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Old 01-17-10, 01:38 PM   #1
Herbie53
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The West Maui Loop - a more civilized ride in Maui

Did the West Maui ride yesterday. After the mountain, it seemed like a much more civilized tour than 38 miles of up. Started out in Maalaea at the harbor and went north. Pretty much flat along the beach with a few shallow rollers until about mile 22. There's about 3900 feet of climbing on the ride, most of which is between mile 22 and 45. Most of the climbs were 5-9% and not more than a mile long with the exception of one some locals told me was called Mr. Steepy at mile 30 (16-18% for a bit over 0.5 miles) and a section at mile 38 that gains about 1000ft in 4 miles or so.

The ride is 60 miles total and once you get off the highway on the west side it gets really nice (the road gets curvy, the sights get more rugged and the traffic goes away).

The route (except I started in Maalea)
http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...24296015742695

Typical scenery on the north side. After awhile I became weary of every corner producing a better photo op!


"Mr. Steepy"


Per the local cycling types the mandatory water and bananna bread stop...


Lunch - $8 (brought 3/4 of the bread back with me) -- very tasty


Taro farming by the twisty little road


Sections of the route are just a step above a gravel path along a cliff and one lane. Keeps the cars from going any faster than the bikes.


Another bucket list sort of ride... sure glad my wife's company decided to have their meeting here!

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Old 01-17-10, 03:59 PM   #2
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Did you bring your bike, or is that a rental?

How did you plan the route
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Old 01-17-10, 07:11 PM   #3
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Did you bring your bike, or is that a rental?

How did you plan the route
Found the basics on the interweb and got some additional detail from the place I rented my bike (South Maui Bicycles). Also picked up some tips / heads up on the terrain from some local triathalete types I rode with for a bit on the early/flat part of the ride. With what airlines are charing for extra / large bags I bet it's cheaper to rent and certainly easier.

It's not to hard, basically only one way to go once you get on it.
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Old 01-18-10, 08:37 AM   #4
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Wow, that's living a dream, for me.
My wife and then 4 year old daughter drove that and the east Maui loop a couple years ago and I vowed to bike it one day. I can identify where each of those pictures were taken! How was the banana bread? It was closed when we were there but highly recommended.

Thanks for that post, Herb.

C.
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Old 03-15-10, 09:13 PM   #5
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Herbie53, that West Maui loop looks very nice too. I'm planning to do that when I'm on the island as well as the climb up Haleakala. Two huge bucket list items off my list in one week. Cool!
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Old 03-15-10, 10:15 PM   #6
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Herbie53, that West Maui loop looks very nice too. I'm planning to do that when I'm on the island as well as the climb up Haleakala. Two huge bucket list items off my list in one week. Cool!
Enjoy it!!! Haleakala is something I'll never forget doing unless I decide to do it again... then I'll never forget that one!

Be strong, it get's easy at the 9000 foot sign, at least until the last bit up to the observatory!
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Old 07-25-10, 10:15 PM   #7
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I used this post as my guide before my ride on July 25, 2010. Thanks very much to Herbie I wanted to add a few things...

First, this is not an easy ride. I suffered in the middle of it. I am 200 lbs so not one of the mountain goats...but still it is not easy. It is an EPIC ride in my opinion. You will be rounding corners after huge, seriously steep climbs only to see it continuing and the next one on the horizon. I was heard to say aloud to no one..."you have got to be _____ing kidding" quite a few times. The climbs are short but they come one after another after another...

The descents are tight so you are braking hard...so no real rest. If 60 miles is not for you I would say the least inspiring portion of the ride is from Maaalea Bay to Lahaina or even Kapalua. If you can get a ride to there you can cut off 15-20 miles. Nothing wrong with this stretch but while it does hug the pacific for a while, it also cruises past shopping centers and condos...nothing special. And the traffic can be dangerous.

If you are renting a bike, be sure to get a triple ring on the front. Trust me you will want it!

When you get to the banana bread lady (an absolute must)... Be sure to take on full water bottles...the back side is very hot and you will use it. From Kahakuloa Bay (banana bread) to the start of the last descents to Wailuku you hit some of the hardest and longest climbs on the ride and it is this stretch that has the worst road. I would be tempted to ride a mountain bike next time to be honest... Plus the gear ratio and disc brakes make this an interesting option.

The late descents are hard on the hands, arms and shoulders...no free wheeling really because of the hairpin turns. From Wailuku to Maalaea is down wind so you can get to 40 mph easy... It took me like 5.5 hours...thats with 15 minutes break to eat my banana bread...slow compared to better climbers...so plan accordingly. But I figured it wasn't a race right?

Thanks again to Herbie for a great post that intrigued me enough to try this great ride. Best ride of my life

Patrick
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Old 07-26-10, 05:35 AM   #8
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I was stationed in Hawaii when I was in the service. We went to Maui and rode the old, rough road to Hana and rode to Lahina, but not the full loop. They have now properly paved the road to Hana, but it sounds like the road around the west loop is still gravel in places. When we went back a few years ago, we drove. Taking a bike was too much hassle. If I go again, I will try to do some riding, but I am not a big fan of hills.
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Old 07-26-10, 06:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pbomber View Post
I used this post as my guide before my ride on July 25, 2010. Thanks very much to Herbie I wanted to add a few things...

First, this is not an easy ride. I suffered in the middle of it. I am 200 lbs so not one of the mountain goats...but still it is not easy. It is an EPIC ride in my opinion. You will be rounding corners after huge, seriously steep climbs only to see it continuing and the next one on the horizon. I was heard to say aloud to no one..."you have got to be _____ing kidding" quite a few times. The climbs are short but they come one after another after another...

The descents are tight so you are braking hard...so no real rest. If 60 miles is not for you I would say the least inspiring portion of the ride is from Maaalea Bay to Lahaina or even Kapalua. If you can get a ride to there you can cut off 15-20 miles. Nothing wrong with this stretch but while it does hug the pacific for a while, it also cruises past shopping centers and condos...nothing special. And the traffic can be dangerous.

If you are renting a bike, be sure to get a triple ring on the front. Trust me you will want it!

When you get to the banana bread lady (an absolute must)... Be sure to take on full water bottles...the back side is very hot and you will use it. From Kahakuloa Bay (banana bread) to the start of the last descents to Wailuku you hit some of the hardest and longest climbs on the ride and it is this stretch that has the worst road. I would be tempted to ride a mountain bike next time to be honest... Plus the gear ratio and disc brakes make this an interesting option.

The late descents are hard on the hands, arms and shoulders...no free wheeling really because of the hairpin turns. From Wailuku to Maalaea is down wind so you can get to 40 mph easy... It took me like 5.5 hours...thats with 15 minutes break to eat my banana bread...slow compared to better climbers...so plan accordingly. But I figured it wasn't a race right?

Thanks again to Herbie for a great post that intrigued me enough to try this great ride. Best ride of my life

Patrick
Glad you liked it! I think the less developed, rougher parts are the best and am not a fan of rushing down hills anyway.

Did you do Haleakala as well? I did the mountain first which seemed to make the West Maui loop a bit more palatable.
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Old 07-26-10, 06:43 AM   #10
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I was stationed in Hawaii when I was in the service. We went to Maui and rode the old, rough road to Hana and rode to Lahina, but not the full loop. They have now properly paved the road to Hana, but it sounds like the road around the west loop is still gravel in places. When we went back a few years ago, we drove. Taking a bike was too much hassle. If I go again, I will try to do some riding, but I am not a big fan of hills.
The road to Hana is ok for the first bit (maybe 10-15 miles), but then the shoulder goes away and the cars don't go any slower in spite of the many blind curves (the road is a little to good). Most will tell you to stay off of it on a bike now.
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Old 07-26-10, 09:43 AM   #11
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The road to Hana is ok for the first bit (maybe 10-15 miles), but then the shoulder goes away and the cars don't go any slower in spite of the many blind curves (the road is a little to good). Most will tell you to stay off of it on a bike now.
I rode the road to Hana in Oct. '74. At that time, tourists were discouraged by the rough/patched condition of the road. When I went back a few years ago, it was smoothly paved, with much more traffic. It still had the 1 car width bottlenecks, but at least you didn't beat yourself to death. I did it in a car this last time.
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Old 07-27-10, 01:04 AM   #12
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Having a days perspective on it I think it was great to be blissfully ignorant not knowing how many more climbs were left. In my mind there was a chance around each corner that I would see a long descent in front of me and not another climb. The stretch after Kahalukoa was rough but certainly the most memorable. Not a big descender either...not taking any chances there. I have not done Haleakala...sounds like a huge ride. I heard the traffic is bad? Would get a triple for that for sure.

There is also a great stretch between Kihei and La Perouse Bay through Wailea and Makena. Have you done that one? It only 11 miles but there are some good rolling hills and you can really get going...you can add a good climb up to Pilani Highway from the Shops at Wailea or even a couple laps to get some climbing in..so about 20-22 miles. Good one around sunset. For when you get back to Maui!

Patrick
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Old 07-27-10, 02:20 AM   #13
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Having a days perspective on it I think it was great to be blissfully ignorant not knowing how many more climbs were left. In my mind there was a chance around each corner that I would see a long descent in front of me and not another climb. The stretch after Kahalukoa was rough but certainly the most memorable. Not a big descender either...not taking any chances there. I have not done Haleakala...sounds like a huge ride. I heard the traffic is bad? Would get a triple for that for sure.

There is also a great stretch between Kihei and La Perouse Bay through Wailea and Makena. Have you done that one? It only 11 miles but there are some good rolling hills and you can really get going...you can add a good climb up to Pilani Highway from the Shops at Wailea or even a couple laps to get some climbing in..so about 20-22 miles. Good one around sunset. For when you get back to Maui!

Patrick
I would love to go back. After I retire for good, I will have time. I just hope I have the money. I would rent bikes and ride. Much of Maui is pretty flat. We rode from Lahaina to Kahalui in '74. It was a nice flat ride. I never have been good at climbing. We drove up Haleakala this last trip. We stayed in Kihei on the last trip, too. Nice area. There is a little island south of Maui called Kahoolavi. When I was flying F-4s, we bombed it regularly. It has since been given back to Hawaii. We lived on Ohau for over 3 yrs. I know the territory there much better. We only spend a couple of weeks on Maui on two trips.
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Old 07-27-10, 02:25 AM   #14
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When I first saw this thread, the photos were blocked. Great shots! It is amazing how rural Hawaii can be just off the beaten track.
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