My partner and I chose to ride Haleakala Volcano rather than go deep sea fishing, and we made the right choice! It was tough getting up and ready for the 2am pick-up on the Sunrise Ride, and to make matters worse the guide absolutely reeked of smoke, stinking up the entire van. However, just because he smelled like an old ashtray doesn't mean that he was a bad guy. Quite the contrary. He was very laid back, some would call him a hippie, but he was truly concerned with everyone's overall experience. Most of the people in our group (12 in all) hit it off really well with the guide, as well as the driver who joined us before heading up to the summit.
We were equipped with warm clothing and a complete rain suit for the sunrise at the summit, and given coffee, juice and a granola bar as well. The clothing was excellent, because it was a balmy 35 degrees at 10,000 feet! Unfortunately, a cloud settled in the crater right before sunrise, completely blocking our view, but it was an experience standing up there amongst some pretty violent winds!
Everyone was fitted with a full-face bike helmet and a 50lb steel frame bike. We had a few older people in our group who weren't very confident on bikes (why they chose this activity then, is beyond me), but they ended up going the fastest and cheering the loudest! There were a few photo ops on the way down, as well as a lunch break at a mediocre restaurant. Regardless of the smoke-y guide, no sunrise, and crappy food we had a blast. From the moment we took off down the volcano we had smiles on our faces that went ear to ear! Our fastest clocked speed on the bikes was 47mph! There 's just something really thrilling about going from 10,000 feet to sea level on a bicycle.
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