Mountain biking can be done anywhere, but taking an off road, single track ride on Maui beats riding around the neighborhood dodging kids and dogs.
You’ll need a bike, available for less than $50 a day. Rent by the week and get a better rate.
A copy of the Maui County Bicycle Map will come in handy. Pick one up at a local bike shop or do a Google search and download it off the web. Chart your route and ride the backcountry.
The map features bicycling information on trails, road suitability, laws, safety tips, emergency call boxes, tradewind patterns, grade changes and camping locations.
Skyline Trail, which begins at Haleakala Ridge Trail, is a popular ride through rugged and barren terrain. Cinder cones and craters appear along the length of this moderately difficult ride.
The Mamane Trail is an inviting singletrack through the Kula Forest Reserve. Often foggy and misty, the trail descends from the Skyline Trail.
On the island’s southeastern coast, Kaupo Road, a 4.5-mile stretch of unpaved, serpentine road, makes for good mountain biking.
There are many more offroad trails. That’s why you need the map. Maui also has constructed bike lanes on some of its highways. It is possible, for example, to ride 40 miles from Wailea to Kapalua on a bike.
Mountain biking is a sport that requires endurance, bike handling skills and self-reliance. Knowing that they may be stranded miles from help, most mountain bikers are adept at handling mechanical difficulties or flat tires.
Mountain bikes differ from street bikes in that they have a smaller and stronger frame, wider, high-profile tires, a larger range of gears and handlebars that allow a more upright riding position.
The most common form of mountain biking is cross-country. Downhill riding is typically race-oriented and done with bikes specifically fitted for downhill racing.