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  1. #1
    N_C
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    A Report on Bicycle Riding in Hawaii.

    I was on vacation in Hawaii with my wife & her parents from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2, 2006. I took my bicycle a Vision R40 Recumbent with me. We stayed in Waikiki

    Prior to my trip I had been Pmíing & emailing members from Bike Forums who live in Hawaii to see if they would like to ride. I did ride with one. His member name is CB HI, I donít want to reveal his real name with out his ok.


    Logistical challenges:
    1. Before we left I had planned on shipping it ahead of me to The Bike Shop, http://www.bikeshophawaii.com/, an LBS in Honolulu. One of their specialties is having tourists & visitors bring/send their bikes to them. They unpack them, set them up for riding then repack them for the trip back home. After finding out what it would cost to have my bike shopped via UPS or FedEx., over $300.00 one way, I decided against that & took the bike with me on the plane, & $80.00 one way.
    2. Taking the seat as a carry on piece on the plane. The flight from Sioux City to Minneapolis was on a small plane with the smaller overhead bins. The seat had to be checked with a green tag that allowed me to claim from the jetway once I arrived in Minneapolis. On the DC10 to Honolulu the seat fit easily into the overhead bin in the center of the plane.
    3. I also had to call ahead to ďreserveĒ a place on the plane for the bike for the trip from Sioux City to Minneapolis. They only allow one bicycle on the smaller aircraft.
    4. Once we got to Honolulu we had to get the bike & other luggage to Alamo car rental. It is not at the airport but about a mile or so away. Thankfully they have a shuttle. We made to Alamo to pick up the rental.
    5. The rental was an SUV, but with 4 people and luggage other then the bike, the bike would not fit inside. That is why I brought 2 of my ratcheting luggage tie downs & made sure the rental was an SUV with a luggage rack. I simply tied the bike box to the top of the rental. Worked great.
    6. Got the bike to The Bike Shop. It was ready 2 days later on Saturday Nov. 25.
    7. As I was the only one on the rental vehicle contract I took a cab to The Bike Shop to pick it up for my first ride.
    All of these logistical challenges were met & successfully accomplished. For the trip back home everything was simply done in reverse.

    Here is a link to a bike route map of Oahu: http://www.hbl.org/maps/maps.html

    The first day, Sat. Nov. 25, when I met up with CB HI at The Bike Shop & we went for a great 34 mile bike ride. We rode out to just past Sandy Beach Park via the ocean side of Diamond Head & the inland side of Koko Head. If you click on Map 4 & navigate to where it says Sandy Beach Park, look to where the green line & the yellow line intersect. That is where we stopped & headed back into Honolulu. It is also the route we took.

    The second day, Nov. 26 I rode with my father-in-law. He rented a bike & we rode to the Diamond Head overlook & back to the hotel, 11 miles, look at Map 5.

    The next time I rode was a solo ride on Nov. 28. Went east toward & around Pearl Harbor, turned around at a convenience store/gas station on Farrington Hwy & headed back. Look at Map 6. Where I turned around is near Waipahu Depot Rd. This was an interesting ride because the part of the trail is U.S. Navy right of way & part goes through the power plant property, with the plant on each side of the trail.

    The final day I rode was Nov. 30. I did a short 10 mile ride to Magic Island, Map 5, then to The Bike Shop so the bike could be packed up for the trip home.

    I rode as a VC on the roadways, on BLís & on trails. Sometimes this was done in as little as a 2 mile stretch. This was the first time ever I had ever ridden on actual BLís with the painted lines, the bicycle symbol & wording that states it is for bicycles only. In Hawaii if there is an established BL it is illegal to not ride in it. Oh & there are BLís on both sides of the roadways so bicycle traffic is going the same direction as motorists. Most of the BLís do not go by parking lanes, some do though. I learned very quickly to look ahead & be aware of the possibility of an opening car door, ever had one open while I was riding in the BL.

    I did learn from CB HI that all children take a bicycle safety course in school. It is part of the curriculum. I think this is why the traffic is so friendly, they learn at a very young age & it carryís through to adulthood even if they do not ride as adults. Even though Honolulu is so congested I never had a problem, never got buzzed, honked at, yelled at, etc. In fact I had traffic slow down & wait when I had to change lanes to turn left. It may also have something to do with the fact there are so many people who ride bike in Honolulu.

    I saw a lot of people riding bike. This ranges from the surfers to serious road cyclists with full kit. A lot of the cyclists rode with flip flops on & loose t-shirts & board shorts, or bikini bottoms if they were female. Most of these were surfers with the surf board carrier attached to the bike. Most of the cyclists did not wear helmets. All of the cyclists I saw riding at night & there were a lot of them, had both flashing tail lights & some sort of head light.

    The bicycle parking was something very interesting I thought. There are bike racks all over Honolulu in the shape of a bicycle. Often there were 5 bikes at a time locked to them, including mopeds; it is legal to do this in Honolulu. At all of the overlooks & places like Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, etc there is bicycle parking & signs directing where it is. The facilities are very accommodating for cyclists in this area of Hawaii.

    The road conditions ranged from perfect to rough in areas. The rougher areas were the roadways in the parks. The BLís were excellent. The trails, like the roadways ranged from perfect to rough.

    As one of very few recumbent riders & probably the only one on the island & more then likely the entire state with a Vision I got some neat looks, wolf whistles, hang loose signs, waves, smiles, compliments, etc. from people.

    We are returning to Hawaii in 3 years, Maui & The Big Island. I plan on riding up & back Mt. Haleakala. I am the kind of person who firmly believes you did not earn the right to ride down a mtn. or hill unless you ride up it first if there are 2 sides or the ability exists to ride back down.

    I have seen programs about the Maui bicycle tours where they drive the people up the mtn. put them on a bike & they do nothing more then coast down. Then they get a shirt that says ďI rode Mt. HaleakalaĒ. No they didnít! Iím going to earn that right & the shirt when I return in 3 years. The distance is 38 miles to the top & an elevation of 10,023 feet to the summet.

    I think it is safe to say I have traveled pretty close to the furthest distance to ride with another BF member. Close to 3,000 miles.

    Any questions, comments please feel free to reply.

  2. #2
    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
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    Hey N_C! I'm glad to hear that your trip went well. Sorry I wasn't able to join up with you two for the ride, but my Vegas trip was pretty cool. I'm planning to climb Haleakala too. Are you going to do it on your recumbent?

  3. #3
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
    Hey N_C! I'm glad to hear that your trip went well. Sorry I wasn't able to join up with you two for the ride, but my Vegas trip was pretty cool. I'm planning to climb Haleakala too. Are you going to do it on your recumbent?
    Yep, going to climb it on my recumbent. Wouldn't do it any other way.

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    hawaii

    What kind of bikes do they have for rent there? If and when I ever get back there, I'd like to rent a decent road bike if possible rather than go thru the hassle of bringing mine.

  5. #5
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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  6. #6
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    how long have all hawaii schoolkids been exposed to bike education in the school system? And how many grade schools are there IN hawaii? it sounds like the bike ed program takes a week per class, that's what, 30 schools a year? Is Hawaii really that tiny that there are just 30 grade schools?

    I think CBHI is a bit misleading about ALL the hawaiian kids getting educated being the prime reason hawaii is more friendly to bicyclists. (what about transplants, old people and the noncompliant?) it sounds like the aloha spirit is the real boon, as well as all the excellent facilities over there.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 12-10-06 at 12:37 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  7. #7
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    how long have all hawaii schoolkids been exposed to bike education in the school system? And how many grade schools are there IN hawaii? it sounds like the bike ed program takes a week per class, that's what, 30 schools a year? Is Hawaii really that tiny that there are just 30 grade schools?

    I think CBHI is a bit misleading about ALL the hawaiian kids getting educated being the prime reason hawaii is more friendly to bicyclists. (what about transplants, old people and the noncompliant?) it sounds like the aloha spirit is the real boon, as well as all the excellent facilities over there.
    I don't know in regards to the education in the schools. What CBHI told me he has never had a problem with anyone age 25 & younger driving. I do not know if it was with that generation the bike safety started being taught in schools or not. Of course we encountered drivers from several generations while riding. We were only honked at once, the vehicle was a rental, CBHI's best guess is it was a tourist from the mainland.

    I think it is both the education & the aloha spirit. I never sadi nor meant to imply the education is the prime reason, but I do think it plays a large part in it. Keep in mind I was an outsider looking in with help from a local who was teaching me about his home. I had a totally unbiased attitude & opinion & a very open mind before I rode. With CBHI's help & my own experience my attitude & opinion after learning what I did the area in & around Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu is a great place to ride for the reasons stated in this thread.

  8. #8
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Bekologist accusing others of misleading - what a joke!

    You have been provided the link to the Hawaii BikeEd program several times. All 4th graders in public schools on Oahu get the week long training. Those that already know how to ride get VC training on the roads. Those that do not know how to ride are taught to ride bicycles on the playground. The program has been around since 1988.

    Again you wish to give all credit to facilities. Even the terrible bike lanes I have provided photos of. I have more problems with motorist when I am in a bike lane than when I take the lane on a busy narrow lane (with no shoulder or bike lane).

    So many cyclist in other areas complain how much of the harassment comes from young drivers. That does not happen on Oahu, and the reason is not because of bike facilities. Try taking your blinders off for once.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    There's a bike tour going up Haleakala. Enough riders need to sign up and you get a good road bike, triple. You get experienced riders to go up with you and they will supply food, water.

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    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
    There's a bike tour going up Haleakala. Enough riders need to sign up and you get a good road bike, triple. You get experienced riders to go up with you and they will supply food, water.
    The only way I'm riding up & back down Haleakala is solo on my recumbent. That challenge is something I need to face & accomplish alone. I wonder if when I accomplish that goal if I'll be the first to do it on a recumbent or just part of a select few. If others on a 'bent have done it I wonder who else did so on a Vision.

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    N_C
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    Recumbents are an oddity in Hawaii. CBHI & I only saw one, parked at a public library on our ride. I didn't see any more after that. I know he owns & rides one & I know of one other. That makes 3 people on Oahu that ride recumbent if the one we saw at the library is a resident of the island.

  12. #12
    Look 555 fledgling catherine96821's Avatar
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    Glad you liked Hawaii, but I have to say we have the highest pedestrian deaths in the nation here in Honolulu. I am pretty sure they kill a lot of cyclists too, they are just polite about it. I love it here, but I wouldn't get too excited about the education system, we are 49th or something.

    But, hey, I love it or I wouldn't be here.

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    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Last time I was in Hawaii I pedaled from Kailua to Sunset Beach and back. That was such a beautiful ride.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  14. #14
    N_C
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    Next time I go anywhere that requires me shipping or hauling the bike in box I'll do it myself. Now that I know how it was done, what was removed & loosened. It'll save me some money.

  15. #15
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine96821
    Glad you liked Hawaii, but I have to say we have the highest pedestrian deaths in the nation here in Honolulu. I am pretty sure they kill a lot of cyclists too, they are just polite about it. I love it here, but I wouldn't get too excited about the education system, we are 49th or something.

    But, hey, I love it or I wouldn't be here.
    True about the poor job the Department of Education does here (although many treachers are good, they are stuck in a bad system), but BikeEd is run outside DOE. BikeEd is organized and run by the Hawaii Bicycle League (HBL). To be an instructor, you have to do a test ride, in which your bike handling skills are evaluated and the instructors are trained in VC.

    The regular teachers get a little bit of a break during BikeEd.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-11-06 at 11:31 PM.

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    catherine96821,

    Your moped thread seems to have been lost in the server crash, so I will update info here. The paragraph that prohibited mopeds from using bike lanes in Honolulu has been deleted from the Honolulu Ordinances. That means it is now mandatory for mopeds to use the bike lanes where they exist (same as bicycles) under State law.

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    N_C
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    One of the sad things I saw during my riding in & around Honolulu was the amount of homeless "camps". I had never seen that many homeless in a concentrated area before. Not that being homeless is ever easy but I can only imagine it may be easier in Hawaii because of the warmer weather.

    In an area where the Nimitz Hwy conencts with the HI is where part of the Nimitz bike path is. There is what I call a rise with a large space underneath, kind of like a bridge. This area looked to have a lot of homeless living underneath it. There were also a lot homeless along the other bike trails & routes etc.

    I do not know if the bike trails is an attraction for the homeless but it is sad to see. I never once felt endangered or threatened by the homeless & I never saw or felt that the homeless along the trail contributed to any of the criminal element in the area. In fact other then maybe setting up a "home" or camp on city property, which may be against a city ordinance, I never saw one indication they were in anyway breaking the law. A lot of them were quite friendly & we said hello as I passed them on the trail while riding. But it is still sad to see this, I wonder what the city, county or state is doing to help with the problem.

  18. #18
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I'm having a hard time figuring out how bike ed on Oahu helps the riding in Wailuku.....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Prefers Aluminum Sprocket Man's Avatar
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    The Nimitz Hwy area has a pretty large homeless population. They actually had a state crew go in there about 6 months ago and clear everybody out, but I guess they're back. It is against the law to set up these camps, but breaking them up doesn't do anything more than cause the homeless to go somewhere else. Hawaii is one of the costliest states in the country so the sad byproduct is many people can't really afford to live here.

    To combat the problem, the state set up a shelter in a warehouse on Nimitz. Unfortunately, a lot of the homeless don't take advantage of the shelter because they don't allow residents to drink or use drugs if they live there.

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    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
    The Nimitz Hwy area has a pretty large homeless population. They actually had a state crew go in there about 6 months ago and clear everybody out, but I guess they're back. It is against the law to set up these camps, but breaking them up doesn't do anything more than cause the homeless to go somewhere else. Hawaii is one of the costliest states in the country so the sad byproduct is many people can't really afford to live here.

    To combat the problem, the state set up a shelter in a warehouse on Nimitz. Unfortunately, a lot of the homeless don't take advantage of the shelter because they don't allow residents to drink or use drugs if they live there.
    I saw a lot of homeless women, many by themselves. Do some of these women turn to other means of making money, such as prostitution to make money for food, etc? Though I never saw any indication of it, nor did I look, I thought the prostitution/drug problem was in the Waikiki area. There were homeless there but not as many as I saw along the Nimitz.

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    works for truffles pigmode's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    I saw a lot of homeless women, many by themselves. Do some of these women turn to other means of making money, such as prostitution to make money for food, etc? Though I never saw any indication of it, nor did I look, I thought the prostitution/drug problem was in the Waikiki area. There were homeless there but not as many as I saw along the Nimitz.

    What you saw is only the tip of the iceberg. Homelessness is rampant in Hawaii, and it is a very sad situation. There are thousands of homeless living on the coast from Diamond Head to Waianae. Many of the more resourceful live in the mountains, and of course, a great number live in the city in back alleys, under staircases, on-the-side-of-the-wall etc. etc. A significant number come from America to escape the harsh winter and end up staying. About ten years ago there was a minor scandal when social workers conducting interviews of out-of-state homeless, discovered that some municipality on the west coast was handing out one way tickets to Hawaii.

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    Baka dakara supercub's Avatar
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    Most of the homeless are too poor to find long term housing (with the expensive cost of housing here). It's not that they have no money, just not enough money to pay rent. Many of them hold down legitimate jobs, but must live outdoors.

    Regarding cycling education: the program may do a good job educating future drivers, but the education for cyclists is clearly not effective. I see so many people practicing bad cycling habits like riding the wrong way, not wearing lights at night, blowing traffic lights, etc.

    I saw a recumbent yesterday, BTW.

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    works for truffles pigmode's Avatar
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    I've seen a suprising number of recumbents around Honolulu. BTW, this is the first time I've heard praise for Hawaii drivers from a person from America. One of the most common complaints from transplants that I hear, is about the crazy manner in which people drive here. I could never refute that statement....

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    Baka dakara supercub's Avatar
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    There is a collective aversion to the turn signal.

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    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode
    I've seen a suprising number of recumbents around Honolulu. BTW, this is the first time I've heard praise for Hawaii drivers from a person from America. One of the most common complaints from transplants that I hear, is about the crazy manner in which people drive here. I could never refute that statement....
    Maybe it's because I was riding a recumbent. I don't know. When I was driving the rental around, even though it was very congested, especially on Ala Moana Blvd, I didn't think it was that bad. Here where I live when you want to change lanes & there is somone coming up from behind in the lane you want they speed up to prevent you from doing so. Or when you want to turn form one street onto another traffic on the roadway you want to turn onto will speed up to prevent you from getting in front of them or slowing down their commute. In Honolulu that wasn't the case. People would let me over if I needed to get over or would let me make a turn with out speeding up, at worst they maintained the speed limit & I could not make the turn or change lanes. But they did not purposly speed up to prevent me from doing so.

    Oh & no one sounded their horn. I didn't get that until I had a local that I'd asked for directions from while riding tell me it is rude to do so. Motorists don't use their horns. I guess he noticed my Air Zound on my bike. I told him I only use it when a vehicle gets too close & puts me in danger as a result. I think I only sounded it like twice. Once so CB HI could hear it & once because a delivery truck got too close & almost clipped me. He was drifting into my lane as he passed & got too close. He moved back over & when we stopped at a red light the driver apologized & assured me it was not on purpose & actually thanked me for using my horn to make him aware as the last thing he wanted to do was hit me. I said no problem & thank you. As the light turned green & we continued on our way I was flabbergasted at that incident. Knowing full well what happens here on the mainland.

    Is everyone in Hawaii this nice? It seems road rage does not exist. It also seems everyone is walking around with either their heads in the coulds or like they are on something. What ever it is, can I have some, Hawaii residents seem to enjoy life a lot more then us mainlanders do. Or is it because they could tell I was a tourist while riding my bike & maybe while I was driving so they treated me well because they want me to come back?


    The only bad thing about traffic itself is the heavy congestion.

    There is one more bad thing about Honolulu streets. That is the placement & lack of the street signs. I mean the green ones with the street names on them. For one the major streets, especially when there is a light controlled intersection the signs should be in the middle on the horizontal part of the pole or wire over the intersection. Or at the top of a stop sign pole. I hardly saw this in Honolulu. In a lot of places there were no signs for quite a few blocks. Some of the roadways turn from one street to another as it goes around a bend. We did get lost a few times as a result of this. I don't know if this is a problem or a common complaint but I am going to take this matter up with the DOT, the city of Honolulu & the tourism dept. This is not a good way to impress the tourists. In fact it downright sucks & something needs to be done about it.

    At every light controlled intersection the sign needs to be in the middle of the horizontal part of the pole that holds the light. At all of the other intersections the sign needs to be at the top of all stop sign poles. If an intersection is only a 2 way stop then the signs should be in a cross formation, on on top the other. There should never be an intersection with a sign indicating what street is what. At an intersection where more then 2 roadways intersect & continue depending on which direction the roadway tracks toward there need to be signs indicating what roadway is what. The Waikiki is the worst area I saw this in. I have to know why is this the case in Honolulu? Run out of money for street signs or something?

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