Huaka’i: trip, voyage, journey, mission.

We’re going on an insane cycling trip and our mission is a crazy challenge: to hop on our road bikes and conquer the most toughest climb in the world: Mauna Kea!

And since we’re there, we will of course take the opportunity to discover all the beautiful locations that Hawaii has to offer. By bicycle of course!

So we will not only try to beat the volcanic monster Mauna Kea (1 climb of 69km!), we will cycle for 10 days in a row on the Big Island and Maui on the hunt for amazing sceneries and to conquer other incredibly tough volcanic climbs, like Mauna Loa (1 climb of 99km!) and Haleakala (1 climb of 57km!). And what about the steepest road of the USA, Waipi’o Valley Road, 820 meters long a monstruous average gradient of 23%!



Where does the name of our blog come from you might wonder. First of all we say a big Aloha (hello) to this crazy outrageous most tough cycling challenge in the world :-). We think we’re ready for ya. We hope…. We pray…

Everyone passionate about cycling is familiar with Paris-Roubaix. This monument is also known as l’Enfer du Nord, the Hell of the North. And for good reason. Endless gruesome cobblestones, dust, mud, crashes and a lotttt of suffering.

But now you will come to know about an even worse hell of the North: the Hell of the North Pacific Ocean… yup, you guessed it….. Mauna Kea!



We will land on 3 November 2018 on the Big Island. The first ride is 4 November and we cycle 10 days in a row. On 9 November it’s D-Day: Mauna Kea! Our last ride is a climb of 99km (!) and after the finish we jump off our bike and fly away the same evening on 13 November. Hopefully we will all stay alive to tell this epic tale at home :-).

Before we jump into the details of the trip, we first have a question for you about Hawaii.

Do you know where Hawaii is on the global map?….

It’s…. nowhere. Really. It’s a tiny spot in the middle of the ocean between the US and China. We will travel 22 hours by plane with to stops in between to get there.

The time difference with Amsterdam is 12 hours. Aloho jetlag!!! Will we be zombies on bikes the first couple of days?

Here are some highlights and stats of our trip:

  • 762 km of cycling
  • 18,946 meters of climbing
  • 1 Monster: Mauna Kea
  • 2 Killers: Haleakala & Mauna Loa
  • 1 Time Trial on the Iron Man road

And here is the day to day summary:



Let’s dive into some more information about the main purpose of our trip: Mauna Kea or Mauna O Wakea (the mountain of the sky god Wakea, from whom all things in Hawaii are descended):

  • Highest mountain in the world (10 km, measured from the bottom of the ocean… too bad there are no underwater road bikes…)
  • Summit at 4192 meters (measured from sea level)
  • 69 km climbing (to reach the top)
  • 4191 altitude meters
  • Nr. 1 toughest climb in the world (Mont Ventoux is nr. 235)
  • Part one: 45 km with an average gradient of 4.5%.
  • Part two: 24 km with an average gradiënt of 9.9%
  • At 3600 m: a 7.5 km long gravel-section mixed with dry and dusty volcanic ash without traction with a gradient of max 15%.
  • At the summit there is only 70% of oxygen compared to sea level!
  • On STRAVA only 103 reached the top
  • KOM: 4:45:54
  • QOM: 9:22:39

Here you can see the top 10 of the most difficult climbs in the world, ranked by Climbbybike:

We’ve written a full blog post about the climb of Mauna Kea with all the nitty gritty details, climbing profile, oxygen calculations, gravel road problems and much more. Check it out here and find out why it truly is the most toughest climb in the world!



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Aloha hoa paikikala (bye bye cycling friend)!