Travel Blog #169 – Coasting Down the Mountain with Haleakala Bike Company

Aug 2, 2020 | Activity Information

One of the most popular categories of tours that we carry on Maui are the Haleakala Bike trips. There are many companies that we carry that offer this trip, but what many people do not realize is there is quite a bit of difference between the different varieties of downhill biking trips. We carry some that are fully guided that pick you up at your hotel and then take you up to see the sunrise before leading you down the mountain in an escorted tour. We have others that do not go to the top and instead just do a guided tour from the parks entrance….. and then we have Haleakala Bike Company.

Haleakala Bike Company is a bike shop that is located in the town of Haiku. Theyve found a niche in the bike tour industry by offering trips that are a bit more no frills then some of the others. Today we went out on their trip called the sunrise special. We began by meeting up at their bike shop in the Haiku Cannery. Once the group had all arrived we loaded up into the van to make our way to the summit of Haleakala.

It took a while to make it up the twisting road that takes you up to the summit. Once we arrived it was still pitch black with no light except for the stars. We all got out of the van to watch the sun make its way up over the horizon. It was a slow process but before we knew it the light of the sun had come up over the horizon and erased all of the stars from the sky. Once the sun had risen we boarded back into the van to make our way down to the entrance of the park to begin our bike ride. Before we got to the staging area where the guides gave us our bikes we made one last stop at the visitor center to browse through the various exhibits.

Once we got to the staging area we were issued all of the equipment we would need for the ride down. Then the van leader went over the directions one last time before we began our descent. The thing that was nice about the self guided bike ride thats offered by Haleakala Bike Company is the fact that you can go at your own pace. We felt like going fast and stopping often to take pictures, so that is exactly what we did!

The first section of the ride was on Crater Road. Crater Road is a fairly steep grade that switchbacks all the way from the Haleakala Highway to the summit of the crater. We were able to get up to pretty high speeds on the straightaways but because the corners were so abrupt we slowed down considerably to take them at a safe speed.

Eventually we made it to the Haleakala Highway where the grade eased up a bit. The cloud cover that had been present for most of our ride dissipated and the views of the North and South Shores of the island became clearly visible. We continued down the Haleakala Highway until came to the turn to Makawao and then eventually to the town of Haiku.

They told us that we were free to take our time with the ride and it was ok to bring the bikes back in the afternoon. However, because we had such a high average speed we made it back to the bike shop a little bit before lunchtime. Having drove ourselves to Haiku that morning was nice because at the completion of the ride our car was there in the parking lot waiting for us. We decided to take the short drive from Haiku to Paia to get some lunch and then go by Baldwin Beach to enjoy the rest of our North Shore afternoon.