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haleakala sunrise bike ride

San Diego
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haleakala sunrise bike ride

Anyone have positive or negative experiences with the different bike outfitters? We want to do a sunrise bike ride (me, hubby, and 12 and 15 yr old kids). There seem to be a lot of choices. Is it really that risky if you ride safely?

Thanks for any info!

Bellevue, WA
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1. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

We found an outfitter that would let you go at your own pace and, for us, that was the only way to go.

Being stuck behind the slowest rider in the group is not our idea of fun.

I will also say that, having done it, we have no interest in doing it again.

South Jersey
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324 posts
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2. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

We are going first week in Aug, and we booked with a bike company that lets you go at your own pace. The name is Haleakala Bike Company. I didn't like the idea of having to keep up with everyone else and being on someone elses time table.

California
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3. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

As always Pappy makes a good point. We did the group ride and only went as fast as the slowest person which made it less enjoyable.

If I was to do it again, and plan to one day, I will use an outfitter that allows you to go at your own pace. I was the last one in our group and found myself slowing way down so that I could go faster till I cought up with the group.(By the way I don't recomend doing this, the guides REALLY don't like it.)

Washington DC...
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4. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

While I don't disagree that going at your own pace would be good, I think taking a tour with a company that brings you down as a group is the best idea, especially with children. I used Cruiser Phil's last year and really enjoyed the experience. They were kind, patient and seemed to have the best safety policy (of what we could tell at the top of the mountain, including that a rider from another company crashed into me in the parking lot before we even left).

As a note for the sunrise tour, we were told that the National Park Service controls the departure times for each group after sunrise. If your group is one of the last to get to the top before sunrise, you could be waiting more than an hour after for the other groups to depart ahead of you. For that reason, and because we did not want to get picked up at our hotel at 2:30 am after being adjusted to Hawaii time for more than a week (Maui was our second island), we opted for the morning tour which seemed less crowded on the mountain and let us not mess up our sleeping schedule.

I hope this helps!

dctravel

Bellevue, WA
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1,831 posts
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5. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

The bottom line for us is that since there is no quarantee of a good sunrise and the bike ride down is rather ho hum, why get up at 2:30 in the morning to do it???

The scenery is great but if you are paying attention to the road, as you should be, you will not see much of it.

To us, this is as badly over-hyped as Molokini and there are much better ways for us to spend our time.

Kihei, Hawaii
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6. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

This is my very favorite of all of touristy activities. I love to go on whale watches, have fun at lu`aus and festivals, but I'll take a bike ride down Haleakala over all of them any time!

We have gone several times with Haleakala Bike Company. My husband is an avid mountain biker and he is pretty particular about the equipment. HBC has full suspension multi-speed mountain bikes while the escorted tours issue out cruisers. MOST of the ride is downhill, but there are a few places that require some pedalling and everytime we see the other guys getting off their bikes and walking them up the inclines.

The whole part about waiting to take off doesn't apply either, since HBC stages just outside the park. After sunrise they'll take down to where they stage and your of and running--at your own pace. You can stop and take in the views whenever you wanty. You can go as slow or fast as want and you decide when and where you stop to eat. You can have breakfast at the Kula Lodge or somewhere in Makawao. And you take your time and explore Makawao--something you 'll not get in an escorted group. They do offer a partially escorted ride that begins in the park, but once you leave the park, you're on your own.

Most of the escorted groups take you down busy Baldwin Ave in busier Pa`ia. HBC is in Ha`iku so you will take a slightly different route at the end, riding to the Ha`iku Cannery and not through busy Pa`ia.

I love the ride through the changing environments. I love the smells of pineapple, eucalyptus and even the goat farms. The views are breathtaking, and I love that feeling of being part of Haleakala--alone-just me and my bike. I just can't imagine doing this as part of a group.

LA/OC
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7. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

Having done that... I'll pass. Would rather mtn. bike it at nearby Ulupalakua Ranch as I have a friend who lives there, and we also go on the backside road of Makena to Hana area too.

North Bend...
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8. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

..I can't remember which tour group we went with (it was 6 years ago! BUT... I HATED it..as I was terrified the whole way down....BUT...my friend absolutely LOVED it!!! My parents liked it as well...go figure! I'd say that being able to go at your own pace would be a big plus..for all types of riders..the ones (like me) who are tentative riders and the confident riders who want to go faster....

For my trip in September, I am skipping the ride and doing the horseback ride down into the crater instead

Calverton, New York
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9. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

We went with Maui Downhill . They were fine. However, although we are both avid bikers, I found it to be alittle scary. It is alittle unnerving to have to stay in line, knowing that there are others behind you, only a bike length away. It was tough to take in the scenery. However, we did really enjoy all we did see, and it was a good time. If your kids are not timid, it would be okay. Some tours will not take your 12 year old. Have a great time!!

Connecticut
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10. Re: haleakala sunrise bike ride

My husband and I did the sunrise ride with Maui Downhill on our honeymoon last summer. It was the best activity that we did on our trip. The sunrise is beautiful and the bike ride is exhilarating. In our group there were people of all ages and if anyone got nervous they could ride in the van that follows the group, which a couple of people did. This activity isn't for everyone but I would do it again.