When my friends pitched this idea for a vacation activity, I was pretty skeptical. And when I relay the story of our trip, I have to admit it can sound a little sketchy. Met up with a van in the Kmart parking lot at 2 am, went through the alleys of an industrial/shipping park to get to a small base camp, coasted down the volcano...but really, it was tons of fun and full of awesome. If you're thinking about doing this, here are a couple tips:
1) Bring warm clothing. If you live in a snowy mountain area, it won't be COLD cold, but it'll be a little nippy. If you're from a warm area (like the Florida guys we were with), be prepared for an unexpected and extreme cold. The name of the game is layers. You can always throw stuff in the van if you get too warm. Don't be ashamed to overpack, because once you're up there nobody cares if you're unfashionable or bundled up like a pot roast; all that matters is that you're comfortable.
2) Be ok riding a bike. You'll be traveling down the volcano in a single-file line. If you're uncertain about your biking ability, you won't have fun, and you'll hold up everyone behind you so they won't have fun. It honestly doesn't take a ton of biking ability, just enough to be confident in your balance and braking ability.
When we set up our reservation, Mrs. Cruiser Phil was super helpful and friendly. Throughout the tour, the staff was accommodating and entertaining. The sunrise was amazing and well worth it; we got there early enough to stake out a great viewing spot. The bike ride down wasn't scary at all; traffic wasn't a problem and it's not like you're riding on the edge of the cliff (but again, know your limits and don't volunteer to be in the front if you can't even balance yourself, just because you want to be macho and impress your girlfriend). Cruiser Phil runs an awesome joint, and I highly recommend this activity to spice up your Maui vacation.
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