There are plenty of places to ride a bike, especially in Europe with places like the Provence, the Alps, the Pyrenees, Mallorca… However when you live in these areas and that you are exposed to the winter, and that you dream of escaping your torture room (for those who have one and use it!) and you would like to wear again your short sleeve jersey, Maui is the Spot you need !
So, on Bob’s advice and invitation (Bob comes to Maui every year since 30 years and about 6 to ride his bike !), I decided to fly to the Hawaiian island to extract myself from the winter routine of Toulouse.
Maui’s airport Kahalui is 5 hours away from San Francisco and Vancouver, about 8 hours from the east cost of the US and approximately 20 hours from Europe.
January is maybe one of the best month to cycle in Maui ! Why ? Even if the weather is good all year round, it is at this time that the whales come in the nice and warm water of Hawaiian archipel to have their calf. So it is another activity outside cycling to escape from the winter either on the east coast of the US or northern Europe.
How is the cycling there ?
There are rides for everybody, flat, hilly, and very hilly. Of course the scenic rides are the most challenging but they will let you discover the back country side either in a tropical forest like on the Hana highway or in the volcanic area on the Piilani highway.
There are few cars on the back roads and even if there are some, they are tourists on holidays or local who are friendly with cyclist. The asphalt is good except some miles on the Piilani highway which are closed to some cobble stone areas of Paris-Roubaix !
The routes are so scenic that you don’t know what to look at. Even if the rides can be very challenging for the off season, the scenery makes you forget all the climbs !
There are bike shops everywhere to rent a bike but I would recommend highly the Maui Cyclery in Paia hold by Donnie Arnoult and his staff : they are very flexible and ready to help.
Concerning the lodging we were established at Pookela’s Paradise in Makawao, owned by Mark who is always ready to go for a ride (either mountain bike or road bike) to make his guests discover the Feerie of the island. Makawao is a little town away from the main resort area and it is higher than the sea level which allows a nice view on the ocean.
For sure we will come back next year, maybe in January again but with more kilometers in the legs to appreciate a bit more the ride (thank you Bob for this Epic 90-mile-ride in the South of the Island).
Accommodation: Pookela paradise : www.pookelaparadise.com