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Bicyclist Injured in 30-Foot Drop off Haleakalā Crater Road

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   August 22nd, 2013 · 20 Comments · Featured, Maui News
Haleakala Crater Road. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Haleakalā Crater Road, 2013. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

A bicyclist was rescued from Haleakalā Crater Road this morning after going off the road and down an embankment, landing about 30 feet below, officials said.

Authorities say the bicyclist, a 25-year-old male visitor from Korea, sustained a compound fracture to his right ankle during the incident.

The incident was reported at 7:05 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, around Mile-8 of the roadway.

Firefighters from the Kula Fire Station hiked down to the victim, and provided first aid treatment until medics arrived on scene, said Maui Fire Services  Chief Lee Mainaga.
The man was then carried up the embankment, placed in an ambulance, and transported by American Medical Response to Maui Memorial Medical Center, said FS Chief Mainaga.
The bicyclist was transported to the hospital in stable condition, with non life threatening injuries, officials said.

The mishap comes just three days after another report of a bicyclist going off the road.

The earlier incident was reported on Monday morning, Aug. 19, 2013, near the Leleiwi Overlook area of Haleakalā National Park, and did not result in any injuries.

Fire officials say park rangers cancelled assistance from responding fire and rescue crews, saying the bike rider in Monday’s incident was uninjured and back on road.

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  • 101

    I wish that they could distinguish between actual cyclists, as shown in the picture, and people who just happen to be on a bicycle.
    I suspect that this was probably a non-cycling tourist, on one of those bicycle tours. I see them all the time, wobbling down the road, sitting bolt upright like Mary Poppins, elbows locked, “steering” by twisting their torso clockwise and counter-clockwise. They don’t understand counter-steering, so when they panic, every steering “correction” they make, puts them back on a collision course with whatever they’re trying to avoid. I’ve talked to a few of the bicycle tour companies, but I’ve come to the conclusion that as long as they’re raking in the cash, they just don’t care.

  • Actual cyclist tour guide

    “Actual” cyclist? Sounds like typical lycra pants,ped takin douchbag.support all bike riding on public roadways.accidents will happen.maybe we should ban rental cars,they crash alot too!

    • Aaron Aliiloa Silva

      No novas bike tours should be allowed. The road is very dangerous as it is. These bike companies have to make sure that their customers know how to ride and handle the bikes that they are riding. Also the state should limit the amount of bike tours allowed at any given time. And if they do already then the state needs batten down the hatch tighter.

    • 101

      Enough with the name calling and personal attacks. The difference between the downhill bicycle tour companies and rental car agencies, is that people renting cars have to prove they know how to drive (by showing a driver’s license), and rental car agencies drug test their employees.

      • Lulz

        So, you dont like being called a “lycra pants,ped takin douchbag”, but you are ok with calling others out for “dress up in costume with ass-less leather chaps like The Village People, take the mufflers off their Harley-Davidson motorcycles”. Sounds like your costume of choice involves spandex and lycra instead of leather and denim. LOL.

  • Resident

    There is no room on the upper kula highway for these rental bikes. One of these wobblers is going to fall over into the road and the car will have nowhere to go because in many spots it is too steep to stop quickly and there is no shoulder. So, if there is oncoming traffic in the other lane, it will be time to say goodbye to your innocent cyclist riding on unfamiliar equipment on unfamiliar roads. Ridiculous risk is taken and the “economy” will be fine without these inexperienced visitors endangering themselves and commuters on this stretch of road.

  • Goofy

    Please name the tour company that put this visitor on the bicycle!

  • to dah dummys

    When will they learn. Those bike tour leaders should be more aware. And since the subjects on cyclist all those guys riding on the highways to or from kihei,wailuku,kahului,lahaina, you guys are just plain stupid. Those guys riding in a small group. It seems like you guys are playing Russian roulette on the highways.

  • 101

    It’s not hard to spot- once they get rolling, you’ve got one or two in every group, elbows locked, steering with their shoulders, wobbling all over the road. The tour companies should have the integrity to pull over, pull them off the bike, and put them in the van, for the safety of their customer and everyone else on the road.

  • 101

    How hard would it be, to take an extra 10 minutes to teach them how counter-steering works (including a quick demo in the parking lot), and to tell them that if the tour guides see them with their elbows locked, they’re coming off the bike and going in the van, for their safety and the safety of everyone else on the road.

  • 101

    They would also do well to get everyone’s saddle adjusted up correctly, so that their knees don’t come up to their chest while pedaling. This isn’t freestyle BMX, it’s coasting downhill on asphalt.

    • veteran downhill tour guide

      you obviously have no idea what you are talking about. all downhill bikers know for a fact that the saddle should be low when riding downhill as it is safe and effcient to have a low center of gravity while biking downhill!

      • 101

        Lol.
        I’m not sure whether you’re kidding, or if you’re actually serious. Either way, it’s pretty funny.
        The only time the saddle should be adjusted low is to get it out of the way when you plan on not using it (standing on the pedals the whole time). To sit on a lowered saddle and pedal is the OPPOSITE of efficient, and is dangerous to the connective tissues of the knee.
        And “bikers” are the guys that dress up in costume with ass-less leather chaps like The Village People, take the mufflers off their Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and wobble from bar to bar.

        • FancyPants

          Sounds like you have lots of gay fantasies about “ass-less leather chaps”. You seem to mention it in every article about motorcycles or bicycles. Im sure its just buried deep in your subconscious but you need to come to terms with your true self. Come out into the light. lol.

  • guest

    Not all these ‘riders’ are on guided tours. There are several DIY companies, which IMO is even more dangerous than the ‘guided’ tours.
    These self-guided rides should be totally banned, and the guided ones should be cut way back and more strictly regulated. Maui has too much traffic and too many people driving here have no focus on the road.

    • 101

      There are existing laws on the books that could be enforced to deal with the problem. Maybe arresting them and throwing them in jail would help.

      TITLE 37. HAWAII PENAL CODE
      711. Offenses Against Public Order

      §711-1105 Obstructing.

      (1) A person commits the offense of obstructing if, having no legal privilege to do so, the person knowingly or recklessly obstructs any highway or public passage, whether alone or with others.

      (2) A person in a gathering commits the offense of obstructing if the person refuses to obey a reasonable request or order by a law enforcement officer to move:

      (a) To prevent obstruction of a highway or other public passage; or

      (b) To maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a public hazard.

      (3) An order to move under subsection (2)(a), addressed to a person whose speech or other lawful behavior attracts an obstructing audience, is not reasonable if the obstruction can be readily remedied by police control.

      (4) A person is not guilty of violating subsection (1) solely because persons gather to hear the person speak or because the person is a member of such a gathering.

      (5) Obstructing is a petty misdemeanor if the person persists in the conduct specified in subsection (1) after a warning by a law enforcement officer; otherwise it is a violation. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1; gen ch 1993; am L 2001, c 91, §4]

  • Biker

    Visitors to haleakala spend tens of millions of dollars into the surrounding community.A majority of that buissness is generated from bicycle tours and has been for 30 yrs.Majority of recent accidents are from “independant” bikers from haleakala bike co. In haiku.Guided tours long ago increased safety standards and make inexperienced riders get in van.Its the biggest complaint against guides from guests in the industry.Haleakala bike co. Has riders as young as 5yrs old and the van goes back to the shop after dropping off their guests

    • Damon

      That companys a joke. Their people getting lost all over Haiku. I have escorted a few back to tier Cannery base. I went in their looking for some chain lube and the workers are rude.

    • 101

      “Biker”, are you one of the Harley-Davidson operators dressed up in costume with ass-less leather chaps like one of The Village People, or did you actually mean “Cyclist”.
      I spend a fair amount of time up there, and regardless of which company it is, the vast majority have their elbows locked, trying to steer with their shoulders, BARELY able to control their bicycle. Some only wobble a little, some wobble a lot, but almost ALL of them appear to be lacking in the few minutes of coaching that could have brought their tour within the realm of what a reasonable person would call “safe”.

  • Two Cents

    Perhaps there should be a plan to create a separate bike way, just for bikers, on Haleakala. Slow plan by adding a tax per head for current tour cyclist guests to pay for that route. And a gondola or tram to reduce motor vehicle traffic from the park for those that don’t want the hassle of driving up there.


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