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  1. #1
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    1 Day to Ride in Kona - What to Do?

    So, we've got an upcoming family vacation to Kona on Hawaii at the end of August.
    If I could get away to ride, it would probably only be for one day. Not worth bringing a bike, so I'd rent one.
    Found a place online that seems to have decent rates on decent bikes.

    I ride both MTB (cross country, not a big DH guy) and road (and CX as well)
    If you had only one ride to do in that area, what would it be?
    I would probably have to leave the rental car with the family, or maybe have them drop me off - so starting from Kailua-Kona would be the best.
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  2. #2
    Friend of Fred Timothy's Avatar
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    What type of scenery are you looking for? Do you like hills? big hills?
    One option is the Kona Iron man route http://www.mapmyride.com/s/routes/vi...i/kona/1130454
    It is probably the flattest route on the big island. It follows the main road which has nice bike lanes, though definetly not off the beaten path, you will have a lot of company from Iron man trainers.
    It is also a down and back, finding a long one day loop may be challenging due to lack of roads.

  3. #3
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I would also suggest the iconic Ironman bike route, just so you can say you've ridden it. When I was in Kona for six days, that was my first ride. You can skip the first part in Kona itself, just get out onto the main highway along the wide shoulder. Be sure to slather LOTS of sunscreen on bare arms & legs before you set off! A couple miles after you make the left turn at the T (where the broad highway ends), be sure to watch for the right turn (just past the Sabroso Grill) that takes you to Hawi, the turnaround point. That turn is not very obvious. Also, you'll get lots of crosswinds along this narrower section that climbs to Hawi.

    The most scenic ride I did on the Big Island was Old Mamalahoa Highway, from Waimea east to the coast (Honokaa) and back. Rolling ranchland and some forest towards the eastern end on a narrow but quiet road (all the cars are on the new Mamalahoa Hwy). The only problem is getting to Waimea, although it's not too far that you could get dropped off and then just ride back from Waimea after you've done the Old Mamalahoa section. You can ride back to the Ironman route, or you can just follow Mamalahoa Hwy (the Belt Road) back to Kona, but it is hillier.

    BTW, that section of the Ironman route with the wide shoulders is along the part of the Hawaii coast where they put all the expensive hotels. This is because it gets the best weather on the island. The worst weather on the island is around Hilo.

    You can also ride around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there is a ring road around the craters. But when I was there, half of it was closed because of smoke coming out of the craters. And I have heard of guys riding up Mauna Loa, but not sure of the roads.

    Luis

  4. #4
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    I have the Kona IM route, but the whole thing would be a bit much. I'd be looking for about 30-50 miles at most while escaping the family.
    I do like to climb, though I'm pretty slow at it.

    I'll look into Old Mamalahoa Highway, though I think it might be a bit far.

    I don't see riding at the Volcanoes, just 'cuz that would be a looong way from Kona.
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  5. #5
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    OK, try this one, it should be about your mileage range and starts and ends in Kona. It's a ride I did south to Captain Cook/Kealakekua and back:

    Starting at the waterfront in Kona, take Alii to a left turn at Walua Rd. Follow this to where it joins with Kuakini Hwy (this is the IM route in town, you'll be going slightly uphill to the turnaround), and then get on the main highway (Hawaii Belt Rd/Mamalahoa). One block later, you'll come to a stoplight. Turn left (onto Lako St).

    About 200 meters up the hill, you'll see a gate to a bike path to your right. This is one of the big unpublished secrets of the Big Island! Get on this bike path. It empties onto a narrow side street that takes you past lots of houses, and it roughly parallels the main highway for a few miles just about to the top of the grade. It will make a few turns, but it's a gentle climb that avoids all the traffic, and it's pretty easy to follow. I think there's finally a sign that says "dead end" or something, but that's where you turn right and get back on the main highway.

    Follow the main highway for several miles until you get into the village of Captain Cook. You'll soon get to a road that veer off to the right (State Hwy 160). Things get pretty quiet from this point. Continue down the hill (as I recall) until you get to the intersection with Middle Keei Road to the left, and take that to the intersection with Painted Church Road a kilometer (half mile) later.

    Painted Church Rd ends at a wide highway. Turn right and descend to the beach. The park on your left is Pu'uhonua O Honaunau, the Place of Refuge. You can stop here, and/or continue on the flat, narrow road to Kealakekua Bay, where Captain Cook was killed. From here, you can take the long, twisting climb up Napoopoo Road back to the main highway. You'll see the Middle Keei intersection, and at this point you'll be backtracking. I stopped at a small restaurant mid-way up this climb for lunch, but there are lots of places to eat along the main highway. There are also a few coffee plantations where you can sample their (very expensive) Kona coffee.

    Check it out on google maps. The bike path is not there, even with "bicycling" turned on, that's how secret this is! Good luck.

    Luis

  6. #6
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    Thanks again - I think I saw a previous post of that trail while doing research. I also found some routes on bikeworks Kona website and Hawaii Cycling Club.
    And, this tough climb
    http://www.strava.com/segments/hina-...-climb-1102834


    We'll see what happens.
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  7. #7
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    Well, I ended up renting a bike from Bike Works Kona. Good service and a nice Cannondale.
    They even screwed up and didn't bill me what they should have, I didn't notice the amount until later.
    I brought my pedals and shoes and they set me up and had a helmet to use as well. I forgot a bottle and so bought one from the shop.

    IMG00627.jpg

    Ended up doing three rides in under 48 hours - two afternoon/evenings and one morning.
    Much more than I thought I would get in, it worked out really well.


    Ride Number 1 - Hot, Hilly and Humid
    http://app.strava.com/rides/20224544

    the climb I did
    http://app.strava.com/rides/20224544#363152009

    ( I thought I might try this hill and then thought better of it)
    http://app.strava.com/segments/377725
    Lance didn't do all of it, but had the KOM for most of it
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1102803

    Ride Number Two out into the clouds and rain and got some Donkey Balls
    http://app.strava.com/rides/20228729


    Ride Number Three, a group ride with the Coffee Talk Riders on the beginning of the Ironman course
    http://app.strava.com/rides/20235069

    Other than the Queen K, everything there is basically hilly. Steep at times as well.

    The whole vacation was really good, and in a week we really just scratched the surface of the Big Island.
    We did get in snorkeling and swimming every day, Manta Ray watching, kayaking, eating, turtles, beaches, volcanoes, nene, mongooses, surfing lesson for the kid, and biking for me.

    I see going back for more. Maybe even a big volcano ride.
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  8. #8
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    the ironman route is boring as hell.

    ride up into the hills where its green and much cooler. you can find a fruit stand and buy some papaya and relax next to a waterfall.

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