I was very impressed with our bike trip from Maui Sunriders. My wife, 14-y.o. son, and I did the mid-morning van trip to the 6500' point where all of the outfitters start (we didn't go to the top because we'd seen the Big Island's volcano last year). Our bikes were excellent (2012 Trek bikes), with disk brakes and shocks. We saw the bikes that 2 other outfitters had, and they were rusty chrome-fendered things that I wouldn't trust. They also gave us parkas, rain pants, route maps and emergency numbers, a bike lock, and backpacks to carry them in, with room for water too (not provided).
The safety talk was in-person and very thorough. As far as our experience, the only time had any concerns was near the beginning when we were literally riding through the clouds and visibility was poor. But there was little traffic, we took our time and all was fine. After15-20 minutes we broke back into clear air. I would have been much more concerned with a big group of people with varying riding skills. Most accidents happen because someone in the group has little biking experience and is going too fast for their own comfort in order to keep up.
Also, the route that Maui Sunriders puts you on gets you off of the main highway. there's only 3 turns and it's easy to remember where they are. The route takes you about 26 miles all the way to the coast, not the 16 miles of some other guided trips.
The van trip up had a great history tour by Paulo, the husband of the couple that owns the business. We never heard any talk of tips like those on other trips have complained about.
It was great being able to go at our own pace. We took about 5 hours, far longer than any of the guide-led trips. That included 2 hours of lunch and a lot of walking around in Makawao, which is a cute town. Another outfitter came through and told their group, "We'll have a about 20 minutes here. You can walk around or if you can't wait for lunch, you can get some quick food at the Mexican place."
I wouldn't use anyone else!
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