Mountain Biking on Mars - Maui Skyline Trail

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Ok..... Maybe not Mars,  but if you can't wait for Elon Musk to build the first mountain bike park on Mars then the Haleakala Volcano in Hawaii will have you believing you're on another planet. 

Haleakala is a volcano standing at an oxygen thinning 3000 meters/ 10,000ft above sea level and is still considered active (eruptions occuring in the last 500 years at least!). The view is like nothing you've ever seen, and If that's not cool enough, there's a pretty good mountain bike trail up there too, descending 7000ft, if you're into that sort of thing!

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The trail is called The Skyline Trail and starts above the clouds and descends down the martian  landscape into the lush forests below. 

The local bike shop in Makawao, Krank is the place to start, they'll be happy to rent you a killer bike and provide some maps, my choice was easy;

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Next you need someone to drive you to the top of the volcano, as you won't be pedalling up this one. Lucky for me, its my honeymoon, and what better way to start a marriage than shuttling mountain bike runs!! Best wife ever! 

Once at the top, the rest is easy, but heed the warning the bike shop guy gave me; Lava rocks are big and plentiful and are like riding down a river of tennis balls... so take it easy. 

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There were a few corners that had me wondering if i might roll off the end of the earth.

You can nail a top to bottom in 45 minutes, but it's worth stopping a few times to take in the views and check your bike isn't rattling to pieces as it's a long walk out if you break it.

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What got me most excited was the change in terrain, you start on the lava rock and after 15 minutes you'll gradually enter greener more hard packed dirt, blink and your in pine forests for what feels like endless single track. 

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And you'll know when you're getting close to the end when you hit paved roads, but the fun doesnt stop there, who doesn't like charging down winding roads at 60km/h?

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Three thirds down that road, you will find the lavender farm and this is where the Strava segment ends, so no point riding on, stop for a lavender coffee and scone. 

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