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Haleakala Bike tours

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Haleakala Bike tours

Any preferences on the company to use for a Haleakala Bike Tour ?

South Jersey
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1. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

We used Haleakala Bike Company.

You drive to their office and take a van to the crater summit. (We did sunrise-Spectacular!! Recommend sunrise although they do offer later in the day as well)

You do a self-guided tour down the crater. They supply you with a map, bike, helmet, backpack-We also had jacket and gloved for the cold.

Two reasons we picked these guys:

Self guided meant we could bike at our own pace and stop where WE wanted to stop. I was very glad when I saw a group go whizzing by at a spped that would have made me faint!!!!!

And 2 when we were done, we left the bike at the bike shop and drove back to our hotel-No waiting to be shuttled back.

They were very informative, very nice and very professional.

Tempe, Arizona
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2. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

Agree with Jamaicaluver 100%. We loved Haleakala Bike Company because of their "go at your own pace" style. The equiptment was great and the guide in the van on the way up was very funny. We just really enjoyed being able to bike down together and not in a big group. We stopped for lunch when we wanted, stopped to look at views when we wanted, etc. Haleakala Bike Co. is less expensive than the other guys as well since you drive to their shop rather than them picking you up from the hotel.

Columbia, South...
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3. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

Another vote for Haleakala Bike Company... but it may not be for everybody. It was perfect for my friend and me since we like to go at our own pace and it was cheaper. However, if you are afraid of being on your own for whatever reason (maybe having someone with you who has some health concerns?) then you may want to go with another company that makes you stay together in a group and has a van following you to take you back if you can't make it. Personally, I thought those people looked miserable, but I can see why it may be a better option for some.

Rockville, Maryland
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4. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

We did http://cruiserphil.com/ last year for $100 each.

Cruiser Phil is one of those "guided" tours that the others seemed to dislike. I can't say there's much difference from what I saw.

Here's how they compare:

The tours all start from somewhere near Kahului at the base of Haleakala. So you're either gonna drive yourself to their office at 3:00am or they're gonna pick you up at 2:30am. Yer call.

With every company you'll sit in a bus/van from 3:00am to 5:00am while they drive you up the mountain. They'll tell Maui stories, facts, history, etc on the way up.

Every company stops at the entrance to the state park (which covers the peak of the mountain) where you can use the restroom and see some extremely clear night sky.

Everyone (about 14 busloads of people), regardless of company, will sit atop the mountain and watch the sunrise. I recommend walking the 100-yard path to the top of the rocks away from the crowd.

Busloads are "time-released" by law. Only one company may begin their downhill ride every 5 - 10 minutes. There's a trooper sitting there with a stopwatch. So you're not gonna start your trip downhill any old time you wish, guided tour or not.

And now, we reach the only part that seems to differ in any respect...

Our company rode as a group with the slowest tourist in front, setting the pace. A guide led the way and the bus followed behind me (I was last in line).

I didn't mind at all being last in line. They didn't obscure my view or anything. It was very relaxing. However, my lady friend, having been pegged as the slow one, was up front and she "felt guilty" for slowing everyone down, even though they worked it that way intentionally.

The group stopped 3 or 4 times along the way for photo ops and more Maui history and stories. The group stopped 1/2 mile shy of the shore where we re-boarded the bus and drove 6 blocks to a diner for lunch (included in the $100). At lunch, as a group, we had the opportunity to talk with other tourists and compare notes. This also allowed us to ask more questions of our (wonderful) tour guide. We tipped him well.

By 12:30pm they had us back at our hotel.

I dunno if the guide-less tours include lunch. I dunno how they get you back to their office (and your car) or back to your hotel.

Our guide did "sell us" their theory of why guided tours are better: they're safer. As a group, with the bus following, and with the group lined up together, other cars are virtually prevented from passing any single biker (and in fact, no one even tried to pass us until we stopped for photo ops). By yourself, you're on your own.

My favorite aspects of Cruiser Phil's was our tour guide and the very nice, very warm (NEEDED) leather jackets they gave us. Our bikes were also very nice. But I suspect all companies have nice, new bikes. Besides, you're only going downhill.

Wow that was long-winded, but I hope it helps your decision.

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

I case a second vote for Cruiser Phil's. We used them last year and thought the value was outstanding for the $$. We felt safe at all times and I did not feel the pace was to slow at all (and I was near the back). In fact at times, I wanted to go slower around curves.

South Jersey
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6. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

ToddWebb Wrote:

Busloads are "time-released" by law. Only one company may begin their downhill ride every 5 - 10 minutes. There's a trooper sitting there with a stopwatch. So you're not gonna start your trip downhill any old time you wish, guided tour or not.

Not true. Haleakela Bike Co. drove us down to an area where you can start any time you want. (I believe it may right out side the park entrance, but not sure) We were under no such restrictions. The dropped us off we got our bikes and were on our way.

If you are with a tour company that starts from the summit then yes you are time released and think about if they are sending companies every 5- 10 minutes, if you are the last company "released" I have heard you could be cooling your heels for up to 2 hours.

We also watched the sunrise from a lookout a slightly below the summit and were the only group there so no crowd. Our bus drove up tot he summit and it was packed with people.

We had a beautiful, unobstructed view with maybe only 20 or so people from our tour group.

Tempe, Arizona
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7. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

Also, just to clarify ToddWebb's question as to how Haleakala Bike Company gets you back to your car: You bike back to their store which is just at the base of the mountain (where you car is waiting). Also, lunch is not included in the price, but we only paid $45 for our bike trip, which leaves plenty of spending money for lunch. Also, you are correct that the company supplies all your warm-weather gear, bikes, helmets, etc.

Kihei, Hawaii
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8. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

A few other points:

Criuser Phil and other escorted companies use single speed cruisers. HBC uses full suspension Gary Fisher mountain bikes. you may think this is no big deal since this is a downhill ride. It is MOSTLY downhill. There are some short distances that are uphill and the escorted groups with single speed bikes have to stop and walk their bikes up the inclines, blocking other cyclists from getting up the hills.

And the safety in groups myth is just that. Most of the injuries happen to riders in escorted groups. The last two fatalities happened to riders in escorted groups (most recent one was nearly three years ago). They ride too close together and when one goes down, the riders behind tend to pile up around them. A few months a ago the driver of the van following one group actually ran into the bikers. And from a driver's point of view, I find one or two cyclists on the shoulder no problem, no more so than a cyclist on any other road. But when I come around a bend and come right up on a group trailed by a van, or worse, the whole group stopped, it is more than a nuisance. And the number of these escorted groups has increased to the point that I won't go up Halekala if I have to come down before noon.

Rockville, Maryland
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9. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

Ah yes! I forgot. The self-guided tours start outside the park (aka: not at the summit). I believe the park entrance fee is like $12 which may account for some of the price difference.

Any guided tour (priced $90 to $110) will include that park fee.

As for safety, yeah, I was only passing on the story. I feel that anyone having an accident is probably at fault themselves. You can be as clumsy as you wanna be, either alone or in a group.

I think that I, like the others here, have only experienced one bike company. So I can't really "comapre" them for you. I'm only guessing based on my one experience.

But I assure you, you'll have fun no matter what.

Todd

Tempe, Arizona
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10. Re: Haleakala Bike tours

Actually, the self-guided tour with Haleakala Bike Co. has the option of starting at the summit, with the first 10 miles down guided by the van/guide. There is an option to start below the summit, but we went all the way to the top, were guided down the first 10 miles, then away we went on our own--all for $60/person. Check out their website at www.bikemaui.com for the different options I mention above.