Maui Bike Tours
Maui Bike Tours
If you have not ridden on the Haleakala bike tour in Maui Hawaii. You are missing a favorite Maui activity and the journey of a lifetime. The downhill Maui bike tour industry began in the early 1980′s by Bob Kiger, owner at Cruiser Bobs downhill tours. We thought we would include a little history of how the Maui bike Tours business came about for your enjoyment.
In 1982 Bob Kiger, now known as Cruiser Bob, interrupted his career as a Hollywood TV producer/director and moved to Maui to rent bicycles. He made this decision because, during an earlier Maui vacation, he could not find a decent bike to rent and because it was getting harder and harder to make a decent living in Tinseltown.
After beginning Cruiser Bob’s Rent-A-Bike he discovered some reasons why bike rentals were not popular on Maui. The roads were too narrow. Maui motorists were actually hostile to bicyclists and there were no bike paths. Bob’s fledgling business was in jeopardy because, in 1982, there was no safe way to ride a bike around his island paradise of Maui.
In spite of his isolation with only a bicycle in Lahaina, there were several views that Cruiser Bob recollects that prompted his vision of a grand bicycle tour. One early canoe ride out into the channel between Molokai and Lanai offered tatntalizing views of Haleakala. Kiger had heard through the “coconut wireless” that there was a road all the way from summit to sea level that could be bicycled. On one occasion he rode through the cane fields along the coast to Olowalu where, in the distance, he could see the giant dormant volcano.
Bob thought to himself, “what if bicycles could be to Haleakala, as skis are to Aspen?” With that simple connection, which he recorded in his 1992 journal, he formulated a business plan for Cruiser Bob’s Haleakala Downhill, a bicycle tour that would transport Maui visitors to the 10,000′ summit of Haleakala. From the top they would begin their downhill bide ride over a circuitous 38 mile course down the steepest highway on Earth. He told Tom Horton, a journalist friend, about his idea and it was published in Aloha Airlines magazine. The Maui bike tour business was born.
Bob turned 37 years old on January 3, 1983. He gave himself a special gift by hitching a ride with friends to the top of the volcano. During this first ride he tape recorded his comments while descending on the bike. “When I played back the tape”, said Bob, “I sounded like a man who had seen God.” He realized, at that point, that if the experience made him feel that good, it would also appeal to the rest of the baby boomers. Between January and April Bob took friends to the mountain to test out the road and the bicycles.
Finally on April 15, 1983 the first Maui bike tour trip was chartered by the Lawry’s Seasoning Company. They declared Cruiser Bob’s Downhill to be the highlight of their trip to Maui. From that point the business took off faster than a bike speeding down the volcano. A capital partner was brought in to pay for a van, trailer and some additional bicycles. Over the years Cruiser Bob’s has been featured in dozens of TV shows including Ted Turner’s Portrait of America, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning Australia, PM Magazine, MTV’s The Real World, The Regis and Kathy Lee Show and many European and Asian shows. Magazines as diverse as Better Homes & Gardens, Playboy, Endless Vacation, Bicycling, Modern Maturity and hundreds of others have extolled the virtues of Cruiser Bob’s trip. Indeed it has been the gateway through which hundreds of thousands of people have rediscovered the bicycle.
Although Bob Kiger is no longer involved in the downhill bike industry. We at Mountain Riders have been provided this unique visitor experience to over 600,000 people since 1991. If you are coming to Maui don’t miss the Maui bike tours. Give us a call at 808 706-7700.