Maui Cycling Info and Tips

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q:  Maui roads look to be narrow and perhaps they are crowded, so is it safe to ride there?
A:  Yes, Maui has some narrow roads and crowded roads, but they are either one or the other, never both, which is why most local roadies prefer to ride the narrow roads out on the “fringes” of the island.  In fact, the “moderate” or “less suitable” roads (see Full Map) are among the best, and the “most suitable” are the busiest.  Shoulders are common where they really need to be, and they aren’t where they aren’t needed.  Riders should “take control” of the road somewhat on the narrow roads though they should never ride in the middle of the lane and should ride single file most of the time, then they should waive cars past when it’s indeed safe and clear to do so.  The drivers here are very respectful mostly, especially other visitors who are unsure of the road themselves when driving on the narrower roads, though ironically enough it's the locals who drive faster on the narrow roads and the visitors who drive faster on the main roads.  Rudeness and harassment is very rare here, but all roadies should be as cautious, courteous, and considerate (the 3 C’s) as possible and then they will find their riding experience safe as well.  

Q:  What’s the best time of year to come to Maui to ride?
A:  Anytime you can make it.  It’s the #1 tropical destination in the world for all the right reasons.  Of course, the “winter” time is ideal just to escape the cold on the “mainland”, or in Europe, but it’s warm, dry, sunny year-round, there really is no “rainy” season per se .  The winter weather is somewhat unpredictable from week to week, month to month, year to year, so just come out when you can, though the summer and fall are usually drier vs. the winter and spring.    

Q:  What’s the best time of day to ride?
A:  That depends on weather conditions and where you want to ride, though most of the time it’s best to go as early as possible to avoid both wind and traffic, though that may mean an increased chance of rain on the “windward” sides, like the northshore on the Hana Highway, up Haleakala, or even out around the West Maui’s.  I can’t tell you how many times I was able to ride in both locations in dry sunny conditions just by waiting an extra hour or two for the “morning rain” to clear or “burn off” as we say.  Personally, I’d much rather ride in some headwind or crosswind vs. rain though most of the time you can avoid both.  Again, traffic is really a secondary minor issue here so it’s not worth basing where or when to ride on that alone, though the main roads are best done as early as possible since they are always very busy. 

Q:  Does anyone offer a regular bike tour there?
A:  Yes, but you still have to “BYOB” and you’d be stuck with a riding schedule and that’s NOT the way to ride Maui.  Given how unpredictable and variable the weather can be day to day, it just makes no sense to be stuck out, say, Hana Highway, on a rainy day, or up Haleakala on a cold and windy day, when you can probably just wait a day or two, or sometimes just an hour or two, and get ideal “clear” riding conditions.

Q:  Can I move around the island from one hotel to the next?
A:  You could but it really doesn’t make sense given the need for advance reservations and the much higher cost of hotels vs. our specialty, vacation rentals.  It’s far easier to just choose one place as a “home base” and then drive to various “start points” that we or other bike shops can recommend to start your rides, just like we “locals” do here.  There are certainly good riding “out the door” from anywhere on the island, but it makes more sense to have a place that’s “centrally located” close to the best ride routes, which is why we recommend the northshore though MOST people and especially families with children and teens would be happier staying on the southshore at one of our preferred resort condo properties. 

Q:  Is there anyone who can watch my kids while I ride?
A:  Yes, it’s very common and easy to arrange for a nanny service:  www.thenannyconnection.com.

Q:  What do you mean by “… ride the vacation”? 
A:  Well, if you have to ask, then you probably need a vacation for sure!  It’s just a play on the expression “Plan the ride, ride the plan” so popular in training lingo, and that can certainly work very well here as well, but it’s also nice to be flexible enough to just ride if/when/where/how you feel like it that day, though it’s our hope that you do all the “epic rides” here at least once during your vacation, or the next one.