Archived General DB Blogs
Destinations - Spinning in Maui
Posted: Jan 05 2008
If you’re considering a winter escape from the cold – we think you should always remember to bring your bike! The island of Maui is a great example – known for great beaches, consistent weather, surfing, wind surfing and golfing – not everyone knows that you can find some great spins and even epic road rides all around the island.
A few of us here have visited Maui many times. The first time, we rented a bike and did some exploring. Every time after that, we’ve packed up our own and made sure to find and hour or two every day to work on our riding tan!
Here’s a few examples of the rides you can do on Maui:
- Explore the “Up Country”. Criss-cross the north-west flank of the main volcanic mountain Haleakala, climbing 500 – 1000 metres, through a wide variety of terrain including sugar cane plantations, cattle ranches and forests. This area is not that touristy – it’s where the locals live, has a few small towns like Makawao that are a nice break from the beach and resort scene. It’s easy to find 20-50km loops in this area. Best accessed from Paia or Kahului on the north side of the island.
- Ride the road to Hana – this is an epic, approximately 100 kmk each way, so plan a long day or consider an overnight or shuttle one way. Beautiful road, very twisty with incredible water views most of the way. Can be busy with tourist traffic and can be wet at the Hana end.
- Climb Haleakala – Not for the faint of heart but an epic climb for those who are into altitude (you know who you are). Starting near sea level at Paia, you can ride a full 10,000 feet of vertical over approximately 50km. It is all paved, passes through several climactic zones, and offers incredible views that just keep getting nicer as your legs burn more. Never too steep, but never relenting, it is a very rewarding climb. The descent is also fun, but may be cold and tiring after a long climb. Consider a “reverse shuttle” and have someone meet you at the top for a lift down. Otherwise bring lots of food, water and a jacket for when you get to the top!
- Circle West Maui – maybe our favourite and a pretty nice training ride if you have the time. This one loops the west end of the island so is a great ride from Kihei or Wailea in the south or Lahaina/Kaanapali in the West. The first 30km or so from Kihei are on a busy but scenic waterfront highway (good shoulders for riding), but after you pass Kaanapali resort area, the highway becomes a rural two lane road along the sea, rising a falling a lot over beautiful cliffs and shore. Eventually it becomes one lane and passes through parts of the island that few of the tourist hordes see. Approximately 110km loop with over 1000m of climbing, plan for 4-5 hours at a steady pace. Food and water are available but only in a few spots. We recommend a clockwise circuit as the afternoon tradewinds will be behind you coming back across the island at the end.
There are lots of other options and rides that are part of the ones described. Check out a local bike shop or try a local rider/outfitter like Donnie at gocyclingmaui for more information.
Going to another island, to Mexico or elsewhere this winter? Do a bit of research before you go and you might be surprised at the opportunities to explore by bike.