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 Post subject: Maui, Riding Vacation
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:25 pm
Posts: 855
Location: Winterpeg
After last winter's vacation, we're stepping up our game with 2 weeks in Maui in March. This will be more of an active relaxation trip vs. sensory overload madness. I've never been to Maui or other islands, so not sure what to expect. We are staying in Kihei. I am hoping to squeeze in 8-9 rides as there is hiking, swimming, surfing and snorkeling in the plan as well. I have few questions, but any comments and advise I can't think of right now is welcome.

- I'm planning on bringing own bike, road bike being the #1 option right now. Would there be any benefit in bringing a cross bike? Would a cross bike extend the route options or are the dirt roads too rough? For example, there looks to be a gravel/dirt road from Makena (waste water facility or somoething) to Hwy 31 looking at Google maps. Any idea if this road is ridable up or down?
- I have not ridden up mountains in more than 10 years, so I can't really gauge the monster of Haleakala. What kind of gearing would work? Being 85 kg I have plenty of weight to drag up the climbs and my FTP is under 4 w/kg.
- How bad are the trade winds? I gather they pick-up later in the morning? Kinda ties to the climbing as climbing into tradewind might be pretty slow.
- How are the road surfaces? Especially the Hwy 31 on the south side of east Maui.
- Is there any group rides?
- Are the bike shops OK? Selection? Prices? Shouldn't need anything, but just in case.
- Do any of the shops rent proper MTBs if I would like to ride the trails for a day or two?
- Anything else?

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 Post subject: Maui, Riding Vacation
Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:36 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:53 am 
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm
Posts: 1113
Haleakula is a *f##k*. Go early in the day, it gets hot and there is no water along the way. It is windy AF at the top. It will blow you around without a bike walking around


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:54 am 
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Location: Back in the saddle...
Haleakala is pretty awesome. It's not steep at all, just constantly rising. The difficult part is you are starting at sea level, so the altitude can set you on your tail if you're not used to it. I would get an early start simply because it clouds over in the afternoon, so your best weather should be early. It can be windy, certainly, but you could also get some days such as today where there isn't much at all. As for the decent, well, frankly I wouldn't want to do it. I'd personally arrange to have someone meet you at the top so you could catch a car ride down. If that isn't possible, be sure to pack a light jacket or gilet/arm warmers.

In Paia town, Maui Cyclery is actually quite impressive for what they carry, especially considering where they are located. Plus, Donnie Arnoult's a top-shelf guy. I would stop in and give them some of my money just to support the business. Can't imagine you'd need anything they don't have in stock.

I can't help you with much else, but I would contact Donnie (or anyone at the shop) and see what they say.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:59 am
Posts: 44
OJ wrote:
After last winter's vacation, we're stepping up our game with 2 weeks in Maui in March. This will be more of an active relaxation trip vs. sensory overload madness. I've never been to Maui or other islands, so not sure what to expect. We are staying in Kihei. I am hoping to squeeze in 8-9 rides as there is hiking, swimming, surfing and snorkeling in the plan as well. I have few questions, but any comments and advise I can't think of right now is welcome.

- I'm planning on bringing own bike, road bike being the #1 option right now. Would there be any benefit in bringing a cross bike? Would a cross bike extend the route options or are the dirt roads too rough? For example, there looks to be a gravel/dirt road from Makena (waste water facility or somoething) to Hwy 31 looking at Google maps. Any idea if this road is ridable up or down?
- I have not ridden up mountains in more than 10 years, so I can't really gauge the monster of Haleakala. What kind of gearing would work? Being 85 kg I have plenty of weight to drag up the climbs and my FTP is under 4 w/kg.
- How bad are the trade winds? I gather they pick-up later in the morning? Kinda ties to the climbing as climbing into tradewind might be pretty slow.
- How are the road surfaces? Especially the Hwy 31 on the south side of east Maui.
- Is there any group rides?
- Are the bike shops OK? Selection? Prices? Shouldn't need anything, but just in case.
- Do any of the shops rent proper MTBs if I would like to ride the trails for a day or two?
- Anything else?


Good morning, I've been lucky enough to go to Maui for two weeks every year for the past 10 years. I started cycling there 5 years ago.

- I rented a bike first, it was alright, but its still not your bike. For sure bring the road bike, and I wouldnt waste any time with the cross bike. You can pretty much do anything on that island with a regular road and maybe some 25's if you want to be comfortable. I think you are talking about Makena to HWY37 which I will tell you it has been done before, but its private property and very frowned upon if you do take that road.
- Haleakala is really not too crazy of a climb, its just a very long 5% grade for the most part, I use 12-28 gearing on a compact crankset and have been fine, I rarely used the 28 also. You can stop at 3k feet to get water/bathroom/food Kula Lodge, stop at 7500 feet at the park entrance (they only take credit card now) water/bathroom. Then at the top of course. I think anyone in good cycling shape regardless can make it up.
- The winds are not terrible, if you get out in the morning its your best option, the winds usually blow north from Maalaea Harbor to Wailuku so head in that direction :).
- The roads are actually very good within the past couple of years, the entire West Maui Loop that you MUST do is fresh tarmac. HWY 37 on East Maui really will be the only one that you have any issues with if you decide to do the monstrous 115+ mile 12k elevation loop. There are some cobble sections, and a couple of half ass gravel/beat up tarmac sections, but again nothing you cant do on a road bike.
- Yes typically there are group rides that head out from the Starbucks in Kahului I think every Monday and Friday but double check with any of the guys from Maui Cyclery on that.
- Maui Cyclery is the only place you'll need. They also do guided tours with world class cyclists for training if you are interested. I highly recommend them.
- Yes MTB rentals pretty much all of the shops do.
- Stop by Looraine's Shaved Ice on the West Maui Loop, she'll treat you like a king and feed you amazing Banana bread.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:25 pm
Posts: 855
Location: Winterpeg
Thanks for good info.
- I am not planning on trespassing Oprah's property.
- And yes, I meant highway 37.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:43 pm
Posts: 158
Location: Los Angeles, California
I actually rented a nice Cannondale with Ultegra at a shop near Kaanapali. Haggled for a weeklong rate that was only slightly more than shipping with the airline - and without the crazy hassle of packing. It rained or the roads were wet on pretty much every one of my rides, so dirtying the shop's equipment instead of my own made it that much better. You can probably call ahead or go online to reserve something in your size and with the desired gearing.

Mine came with a triple - probably for those riding up Haleakula - but I never dropped into the smallest ring and never rode up to the volcano. Brought a few kits and a rain jacket (never needed leggings!), along with helmet and shoes. My rental included a helmet, but I'm particular about what's on my noggin. I remember bringing my own pedals, but the bike came with spd-sl types, making it unnecessary to swap out.

Doing an entire ascent/descent of Haleakula can take up to half a day, depending on where you start. It detracts from a family vacation, so make sure you get the full buy-in of wifey before devoting yourself to attacking this and other destinations.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Posts: 855
Location: Winterpeg
It's a 150 km roundtrip from the condo to Haleakala summit and back, so I would estimate it to be more like 8 hours from door to door. I was much more of a cyclist when we dated and got married...so couple of all day outings will be OK.
Two weeks and weak C$ make the rental pretty pricey and I just have to cut cost somewhere.
I have an "airport ninja" bag so I wasn't planning on paying any extra for my bike.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:26 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, California
If, like me, you're not a climbing beast, you can toss your bike in the trunk of the rental car and ride back to your condo. Try to pick a dry day for the descent to experience the downhill exhiliration fully.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:57 am 
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Location: Winterpeg
I'm not a climber, but that's a climb I have to ride up.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:13 am 
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Posts: 181
Ditto everything airpoppoff and boysa said. I've been lucky enough to visit Maui every year the last 10 years and have brought my bike the last 5 years. I've ridden up Haleakala multiple times, every time with Donnie Arnoult and crew from Maui Cyclery. The guided tour isn't necessary but having the peace of mind of being fully supported (along with having good company) is worth it to me for about $100 a pop. It's a long slog but the climb itself is nothing crazy.

The West Maui ride to Lorraine's is also fantastic, along with riding upcountry. I have still yet to do it, but if you go early enough in the morning to beat traffic, the ride to Hana is supposed to be awesome.

Winds are a bit unnerving at first if you're not used to them (I'm from Seattle and our winds here are pretty tame) but you get acclimated fast.

Have fun!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:59 am
Posts: 44
OJ wrote:
Thanks for good info.
- I am not planning on trespassing Oprah's property.
- And yes, I meant highway 37.

You nailed it :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:10 am
Posts: 234
Start your rides at dawn. With the wind and sun it's just stupid to go out later. Get your ride done, then do beach stuff. Must do rides:
Paia to Haleakala summit and back, not the route from Kihei going up the highway.
West Maui Loop, my favorite and easy to access from Kihei.
Pukalani past Kula around the south side till the pavement ends, then back.
Twin Falls to 7 Pools and back along the road to Hana.
If it gets dry rent an MTB from Krank Cycles and ride Makawao Forest Trails.

Hit me up for any more info. I Live in Lahaina and used to work at West Maui Cycles. In fact I may join you for a West Maui Loop if you want.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:08 am 
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Posts: 855
Location: Winterpeg
Good stuff. As you all probably know already, it's not all bike when you're travelling with family. Need to take the kids surfing and snorkling, and it's also my time off work, so not going to stress about anything really.

But on a related topic. How is the safety on the beaches? Ocean is not safe by default, but will I lose every valuable item I leave unguarded while snorkling or surfing?

I know a buddy of mine, another WW member, is going to be in Maui overlapping our stay for few days. Should we try to have an east Maui loop WW group ride? March 28 or 29?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:57 am 
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In response to your first paragraph, that's why you wanna ride at dawn and do rides that start and end at your condo/hotel. You'll be back by the time they're ready for breakfast.

If you're at a beach in front of a resort hotel your stuff is safe. If you're at a big state beach and posted up by the lifeguard tower your stuff is pretty safe, but keep obvious valuables tucked away. At random roadside beaches keep your valuables in the car if no one will be sitting with them while you're off in the water. Speaking of the car don't leave things within view. Keep everything in the trunk, arm rest, and glove compartment. You'll likely park at a lot of random road sides for beaches or hikes and windows get broken into when phones, etc are obvious.

I thin'll I'll be home from NAHBS by late February so if you remind me I'll do a ride. I think you mean West Maui Loop though cuz East Maui Loop is over 100mi with a lot of dirt miles. Not happening with my 23mm tires.


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Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:57 am 


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:38 am 
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Location: Back in the saddle...
+1. While there is virtually no violent crime here, petty theft is certainly an issue. Just use common sense, and you should not have any problems. Pretty much the standard disclaimer for any tourist destination.

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