Friday, April 6, 2018

Photo Friday: Biking Maui

Leaving SF and all those clouds

To arrive in Maui with all those clouds...

Recently the Ninja Librarian and spouse traveled to Maui for a bit of a vacation. Being the people we are, it didn't involve a whole lot of lying around and relaxing. First thing we did on arriving was rent a pair of bikes for the next day, with a plan to ride around West Maui (58+ miles and 4400' of climbing, for those who want to know--actually a little easier than the ride we might have done had we been at home).

I'm going to give a shout-out to Krank Cycles of Makawao, because we didn't really get how the whole bike rental thing works, and showed up at 4:30 Saturday afternoon, figuring it would be easy to pick up a couple of bikes and be on our way. In fact, the place was busy, and the lone salesclerk/mechanic, Josh, ended up staying about an hour and a half past closing to ready a couple of bikes for us. So they get top ratings from us.

This guy was on the sidewalk in front of the bike shop. Definitely not an SF thing.

With bikes in hand, we were able to start about 7:30 the next morning from our hostel in Wialuku. The typical weather pattern gave us a good shower early in the morning, which stopped before we left.
Ready to start, atop a bike worth more than the whole trip cost. For three of us. Yow.
It sprinkled on us a bit early on the ride but the sun soon came out, though for the most part temperatures were mild. That was good, because I don't handle heat and humidity well at all.

The road the first several miles ran through what you might call the suburbs, and had a good shoulder but light traffic (at that hour on a Sunday morning, anyway). The straight road soon gave way to curves, then at 6 1/2 miles, the road became more or less a one-lane strip of pavement clinging to the side of the mountains high above the Pacific. With even less traffic, this was the marvelous part! None of the hills was steep enough or long enough to give us any trouble, and the rain had gone so we could see views of the coast, if not much of the mountains (they remained covered in clouds for most of our visit to the island).
Not California, either.
NE coast with a hint of Molokai in the distance.
No ride is complete without a stop for something we shouldn't be eating, so at 14 miles we stopped at Kahakuloa and bought banana bread at Lorraine's Shave Ice (we didn't have shave ice, since breakfast was too recent).
I guess it's a town.
The intrepid cyclists.

We ate the bread 6 miles on at the Nakalele Blowhole, which was the first place we suddenly saw lots of cars.

Nakalele Blowhole; like a geyser or a whale spouting, you never know just when it will perform.
People were just as fascinated by the nearby heart-shaped rock. Which isn't accurate, because the heart shape is the part that isn't rock.
The blowhole in fact represented the end of the really tranquil part of the ride, though the road remained narrow, winding, and not too heavily traveled until about mile 26, when we began to approach Kapalua. I have to say that the giant resorts there, seen after several hours in the jungle, looked like something dropped in from outer space. The people who stay there are not like us (for one thing, they are way more willing to spend money).

Though we were only about halfway, that point also marked the end of the really good riding. We turned south along Highway 30 and began sailing south, pushed by a brisk north wind. Even at that, it took far too long to reach Lahaina and find a place to get lunch. I was getting pretty cranky before we stopped! Salads and smoothies at the Bamboo Fresh Cafe, which was about pretty much a parody of itself with everything natural, organic, local, and careful to say so.
We had the Starburst, because it looked the least like anything we'd find at home.
After lunch, we found the wind a little less cooperative, and at times the sun a bit much. For just one short stretch we found ourselves climbing a hill in intense sun, with no breeze, and had a moment of doubt that we might be in trouble (and a reminder of what it might have been like if the weather hadn't been cool and rainy in places). Fortunately, the wind came up, and while it was no fun to fight that, it was better than cooking in the hot sun. Much of the way was right along the shore, where hundreds of people lined the beaches, baking themselves or playing in the mild waves (that stretch of the island is sheltered by Lanai and has little surf). It was something to look at while riding, and I like the ocean, so not bad. We didn't stop for photos, since the sun was high and the light awful.

At 51 miles, we turned north to cross the island back to Wailuku, and the wind's efforts to cool us were suddenly assisted by rain, which persisted for those last 7 miles (so absolutely no photos, as cameras were wrapped in plastic for protection). Drowned rats would be the apt description of us by the end, but unlike cycling at home in the rain, we were not at all cold. So we finished in style, dripping wet but happy. A shower, a drive to return the bikes and pick up dinner (and ice cream), and a night's sleep had us ready for the next adventure (which fortunately involved a lot of sitting in the car).

On the road back to the bike shop. Rain begets rainbows!

Stay tuned for more--rainforest explorations, waterfalls, and backpacking the volcano (I told you we don't relax on vacation).

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2018
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!


  1. Great description. I felt like I was there -- but somewhat glad I wasn't :)

    1. Thanks. It was beautiful, but you did have to be willing to put up with some wetness (even when we weren't biking, as you'll see. Hawaii is known for rainbows. You don't get those without, you know, rain.)

  2. Wow! Thank you for sharing your experience - so very cool! I think the mermaid or starburst would have been my top two choices. :-)

    1. The Starburst was good, and definitely not something you’d get on the Mainland!

  3. I like the idea of a PBB&J shake. Yum! It's been ages since I've been bike riding. This is making me want to get back out there.

    1. Biking is a nice form of exercise. Assuming you don't half kill yourself like we did yesterday, it's pretty low-impact, much easier on the back and knees than running. Seems to be where old runners end up, in fact :)


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