I spent quite some time looking at the different options and companies offering downhill bike tours of Haleakala. I even drove to the summit and observed the different tours coming down.
First off, I was not at all interested in getting up at 2 a.m. to see the sunrise at 6:30 then biking down... I'd probably fall asleep! Next was to decide if I wanted to come down the mountain solo or in a group. After driving the road, I quickly realized that coming down in a group was the way to go. There were many comments about the group's speed being that of the slowest rider but that wasn't a problem in our group for sure. Unless you're a competitive biker you really have to focus on the bike and the road; having to watch out for traffic behind you is just not something I could comfortably add to the equation.
Once you're fitted with a bike, get your helmet on comfortably and select which additional clothing items you want (the gloves are a must for the first half), your off !!
For our tour, I was picked up at at our condo in Kihei at 7:30 a.m. Once we got organized at the office and started to head up the volcano, Tony was our driver. Just an amazing team. Before I could remember any names they had all eight of us down pat; not only our names but where we were from as well. There's just something to being called by your name all day by someone you just met !!
After the tour of the summit, we headed down a ways and got the bikes out of the trailer and started the trip downhill. The scenery is much different than when driving a car and very enjoyable and safe. Tony guarded our backs all the way down and his communication with RC at the front of the line made the ride enjoyable for us and not too frustrating for any traffic that came up behind us.
I'd highly recommend this tour to anyone that rides occasionally (I wasn't on a bike for 2 years) and I'd suggest you ask to join a tour run by RC and Tony.