The legendary Cycle to the Sun is one of the most difficult bike climbs in the world.

The ride climbs 10,000 feet over 36 miles and reaches gradients up to 18%. As a comparison, the famed Mont Ventou in the Tour de France is only a 5,336 foot climb over 13.6 miles.

It starts in Pa’ia at sea level and finishes up on top of the Haleakala Volcano at just above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). It was first held in the 1980s but languished for many years. Kalima O Maui bought the rights to hold the race and started it back up in 2001.

Since 2013, Cycle To The Sun has been organized and produced by Go Cycling Maui and Maui Cyclery. Donnie Arnoult, owner of both businesses, who formerly owned the Vegas Professional Cycling Team on the US National Race Calendar, and is himself a Cat One pro racer. This will be Donnie’s 4th year organizing the event. Last year’s event (2015) was extremely well run and most successful attracting 200 riders.

Some potential entrants may object to the cost of entry. Please consider that fees to the National Park Service, required Emergency Medical Service coverage, insurance, police, porta-potties and bike transport add up to a considerable outlay.

A portion of the entry fee also is donated to support of the non-profit Paia Youth & Cultural Center, a terrific organization that provides Maui kids with fun, educational and recreational activities. Its beach-front facilities include a skate board park, radio station, multi-media lab and kitchen-cafe.

The Paia Youth & Cultural Center