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Halakeala bike co. Express tour

Calgary
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Halakeala bike co. Express tour

Hi all

Anyone have feedback on the Hala. bike Co. Express tour that goes at 9 am.

I think this best fits our needs to bike down without the 2 hour van 'tour' of the park etc. Curious if anyone has any info on this particular option?

Thanks

Fayetteville...
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1. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

Good idea! We did the van tour and were picked up at 2:00 a.m. to go see the sunrise. I'm glad we saw the sunrise, but would go on our own next time. As for the bike ride, we saw people on bikes they bought at Walmart for less than the tour and doing it on their own and we envied them. I'm sure you'll be happy with the 9:00 a.m. start.

Calgary
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2. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

Thanks scimco

Only thing is the 'express' starts at 6700 feet not 10,000. So are we missing much scenery outside of the sunrise?? Ie, volcano etc??

NC
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3. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

I do NOT recommend doing the bike ride yourself. It is a long narrow 2 lane road that also has to accomodate traffic. If something happens while on your way down you have no one to assist you. We were told that many have been injured or killed biking down Haleakala.

Going on a guided tour is best because you also have the opportunity to learn something about the Island at the several stops you make. That's just my opinion.

Also, if you go I highly recommend sunrise. That is the most spectacular time to go.

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Fayetteville...
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4. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

Well, I think it depends on the person. Going on a tour may be safer, but I believe we could have managed fine on our own, and the people we saw on their own seemed to be doing fine.

As far as missing anything if you start halfway... no doubt the sunrise is beautiful, but in my completely honest opinion, I could have missed it. I'm glad I went so I know what its all about, but now that I have went, I know I would never go again. Some people...many people think it is spectacular, so my opinion is most likely the minority, but I hate the cold more than most and was more involved in being cold that enjoying the sunrise. The pictures we took were amazing, and I appreciated it more looking at our pictures than when I was actually there.

As far as the scenery on the bike ride, I think starting from the top is neat because the views are so much higher, but other than that, I don't think you'll be missing anything. The silversword tree or plant or whatever it is, is up at the top, and that's neat to see since Hawaii is the only place in the world that it exists, or at least that's what we were told. As for learning more when you are on a guided tour, we learned nothing on the bike ride, which was fine by us. We stopped for a photo opp, but that's it. On the van ride the tour guide never shut up and probably gave alot of good information, but I couldn't hear him from the back of the van.

So, if you are a more independent type of person, completely physically healthy, and know how to ride a bike, I would suggest doing your own ride. "Mountain Bike Ride Tours" offers guided and unguided tours. 1-800-706-7700

If you aren't comfortable with riding a bike, heights, or being on your own in unfamiliar territory, then I would go with a guided tour.

If you are in to learning everything about an area I would suggest starting at the top, but if you are just looking for a nice bike ride with beautiful views, I would start half way down.

I hope this helps.

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Hawaii
Hawaii
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Bike Maui
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Tempe, Arizona
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5. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

I did the express tour with the Haleakala Bike Company and it was great! We actually paid an extra $15 and they took us to the top of the volcano, so we were able to see the beautiful view before we started our trek down. Just to clarify, you are with a guide for the first few miles (basically until you are out of the state park) and then they let you go down the rest of the way on your own, and at your own pace. I definitely felt safe because there are always other people around and cars driving by, so if we had gotten into trouble, we would have been able to find help rather quickly.

We enjoyed the fact that we were able to go at our own pace. We passed other tours with guides and they looked rather miserable having to stop every so often and listen to the guide ramble on about this or that. The staff at Haleakala Bike Co. was very professional and I would highly recommend their company. Go for it!

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Bike Maui
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Kihei, Hawaii
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6. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

There are two option with the Express ride. You can get dropped off at the staging area and take off on your own (this is what we do) or you can take the van tour of the National Park and then begin your ride inside the park escorted. When you reach HBC's staging area, then they leave you and you are free to go at your own pace.

I have ridden with HBC many times. They have better equpiment than many of the others. They have actual multi-speed full suspension mountain bikes as opposed to single speed cruisers that are used by some of the companies that do the escorted trips. The down side in recent times is that the escorted companies now do many trips down the mountain that is is impossible to have a smooth uninterrupted ride. You will come up on escorted groups that you cannot pass, and groups that are walking their bikes up the few inclines. This is another reason why I like the later ride, since by 9 am many of the groups are already at the end of their ride.

With HBC you can take all day, explore along the way, take side trips off the standard route and set your own pace for the ride.

Kihei, Hawaii
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7. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

"As for the bike ride, we saw people on bikes they bought at Walmart for less than the tour and doing it on their own and we envied them."

Perhaps what you were really seeing were those riding with HBC on an unescorted ride? Doing the downhill requires some heavy duty brakes and serious head protection. Anyone buying a bike at WalMart for less than the cost of the trip will not have a very good bike and the brakes won't last very long. You should also have full face helmets, just in case you go down. HBC provides full gear. I wiped out in some loose gravel on a ride in Kaupo a few years ago, not on Haleakala Hwy and not on pavement, but when my head hit the ground I was dazed and disoriented for a few moments and unable to stand for a few minutes. I was wearing a full face helmet, thank God, because I slid on the ground a few feet and my face would have been hamburger. (This is one reason I am not so keen on mountain biking) Imagine if this had been cruising down Haleakala, at 20 mph, on pavement, with traffic.

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Fayetteville...
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8. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

Actually, there were two girls that told us they bought their bikes at Walmart. The bikes on our tour didn't seem like expensive bikes, but the brakes are VERY important. Helmets too. I can't remember if those two girls were wearing helmets or not. I would definately recommend the unguided tours. It would be much less stressful and you'd have all of the needed equipment.

Calgary
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9. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

Thanks for the great feed back!

I am definitely leaning towards the 9AM Express. We are experienced cyclists and don't have a problem 'self guiding' and learning as we go..

One question. It was mentioned that you cannot pass groups that you come up upon who are slow or walking their bikes?? Why not? Is the road that busy that you cannot pass on their left??

Thanks again

Calgary
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10. Re: Halakeala bike co. Express tour

Sun Beach Girl

So can you clarify.... You paid an extra $15 and they just dropped you off at 10,000 feet vs the 6500feet? Without the 2 hour van tour....? That sounds like a great option for 9AM!

Was this a one off deal that you bartered for or is this an option??