Haleakala downhill bike tours suspended !

Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:08 PM
  #1  
Ag3046
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Haleakala downhill bike tours suspended !

After the third fatality in a year, the National Park Service has suspended commercialy guided downhill bike tours:

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...648730219.html

Seems like a sensible thing to do.
 
Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:12 PM
  #2  
kealalani
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Wow, that sounds like fantastic news.

However, keep those in mind that will be hurting financially from this. It is hard to make a living and many will be out of work due to this sensible decision. I wish those in need of employment good luck and safe journey.

A wise decision on the parks part. IMHO
 
Oct 3rd, 2007, 04:31 PM
  #3  
Ag3046
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I'm sure the ER at Maui Memorial Medical Center is happy with this development.

 
Oct 3rd, 2007, 06:27 PM
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Note: The downhill bike tour suspension is only inside of Haleakala National Park which is only part of the downhill trip.

Most of the trip is outside of the park & I have no idea if the county plans to suspend the rest of the bike tours or if the tours will continue outside of the park.

For anyone familiar with the trip, some questions:

Is there a staging area outside of the park for the the bike tour operators?

Is Haleakala Highway safer outside of the park for downhill biking?
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 09:20 PM
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The original ride was a 22-mile trek down Haleakala Crater Road from the 10,000-foot summit. That portion of the ride on Crater Road outside the national park began just beyond the ten-mile mark at about 6,600 feet. I don’t know if tour companies stage trips down beginning at that point outside the park. Part of the attraction of the full ride has been to see the sunrise on the volcanic summit first and then to ride down.
hawaiifanatic is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2007, 10:34 PM
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But they could still take the tour bus to the summit inside the park with the bikes & after the sunrise drive back out of the park & start the tour there.

So only part of the downhill biking would be eliminated.
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Oct 3rd, 2007, 11:06 PM
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about time they did this.....too many tourist getting hurt
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 12:00 AM
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Sounds mother hen-ish. If "they" ban swimming in the ocean, more lives would be saved.

I did the ride. I felt much safer than when I rode a bike over the Golden Gate Bridge and down into Sausalito, or did many other bike rides. I suspect the guided tours are far safer than rides without guides, which will follow.
Lex1 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 12:13 AM
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suspending the downhill biketour is manageable compared to “banning” the ocean
kauai_aka is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 07:02 AM
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New article about this in today's Advertiser....

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ap...710040356/1001
hawaiifanatic is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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I actually had a friend die doing this (their second honeymoon, she lost control of the bike and went off the side of the road). This was a while ago, and I had hoped they had actually put up guard rails - but I guess not enough!!
Debi is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 12:30 PM
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Banning driving is manageable, though not adviseable. Should we ban all activities that have some element of risk, because it's easy to "manage" the ban?
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Oct 4th, 2007, 12:30 PM
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I know that the National Park Service did a study about the bike tours back in 1998 that revealed the problems that we've continued to read about. It seems that they've finally gotten around to doing something about it.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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I think part of the problem, if you read the bike accident reports, is that at least some of these tour services seem to accept any one for the ride, as long as their money is good. The reports include accounts of victims ranging from 10 years old to the elderly, who sound as if they never should have been on those rides in the first place.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 12:56 PM
  #15  
SAB
 
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It's not so much a mother hen issue, as a liability issue. I assume the tour operators get waivers of liability from their customers, which may or may not hold up. But no one has signed a waiver relieving the NPS from liability for permitting an "inherently dangerous activity" on its property--so it is wide open to wrongful death claims as well as other injury claims. If the relatives of people who engaged in dangerous acitivities were not allowed to bring claims, there would be no issue, but they are; so there is.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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dmlove
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SAB, while in general I would agree with you (if this were private property), I find it hard to believe the NPS would have allowed this all these years if there were any chance of liability on their part. I'll bet there's some federal law exempting them from liability.
 
Oct 4th, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Ag3046
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Excellent point, SAB.

I wish I was on Maui right now. I'd make a special trip up Haleakala to enjoy the sunrise trip without the annoyance of the bicycle trip throngs.
 
Oct 4th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Aloha Bicycle Tours starts their ride outside of the National Park.

They don't do the sunrise thing (seriously, I was not getting out of bed that early - so I was happy about that).

They'll take you to the summit for a view of things and then drive you out of the park before fitting you up with safety gear and a bike.

They then follow up the downhil volcano part with a ride to a protea flower farm, and finish off at a winery for lunch.

This was the highlight of my first trip to Maui.

http://www.mauibike.com/

If everyone else is suspended - they must be doing a booming business.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 02:35 PM
  #19  
SAB
 
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There are some instances in which the federal government is exempt from liability, but it is not absolutely exempt, so liability is a possibility, especially when someone is looking for a deep pocket from which to recover damages.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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While I don't know if I agree with banning stuff, I am surprised at how some bike tours don't stress enough the hazards, especially mountain biking.

We've done lots of downhill mountain biking, ski lift assisted, out west, and I am shocked that there isn't more explanation of the dangers. Or at least warn people not to jam on the wrong brake!

I've mountain biked before, and know what I'm in for, but someone who never did downhill before could seriously injure themselves. I've read stories where people think b/c they take spinning classes, then can handle a mountain bike. It's NOT the same thing!

I was not happy to hear the ski lift guys tell me my sons could easily do this. My boys are both physically coordinated, but I don't think, at 10 and 12, they were ready to do downhill.
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