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West Maui - WOW!(3 posts)

West Maui - WOW!rockbender
Apr 13, 2003 4:53 PM
I just recently got back from a fantastic trip to Maui - pretty amazing place seeing it for the first time.

Let me start off by saying I was a jackass and forgot my digi cam on our ride... but anyways:

Our group of four (me, my GF and another couple) rented road bikes from a shop in Kahalui and set out for a ride around West Maui. The first 30 miles or so is pretty uneventful and has pretty heavy traffic, though there is a nice shoulder to ride on. After we got this out of the way though, we were treated to much less traveled roads that seemed to vary between a narrow two lanes wide and barely one lane wide. The road dips up and down the valleys along the sea cliffs and had incredible views. It was amazing to see such a dramatic difference in scenery in such a short distance - dry land amidst the sugar cane in the valley to waterfalls and lush vegetation. Perhaps the most rewarding part was watching as tourists in cars came head to head with tour vans on the 1-lane sections - we just cruised right around them as they searched for a spot to pull over and pass each other. There were certainly more than a few occasions where it looked like the family in the rental Sebring convertibles looked a bit more tense than relaxed for being on a tropical vacation!

The ride took us about five hours to make the loop - not sure the exact distance, but as I said before about 60 miles I think. The kicker is that there was 3700 vertical feet of climbing too! Awesome steep hills that made us glad the rental bikes had triples! The funny thing is that the bike shop told us that the ride takes 4-6 hours, and that we should be able to do it right around 4 hours or so, even with a stop for lunch and a mellow pace. We wanted to make sure we could get the bikes back by 5pm closing time so we didn't have to deal with them overnight.

I am not sure who there typical renters are, but if they give that time frame to everyone I would guess that a lot of folks would come in much later than they had anticipated! We might have had a total of 45 minutes to an hours worth of stops, but other than that, we were cranking pretty hard the whole time. Needless to say, I think the shop guys seemed pretty surprised to see us back as early as we were, with smiles on our faces! (to our error, we never really investigated the amount of climbing involved!)

Since I'm rambling on, I'll thow in a little side note: unless you're cruising with the family or very unexperienced bike riders, the $70-90 that you shell out per person to ride down the 10,000' Haleakala didn't appear to be worth it to us. As bystanders, yeah - it was funny watching the swarms of folks cruising down the hill on single speed cruisers dressed in yellow and blue rain slickers having your speed controlled by your guide leader doing about 15 or 20 mph. I think it would be more fun to do the climb up!

again, my apologies for not having pics to post. It almost feels criminal.

Other photo for flavor...rockbender
Apr 13, 2003 5:16 PM
ok - this is actually on the road to Hana, not West Maui, but you can get an idea of what the views and roads were like. This would be another spectacular ride, though a bit more heavily trafficed. We opted to see this part on a Harley... two wheels is the way to go!
Apr 13, 2003 7:59 PM
Remind me of my mother land. Thanks for the pic!