Does anyone have experience on touring in Hawaii?? So I'm considering doing a week long tour ... on my own ... in Hawaii, southern california, or another warm spot in March. I'm in good cycling shape (3200 miles in 2012) but have never toured before. I have a Trek 520, so I have the right bike. I prefer to ride solo and I'd like to camp rather than pay for hotels but want to eat out rather than prepare my meals. I basically am looking to have an initial one-week touring experience in hopes of riding cross-country one day.
Any suggestions for a route? Good idea?? Bad idea??
Avoid Oahu due to violent crime, congestion, beach areas with sketchy homeless encampments.
Really, the big island is the only one I would consider for bike touring, although several of the other islands are OK in a hotel. Since most of the islands are small, there are limited places to tour over the course of a week.
Bikes: 2013 BMC GRAN FONDO GF01, 2010 SPECIALIZED ROUBAIX, 2004 TREK FX7000, 2013 SPECIALIZED ALLEZ
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Big Island; but there is limited campground space and facilities once you get out of either Kailua or Hilo. You could beach camp, but given the Big Island's relative geological youth, most of the beaches are rocky and not very wide. Keep in mind that Hawaiian roads weren't designed for bicycles, thus things like bike lanes and shoulders are generally non existent. Watch out for the sugar cane trucks.
Despite all that, the Big Island would be the best choice, as you can actually circumnavigate the island.
Consider Tucson or Sante Fe/Taos as well in March.
Bikes: Bianchi cyclocross decked for touring and commuting, Dahon MU folder w/2x8 speed internal drive train
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There are quite a few camping sites on the Big Island of Hawai'i, but you need to get reservations for most of them. There are also camping cabins on the sides of Mauna Kea mountain and at Kilauea Volcano at resonable prices by Island standards. There are a few Big Island journals on Crazy Guy on a Bike and I wrote an article on Bicycle Life about the Waimea District.
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Last edited by Western Flyer; 02-16-13 at 10:48 AM.
The California Central Coast is great in March. You can start in Paso Robles and end in Santa Barbara. Amtrak's Coast Starlight train runs along this route, so you can take the train south to Los Angeles or north to San Jose.
Big Island is about 4 days of riding. 5 if you loop up to Hawi, North Kohala.
A better first tour would be from San Francisco (or San Jose) to San Diego, but it can get cold at night some years (have a warm sleeping bag). Enough hiker/biker campsites at $6 to $12 to suit most riders. Route maps available: http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/index.cfm
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