Some appear to be flouting new rules for commercial bike tours on Maui

The law is intended to keep people safe, but tour owners say it threatens their business.
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:43 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2023 at 9:17 PM HST
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MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - New rules started Wednesday to limit Maui’s famous cycling tours down Haleakala.

The law is intended to keep people safe, but tour owners say it threatens their business.

Around noon on Wednesday, some cyclists were seen riding down Baldwin Avenue in Makawao toward Paia with an unmarked van with bike racks behind them.

It is unclear if it was a commercial bike tour. But if it was, that is now illegal.

“On Wednesdays, basically, we can only bike about seven miles up in the ranch, and then that’s it. So other companies are trying to adapt to that. They’re trying to be creative ... I’m working on some ideas too. Right now, Wednesdays are gonna be our day off,” said Matt Domenichini, owner of Maui Bombers.

Commercial bike tours are allowed on Baldwin Avenue for people over the age of 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., except on Wednesdays, King Kamehameha Day, Prince Kuhio Day, and La Ho’iho’i Ea.

The new rules also limit cycling on Haleakalā Highway from mile marker 9.5 to mile marker 3.0 seven days a week.

“It’s frustrating because it’s some beautiful biking,” Domenichini said. “That section is, you know, most of my people’s favorite section of the bike ride. So, I’m disappointed.”

Former Makawao-Haiku-Paia Councilman Mike Molina introduced the bill.

“If we can save one life, the bill is worth it,” said Molina.

Molina said regulations were necessary because residents were complaining about several collisions, “near misses,” and traffic.

“Certainly, the revenue and the business is good for tourism. But at the same time, we have to respect our resident’s quality of life and the health and safety of our tourists and residents,” Molina said.

Molina said this is the first step of many other potential future regulations.

For more details on the new rules, click here.

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