Touring - Hawaii
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07-16-06, 02:38 PM
I'm giong to Hawaii in about a month and was thinking of a fast 2-3 day tour around the island (the big one). The bike will be a rental and I'll probably only carry about 10-20 lbs of gear. Has anyone here done this? Are there any good cycling maps online, preferably with elevation profiles? After Southern Tier tour doing 100+ mile days with 110 F heat and 65 lbs of crap this summer, I figure 100-130 miles a day in Hawaii would be no problem with plenty of time for stops and sight seeing.
As most of the islands are pretty small, the LBS is probably the best source for info.
I've done riding in Hawaii, but no touring. As they're volcanic, they're not flat and the main roads can be very busy with distracted, lost tourists. Note that these are also the flatest roads.
If I were touring in HI, I'd use a mountain bike and stay off the paved roads as much as possible. These have low traffic and take you places the car tourists won't go. Kauai would be a great place for this.
That, or I'd imagine the Big Island would have more alternate routes.
Note that it can be very rainy.
I'd come in an off season.
07-16-06, 10:04 PM
Here is a guy that did it: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journal/?o=lt&doc_id=440&v=4
07-16-06, 11:40 PM
I was just there two weeks ago and thought about biking the island as well.
There's a huge bike lane on the Kona side of the island heading north (hwy 19) but it gets very windy as you get further north. If you go from there up to Waimea, be careful, the roads are narrow and the cars fast. From Waimea to the tropical side of the island (Mamalahoa Hwy) is not bad, there's a decent bike lane on that road. Saddle Road is another option - it goes between the volcanoes up to about 6000 feet and back down to Hilo. It's not very well travelled and it's supposed to be bikeable. South side of the island can get very windy and again, the roads are narrow.
07-19-06, 01:06 PM
Search for Denise Goldberg at the www.crazyguyonabike.com website. She posted a very comprehensive account of a Hawaii bike tour, including recommendations for lodging. I've visited a number of times, and I think it would make a great short tour.
07-21-06, 07:45 PM
The Big Island is doable in 2 to 3 days pedaling, there is one 4000 ft climb and a few 1500 footers, plus lots of hills. Go counter clockwise. Traffic around Kailua Kona is obnoxious, but most of the rest of the island is pretty laid back (overall better than playing dodge da car in G'ville). There are plenty of small hotels and B7&Bs scattered around, but no cycling maps. The best maps I have had were produced by the U of Hawaii and can be found in most book stores and shops once you get there.
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