Masochistic, perhaps. It takes a special kind of relationship to find another friend willing to take the plunge into the pain cave with you. When those friendships are born, they usually prosper when the vert gets big, the mileage gets long, and the weather gets questionable.
When Barry had the idea to couple two of Maui’s iconic mega rides into one, he knew just the right person to call. Tonkin. They plotted the time and energy it would take to ride Maui’s ultra-winding West Maui Loop with a ride that we’re not convinced anyone else has done before: the backside of Haleakala via its steep, rutted, and burly gravel road. The West Maui Loop is a gorgeous ride with sweeping views of the northwest surf breaks and the island of Moloka’i. Its 58 miles climb over 4,000 feet, many through crazy tight switchbacks and overgrown forest tendrils dripping down to the pavement below.
Haleakala is another beast entirely. While riding to the summit from the ocean isn’t uncommon, everyone that we’ve ever known has done it via the main paved road. It’s a burly 10,000-foot climb that crushes your legs and your lungs. Not satisfied with doing the usual, Barry and Erik decided to create their own torture fest. Barry mapped out a forgotten road on the backside of the volcano that consisted of dirt, gravel, mud and a whole lot of pain. Why take the “easy” route when you can choose the punishing one instead? The reward is always greater.
If you’re looking to up your adventure game, the Rove NRB DL, Libre DL, and Swift Rove all feature Shimano’s GRX groupsets. GRX is engineered for proper ergonomics across rough terrain, making longer rides more comfortable. Available in 1x or 2x, the GRX drivetrain is tough, durable, and promises smooth shifting.
For more info: Kona Bikes