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.