So I went to Maui and dragged my bike along.
Before I get to my boring scenery and and trail pictures that are totally lacking in any "action" qualities, here is some video that I shot on Haleakala (Hawaiian for "big ass volcano").
And now, some trail descriptions..................
Most of the riding that I did was in the Kula Forest Preserve on the slopes of Haleakala, a 10,000 foot volcano. It was pretty cool (pun intended) to leave the balmy 85 degree beaches and travel to the trailhead at 5,000', where the temps were in the low 60s. For some perspective, check out the Haleakala picture below. The Kula Forest Preserve is approximately where the thin line of clouds crosses the middle of the volcano.
There is year round hunting in the preserve and while I didn't hear any gun shots, or see any hunters on the trais, I did see many hunters in pickups. I'm still trying to figure out what is "sporting" about hunting regular ole goats.............
The following pic of Kehei and central Maui was taken on the way to the trailhead. Upcountry Maui is a whole different World compared to the lowlands. In many spots I felt like I was riding in the Bay Area as I rode through eucalyptus and pine groves.
My best ride started with a boring dirt road climb around the perimeter of the preserve. I climbed, climbed, and climbed some more to get to the top of some allegedly "killer" downhill. On the way I climbed above the clouds and took this panorama of my bike pointing at the shore south of Makena.
The "killer" downhill (Mamane trail) was disappointingly buff, but who was I too complain? I was on Maui and there were more new trails to explore. I made my way to a 7.5 mile trail that had been described as "technical" and "hike-a-bike" which always bodes well. I was not disappointed. Wailuku, this "cross country" trail, had some steep yet not very technical climbing at the start. Then some semi-rocky climbing through a piney forest. Then things got a bit steeper and much rockier.
I climbed back above the clouds and the trees disappeared leaving scrub brush and an ever-increasing amount of sharp lava rocks separated by sand and lava ridges.
The going got steeper, and the air got thinner. I topped out at a bit over 8,000' on this trail.
Then the trail started to get really silly. Mondo lava ridges, loose rock everywhere and constant up-down, up-down. Let the hike-a-bike, ride 20 yards, hike-a-bike, ride 20 yards fest begin. Yow.
Eventually I got high enough that I could see the telescopes, radar dishes and secret government mind-control facilities at the summit (they are on the two peaks at the top of this pic).
Then the trail got downright nasty. The good thing was that it began heading mostly down. The bad thing was that it was very difficult to follow. I'm not sure they have really completed this part. The only thing to guide you was a series of small bits of blue or pink tape.
After much flailing I finally made it back to some soft, grassy, swoopy singletrack down in the clouds.
Then I did what came naturally.
I drove back to the beach for umbrella drinks.