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“Spectacular!”

Maui Mountain Cruisers
Ranked #6 of 13 Tours in Paia
Attraction details
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Spectacular!”
Reviewed May 19, 2008

I am not a morning person. I am even less of a "let's get up at 2 am and ride down a mountain at dawn" kind of guy.

Still, my spouse has talked about doing this for 11 years. I am slightly disabled and had been able to put this off. But, I am much healthier now - and decided to treat the spouse with this activity.

There's no way I can cushion the horror getting up at 2 am. At least, you don't have to drive. They come and get you in a big van. Sometimes, the back seat's what's left. This isn't a limo and it's the same van they use to haul the bike trailer up to the volcano park. So, get in the back and go to sleep.

When they say dress in layers, they mean it. The crater is darned cold. Here's a tip. Put on your "biking clothes", then pull on jeans, a tee-shirt and a long sleeved sweatshirt. You'll need it. The crater is around 30 degrees at this time of day. If you have a windbreaker, take that. It's really crowded at the rim, and we seemed to find a lot people are remarkable stupid at the time of day, with endless pointless chatter, singing of stupid songs and generally annoying behavior. Don't let this ruin a great experience. Just move along. You don't have to be at the rail to see the sunrise. Really.

Once you're through with the touring around the crater, you'll hop back in the van and ride down just past the entrance of the park. The guides will make you demonstrate your bicycling skill as part of the safety briefing. If you're not comfortable on a bike, or as they say "haven't been on one since the Carter administration", you can hop back on the van and get a narrated tour. Out of courtesy to others, if you're not comfortable on a bike - don't do this tour. You'll make it an unpleasant day for everyone.

The bikes are big, heavy, single speed mountain bikes. Don't worry about pedaling. Unless you have a schmuck at the front who brakes way too often and doesn't understand how to build up speed to reduce the need to pedal, you'll only have two spots where you pedal for a very short distance Interval between riders is kept at 30 feet for safety and you will ride single file

I haven't been on a bike in eight years due to advancing arthritis, knee and hip problems. But, I had absolutely no problems at all. The ride was exhilarating! We rode down switchbacks, through eucalyptus groves and fields of lavender.

The Sunrise Cafe is where you stop for breakfast, in Kula. Lots of stars have homes there. You probably won't see any - and the cafe is pretty basic. Still, it's a pleasant stop and you're close to the end of the ride.

Our guides were great fun. Very bright, passionate, and clearly love their work. At each stop, they took photos for us and gave us a nice tour of each area and what we were seeing.

I would have loved to have kept on gong, but the ride came to an all-too-soon end. The guides loaded up the bikes, and we rode back to their base camp, an office next door to the BadAss Coffee shop. I am so glad we had the opportunity to do this finally, and we loved it.

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1 Thank ellipticalgeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Annapolis, MD
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
Reviewed January 28, 2008

Despite calling to confirm my reservation several days before the trip my name was not on the list for the bus driver to pick me up. He wouldn't give me the time of day despite the fact that I had a paper print out of my reservation. He left my boyfriend and I standing in the lobby at 3:30AM wondering what had just happened and why we weren't on the bus. I tried calling the company, but of course got no answer since it was 3:30 in the morning. When I finally did get ahold of them later that day they were apologetic, but only compensated us with a token decrease in price to get up at 3:30AM again the next day. They told us that we would be supplied with windbreakers. However, they didn't mention that they would not give them to us until after we left the park. Thus, we didn't have them at the top of the volcano where it was windy and freezing while waiting for the sun to rise. The bike ride started in a cold, damp rain, but it cleared up after a couple of miles. The rest of the ride was enjoyable, but the mood for the overall experience had been set...

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5 Thank computergirl_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Maui Mountain Cruisers”
Reviewed December 27, 2007

While the sunrise was incredible, I do not recommend the bike tour down (through Maui Mountain Cruisers). My husband and I took this tour the 2nd day of our honeymoon. After watching the sunrise, we were given our bikes to ride around the parking lot. I kept saying there was something wrong with my bike, and was reassured that it was fine by the tour guide. Needless to say, 10 minutes into the ride down, at 25mph, I went to brake, and the brakes failed. I went airborne into a pile of rocks. I was in the rock pile for an hour and a half before the ambulance could make it up to get me. I asked the EMT on the way to the hospital if they have ever come up for accidents, and was informed there are bike accidents at a minimum of 5 times a week. If it had been a bit down the road, I would have gone over the edge of the mountain, as there are no guardrails. The owners of Maui Mountain Cruisers showed up at the hospital the next day, drunk and accusing me of purposely messing with the brakes. I was floored! I spent 5 days in the hospital in Maui, and another 10 days in the hospital once I finally arrived back in NY. If you want to see Haleakala , drive your own vehicle up early and drive back down. Do NOT use Maui Mountain Cruisers.

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24 Thank DnBEno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Do Not Use”
Reviewed November 24, 2007

For starters, they were late to pick us up because they went to the wrong hotel (and then made it out to the others on the tour that we told them incorrectly. Next, they waited in their van until every other group left and then tried to talk everyone in going down to the 6500 foot level. No one wanted to, so reluctantly they allowed us to start. Then, at the 28 mile mark, they told us to pack up our bikes, since there was a light drizzle. We went to a breakfast where other companies were eating - all then leaving to continue to the next portion to the coast - thus getting all 38 miles. We drove by them.
This may be the worst experience I have ever had. I wrote a complaint letter with much more detail, but never received any response.

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6 Thank Nomad47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bixby, Oklahoma
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed June 28, 2007

Before we went to Maui we read mixed reviews of biking down the Haleakala volcano after watching the sunrise. Some people liked it and others did not, so we decided to give it a try.

In summary I would not recommend it. While there are several companies that provide this service, I don't think any of them could provide a really enjoyable event.

The problem is not with the companies themselves, it is with the limitations imposed by the narrow road and the space available. You can't stop on the way down and enjoy the scenery. You are forced to simply following in a single file line a bunch of people in front of you.

It also appears that the park service and most of the locals do not like these rides. There were many complaints in the local papers and on the news about how they are unsafe and tie up traffic. The park rangers and local police seem to be watching the rides just looking for problems. Because of this the ride companies are being overly cautious, and this takes alot of the fun out of the event.

You have to get up several hours before sunrise. There are also so many people wanting to do this, that you may have to wait for hours after sunrise before you get your chance to go down.

While it was not so bad I am asking for my money back or anything, I would instead highly recommend simply going up on your own in a car. The view from the top is amazing. You can them enjoy the mountain at your own pace.

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8 Thank drw_ok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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