Post # 1
Bees who have been to Maui- I need your help!
My absolutely wonderful fiance took over honeymoon planning (thank God)- and has made some amazing plans! We’re going for 10 days and are really looking forward to it.
He booked us an independent sunrise tour at Haleakala and an indepent bike ride down. I’m just now looking into the logistics of this and I’m getting really nervous. The reviews I’m reading are so mixed- I either am hearing that it’s the greatest experience ever or that it’s absolutely horrifying and you will end up in the hospital.
I’m getting really nervous and wondering if we should cancel and just spend more time at the summit. My fiance says he’ll do whatever I’m more comfortable with.
A background: we’re young (25) and in half decent shape. We don’t work out regularly, but we’re okay on bikes as long as it’s not too strenous.
So, when you were at Haleakala- did you bike down? Do you recommend it? Did you do it individually or with a tour? And which company did you use?
Post # 3
I went with my family and we did a group tour, but I don’t remember which one. It was one of the more popular adventure tour groups on the island. I hadn’t biked in years and I was totally fine. It’s scary at first, because you’re just coasting down hill and just braking the whole time. But after a while you embrace it and it’s really fun. The view is amazing. It was a cloudy day and I never saw the sunrise on top of the volcano, so the biking was the best part.
Post # 4
I did it. Would I do it again? Nope. Nothing bad happened and I am glad that I did it but thinking about doing it again scares the crap out of me. I think that we went through Maui Downhill. I don’t really remember since it was 5 years ago. I do know that I went again the next year and the government stopped allowing it because of people dying. You are literally riding a bicycle down a two lane switch back road with cars coming from both directions while tryin to take in the scenery. They make you ride your bike around the parking lot a bit and test the brakes before you go down. Before you start they tell you that you are going down the first hill and stopping before you make the turn. Then they say it’s because of so many people driving off the cliff.
In the end the ride was an amazing experience but it is not for the faint of heart.
Post # 5
My sister and I drove to/from Haleakala, but we saw lots of bikers. It didn’t look that bad from our rental convertible!
Regardless of what you decide about the biking, you should definitely go watch the sunrise and maybe hike around afterwards. The scenery is spectacular.
Post # 6
Thank you all for your opinions! I seriously appreciate it.
@Handful: Was it the upper portion of the bike ride that had you so nervous? We start from like 6000-6500 feet, do you think it’s any better from that elevation?
Post # 7
bumping for the daytime bees
Post # 8
bumping for weekday bees who like to procrastinate
Post # 9
We did the drive to see the sunrise ourselves instead of the bike tour and the road is only big enough for 1 car to pass each other at a time and its very curvey, twisty, windy, cold and just a long drive going up hill. Its fun in the car but some people complain about getting car sick since its a few hours drive to get to the top for the sunrise. It was VERY VERY VERY freezing cold up there for the sunrise so dont forget to dress accordingly…wear pants and bring a jacket! Some people brought blankets and i wish we had done that.
Anyways, as for the BIKE ride….it looked pretty hardcore to me and my hubby….its very steep, narrow, winding and because cars are driving both directions and having to hault to pass each other and bikers have to watch both behind and in front to make sure they brake well and dont fall off the edges or crash into a car…i thought it was kind of like you need to be cautious and good at handling steeps. I dont know how many hours it takes but I know that on my honeymoon I dont want to do anything stressful. We love hiking and things we can control…which is what we did instead..we would drive our car, we picked up a picnic lunch on the way before Halakalea starts, and had a tape, and would stop at certain spots and hike through the waterfalls and swim etc..unfortunately it rained the day we went so we didnt get to do much hiking…But for the bike ride…Good luck! I mean its dooable, but scary and cold due to the high elevation so you might get cranky or turned off especially if you arnt in shape…LOL
Post # 10
I just did this with my family! It was a lot of fun. I bike a lot and am in good shape (so is my family). I will say, however, that the first part (when you are still very high up and have amazing views of the entire island) is the scariest – you can go at incredibly fast speeds if you don’t constantly apply slight pressure to the brakes, and there are a lot of tight switch-backs. I was a little more skittish than my family, because a couple years back I had a bad bike accident going downhill. I went a lot slower than they did and did it all at my own pace.
After that first part, it becomes more like biking through the countryside – small-ish, rolling hills.
On your way down, you must stop in the little town of Makawao for breakfast (or just to hang out and shop in general). We had breakfast at the Farm Fresh Bistro – it was great.
Also, be aware that before sunrise on Haleakala, you WILL freeze your ass off! Bring blankets, sweaters, whatever you have. Seriously, it is COLD!!!!!
It was amazing. I hope you have a good time. 🙂
Post # 11
Also, I should say, there were plenty of people who did it who weren’t in tip-top shape. I also saw families with little kids doing it. I seriously don’t think it’s that dangerous, but you do need to know how to bike, and you need to have common-sense. I would definitely say to do it!!
Post # 12
Thank you, everyone!!! We’ve decided to do it 🙂
Now my next question is- how should I layer my clothing for the sunrise trip? I’ve got to start packing 🙂
Post # 13
@September29: Yay!! Glad to hear this – my 56 yr old dad is not a bike rider but he did this earlier this year and the prospect of being able to do this is why we can’t decide between Hawaii and Costa Rica.
Go you, so glad you are doing it!
Post # 14
I highly reccomend Maui Sunriders. They are like no other bike tours, and I have been on two others. They give you a full briefing on the way up to the top and give you all the gear you need. They let you ride down the volcano at your own pace in your own group with out being stuck with globs of people. They drop you off and wait half way down the mountain for you to make sure everything goes ok. You get the bikes for the whole day (until their shop closes) so you can explor at your own pace. They are the only bike tour I will be using from now on. Oh and I got engaged on their tour at the top of the volcano during sun rise!