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  1. #1
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    Kapalua xterra mtb

    So the Xterra world champs have been moved from Wailea to Kapalua. Hopefully the mountain bike portion will be funner but maybe those racers prefer the dry brutal course of the past, especially if the Kapalua course happens to be greasy.

    http://mauinews.com/page/content.det...ua.html?nav=11

    quote from the article, organizers of the event said that Maui Land & Pineapple granted the use of 22,000 acres for the event to take place at Kapalua. "We'll be able to provide a fantastic mountain-bike experience in Kapalua. First blush of the course shows 18 miles with over 3,000 feet of elevation changes. As the trails move from field to field they drop hundreds of feet down to the bottom of a heavy forested area, and then back up again."

    Curious if this will mark the return to Kapalua's ambitious mountain bike master plan they had commissioned several years ago. It seemed a waste in the past how they had the race on crappy trails that aren't even accessible outside the event. Why host/promote mountain biking and not back it up by providing some riding the rest of the year? Hoping that Kapalua realizes the marketing potential and gets there trail system back on track. I'll be checking up on this and see if get any info from ML&P.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck
    Curious if this will mark the return to Kapalua's ambitious mountain bike master plan they had commissioned several years ago. It seemed a waste in the past how they had the race on crappy trails that aren't even accessible outside the event. Why host/promote mountain biking and not back it up by providing some riding the rest of the year? Hoping that Kapalua realizes the marketing potential and gets there trail system back on track. I'll be checking up on this and see if get any info from ML&P.
    I totally agree with you on the golden opportunity Kapalua has with this move. I'm sure they worked hard to make it happen, I just hope they don't squander it. I too am hoping this renews the company's interests in creating some mtb-specific trails. But the reality is they're up against the ropes pretty badly financially, but slowly regaining strenth, I hear.

    It's going to be really tough to match the brutality of the Wailea/Ulupalakua Ranch course though.....and this is what everyone who has adopted the xterra lifestyle craves. I loved that course....any weakness was painfully revealed during that ride. Made for good TV too.

    As a former manager for Maui Pine Honolua (and being that Mauna Kahalawai is my mtbing backyard) I've offered to help with the course, hoping to lend a hand. The initial info I've received is they basically have access contained within the boundaries of the former pineapple fields (far less than the 22,000 acres, most of which is watershed conservation). I know of quite a few steeps out there, but nothing sustained and technical like old course. It'll be an up-and-down course, a lot more like a rollercoaster. Hopefully we can incorporate some of the nasties up there. We'll see. It's all good.

  3. #3
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    Glad to see someone is interested in whats going on there. Is the hiking, zipline, etc. still functioning? I'm assuming an outside vendor would need to run the mtb business there if it were to happen, but seems like the financial burden would be minimal if ML&P where able to partner with some entity to get trails built and maintained. Do you think there are issues with developing trails on the watershed land?

    I figured the racers would find something to like about the old course. From a marketing perspective it is a great opportunity to promote to potential vacationers, while the old course made for good racing TV, the Kapalua area has way more potential to appeal to people who are looking for nice scenic fun trails. This is not an opportunity to be missed. It's like having the golf tournament and then not letting anyone play the course the rest of the year!

    Please keep us posted.

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    As far as hiking goes (and Kapalua's current mauka trail system), one of the few great things to happen under David Cole's brief stormy tenure as ML&P CEO was the company's commitment to construct the Mahana Ridge trail/Fleming Arboretum trail system. It was completed by a Washington State trail specialty/contracting firm a little over three years ago. Although mountain biking these trails has never officially been welcomed, I've been quietly doing so since before the Washington crew came to town (on the old arboretum trail). I became familiar with the trail building crew as I would often ride the newest sections of the trail right up until I'd run into them on their machines. They made it known they were contracted to construct a hiking-only trail, but were always stoked to see a mountain biker way up there.

    Fast-forward three years and I'm just about finished spending the last three months of weekends clearing the trail of a huge backlog of brush, shrub, and tree growth. It had gotten so out of hand it had become downright impossible to ride, and it was clear Kapalua just didn't have the resources to address it at all. I've been chainsawing and brush-cutting up a storm lately (with Kapalua's blessing), and it's just now back to being fun again to hike (and ride). So to finally answer your first question, yes, the hiking trail is alive and well, I run across hikers all the time in the middle of the day when I'm doing trail maintenance. It's really a great trail they built up there, but the rapid growth of the strawberry guava, formosan koa, and molasses grass gets out of hand quickly. As far as mtbing goes (which I only do in the late afternoon hours when the hikers are long gone), what the trail lacks in bermed turns and airtime, it almost makes up for in clean flow and scenery.

    The zipline operation is alive and well, operated by a subcontractor as Kapalua Adventures. I'm always seeing full truckloads of helmeted tourists on the highway en route to being shuttled up there.

    My experience with the company is that the watershed/conservation lands will always be off-limits to open trails, etc. They take that pretty seriously, as they should. The good news is the watershed boundary generally begins well above the tops of most of the former pineapple fields, leaving a fair bit of forested area above the old fields open to potential trail establishment. But you've gotta love serious climbing when you get to that elevation, not all that conducive to "fun for the average tourist" type trails.

    But those type trails could easily be established at the lower elevations of the company's land holdings. For example, the old Village golf course, long since closed and now used as an open network of walking trails on the old golf cart paths, could pretty easily be home to an awesome network of pump track style mtb trails (much like those I recently experienced in the very similar resort town of Canmore, Alberta....fun as s**t). There's an empty canvas there just waiting for the right trail guru to see through the mass of weeds and abandoned tee boxes on those steep hillsides.

    For the mountain-biking community of Maui, the potential for a new and exciting venue on the West side is pretty large with the Xterra factor, but I guarantee it will take a concerted effort. I definitely get the feel from those I deal with at Kapalua that they recognize the potential, but face an uphill battle in convincing the Board of Directors and other stakeholders that if they build it, people will come. The success of the Xterra race this year, which hinges on the acceptance of the new course by the athletes as challenging enough, is crucial to any future plans we can only dream of right now. I say we get busy and pull it off! Then we go from there.

    Stay stoked.

  5. #5
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    Interesting move on their part. That bike section used to be a lung bustin uphill and screaming fun downhill; how I never ate it there on my two efforts is unknown.

    So I am stoked for the west side. In june I'll be bringing my bike over from Lanai for a week of riding. I usually go over to the BIG Hill but am interested to see what is beyond Lahaina. Any camping other than Olowalu?

    Thanks for all that work Beta

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpjumper808
    That bike section used to be a lung bustin uphill and screaming fun downhill; how I never ate it there on my two efforts is unknown.
    I hear ya, by the time you reached the top to start the plunge, you had to quickly get a dangerous mix of adrenaline and fatigue under control....and loosen your grip on the bars....the consequences of going down were large. I'm afraid it won't be the same death-defying act at Kapalua.

    As far as camping goes, the West side sucks. All night "fishing", however, is allowed at most public beaches. So it's either Olowalu or bring your fishing pole.

    Lot's of outlaw trails and hot, steep climbs above Lahaina, West Maui Cycles can surely point you in the right direction if you're not familiar with the area. I'm facing a very busy June in general, but you're welcome to join me for a ride on any given weekend day.

  7. #7
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    Betarad:
    Thanks for the work on the Kapalua trails. Any update on the likely combination of trails for the Xterra ?
    Will be on Maui prior to the race and would like to pre-ride if at all possible.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takakid View Post
    Betarad:
    Thanks for the work on the Kapalua trails. Any update on the likely combination of trails for the Xterra ?
    Will be on Maui prior to the race and would like to pre-ride if at all possible.
    Not sure if it was to keep the field level or because it was mostly on private property, but you were never able to pre-ride the course in Kihei/Makena. I actually know of a person or two who were banned from racing after being caught on the course in the days/weeks before the race.

  9. #9
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    Xterra posted a video of the bike course today plus still photos of the run course !

  10. #10
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    Yeah, they did that pre-ride a few weeks ago. Although I wasn't one of the invited athletes, I was clued into it by one of them and wasn't about to miss seeing some of it. I didn't ride the whole course, about half of it. Not bad. They definitely got some of the good climbs in, but still nothing that really compares to heartbreak hill. I was disappointed to see they missed adding a portion I would have included that would have been the nastiest climb, but it should be a good course nonetheless.

    Now the run, on the other hand, is going to be nasty. I arrived early and started off following xterra markers on the old Village Golf Course on my own, and thought "wow, this is a pretty hilly beginning to the bike course", only to find out 20 lung busting minutes later that I was riding the run course. The run is plenty challenging.

    As they state in the video, gone are the death-defying downhills of the Makena course, this is much more crossing over ridges and in and out of valleys, so it's a roller coaster.

    Although it's on private property, it's generally not too difficult to access. Just gotta know where to start. I've dropped some clues already.

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    Thanks for the update Betarad. It is a pity Xterra did not use your expertise when designing the bike course since it was the "toughness": of the Makena ride which was a highlight for the competitors.

    According to Xterra website, bike course will be open for pre-riding on week of race...Full course Thurs and Friday, 75% of course Wed and Sat ( this may have to do with other Xterra events being held in same location).
    Last edited by Takakid; 07-30-2011 at 07:43 PM.

  12. #12
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    What's the best kind of tires to run on this course? I'm joining this race as well and I've never ridden in Maui. I'm trying to be as best prepared as I can

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwm View Post
    What's the best kind of tires to run on this course? I'm joining this race as well and I've never ridden in Maui. I'm trying to be as best prepared as I can
    ...tires made of rubber.

    Okay, okay; kiawe-thorns and sharp rocks calls for a 2.35 High Roller (front) and a 2.1 Crossmark (rear) - "LUST" versions with Stan's....

  14. #14
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    Haven't ridden the course, but judging by the description coming from friends who have it's pretty much dirt road riding...long grinding climbs with non-techincal downhills. Hard tail 29er with small block tires will be the setup of choice. Of course if wet trades kick in and it gets muddy the tire choice will change a bit, but there's no baby head rock gardens like the Makena course featured. It's kind of a drag they dumbed down the "World Championship" course, but I'm guessing they went where the $ was....

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    Quote Originally Posted by whodaphuck View Post
    Haven't ridden the course, but judging by the description coming from friends who have it's pretty much dirt road riding...long grinding climbs with non-techincal downhills. Hard tail 29er with small block tires will be the setup of choice. Of course if wet trades kick in and it gets muddy the tire choice will change a bit, but there's no baby head rock gardens like the Makena course featured. It's kind of a drag they dumbed down the "World Championship" course, but I'm guessing they went where the $ was....
    This pretty much sums it up. For the most part it's hardpack dirt with a little bit of a loose surface. As Whodaphuck stated, if it rains which is certainly possible since October is a transitionary month from the hot, dry summer to the wetter fall/winter, it'll turn into a slimefest. In fact, this might be the only way the course would be challenging. But it will likely be dry so skinny racerboy tires with low rolling resistance will be the way to go.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betarad View Post
    This pretty much sums it up. For the most part it's hardpack dirt with a little bit of a loose surface. As Whodaphuck stated, if it rains which is certainly possible since October is a transitionary month from the hot, dry summer to the wetter fall/winter, it'll turn into a slimefest. In fact, this might be the only way the course would be challenging. But it will likely be dry so skinny racerboy tires with low rolling resistance will be the way to go.
    Awesome, thanks!!! How do you guys think Nobby Nic's would hold up here? Sidewall protection and getting a flat during the race is definitely concern for me. Also, go tubeless or stay "tubed"?
    Last edited by gwm; 09-18-2011 at 10:13 PM.

  17. #17
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    27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0">

  18. #18
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    elevation gain for xterra bike course?

    Anyone know the elevation gain in the bike portion? They say the bike course is 1 lap of 18 miles and say that there's 4,000 ft of climbing. If you take a look at the course profile below, there's no way you can get 4,000 ft of climbing of it
    XTERRA World Championship Off-Road Triathlon - October 25, 2009
    www.24hrBikeShop.com 10% of your purchase price is donated to the trail organization of your choice!

  19. #19
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    Maybe it's gonna feel like you did over 4000' of climbing somewhere near the end of the run leg?

    I have not accurately measured the total elevation gain of the stated course. I have mtbiked every bit of the course over the last decade+ being it's basically my mtbiking back yard. And I was in charge of harvesting all of the ex-pineapple fields in the area for 15 years. So going over the course in my head, I have to agree that it probably maxes out at about 3000' of total gain....some of it steeper than others. That most significant peak in the chart (leading to the max elevation) doesn't lie. It's a burner.

    Sadly, the descents, while potentially high speed if you have the skills to stay off the brakes, are mostly benign compared with the old, lava strewn course. Just remember, these are the remnants of well worn double-track plantation roads. There's generally a pretty good berm to be had on the outer edges of the turns. Careful though, this rule doesn't always apply!

    In the last week, I've seen more high $$$ carbon hardtails piloted by uber-fit tight-fitting team lycra types up in the hills than I've ever seen. Looks very out of place for this area, being that it's not known as a mtbiking mecca by any measure. But if you're in it to prove something, a carbon hardtail is probably the bike of choice for this course.

    If we cross paths during your practice runs next week, I'll be the no-name jersey guy riding in the late afternoons on a green Titus El Guapo. I usually ride part of what is now the xterra course on my way up to my usual sampling of forest singletrack above the old pineapple fields.

    Good luck in the race.

  20. #20
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    Betard...I just sent you a private msg concerning riding together in Maui. Let me know. Thanks for the heads up on the course
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