My five year sabbatical is coming up this year, so I am planning to use it for a bike tour. One of the options I'm currently considering is a tour in Hawaii during September.
I'm planning on starting in either Hilo or Kona, and then over the next 10-12 days, circumnavigating the island, possibly with side trips in Waipio Valley, South Point, and in Volcanos National Park. Then my wife will join me for about a week of non-cycling time on Big Island. We will then fly to Maui for another week of non-cycling time together. Then my wife will go home, and I will continue the bike tour on Maui. Next I plan to ride the road to Hana, continue around the southeast portion of the island, and then finish off the trip by climbing and then descending Haleakala.
I plan to do a fully-loaded, self-supported solo tour, camping as much as possible. Most of my early planning has been based on Hawaii by Bike by Nadine Slavinski.
I understand that transporting a bike by plane, especially to Hawaii is difficult and expensive. I am tentative planning to ship my bike to and from Hawaii and between islands via UPS in an IronCase. Will I be able to find a hotel or bike shop that will be willing to accept delivery of my bicycle and hold onto until I arrive? And to hold onto the case while I'm out touring?
I understand that southeast Maui is quite harsh, sparsely populated, and with very poor quality "roads", made of gravel and potholes. Although I relish a challenge, I don't want to put myself at undue risk. Will I be able to navigate these roads on a fully loaded touring bike with 700x45c tires? I'm not too proud to push my bike, but if the distance I'd have to push is measured in miles, I'll choose a different itinerary. How much water will I need to carry? From what I understand, there is little or no potable running water in this area. If I run out, are there streams or springs that I could purify to refill? And if I run into serious trouble, is there any way to get help? Does anyone ever drive by? The area seems to be outside of cell phone coverage, and my greatest fear is that in case of a serious problem I'll have no way to contact any one, and it could be days before anyone passed by me.
Does anyone know of a source for high quality maps suitable for cyclists?
Thanks in advance for any help!