Author Topic: Hawaii trip in the works  (Read 5357 times)

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Offline DwarvenChef

Hawaii trip in the works
« on: May 10, 2009, 11:49:11 pm »
My wife and I will be going to Hawaii for our 20th aniversory. It will also be our first real bike tour trip. However I seem to have lost a link to a place in Hawaii that did tours and rentals.

I would love to hear from someone that has toured any of the islands on a bike. Any experiences would be great :D
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 04:57:07 pm »
I rode the big island, and it was incredible.  If you're in the region, I would suggest steering clear of the Kona side.  It's extremely touristy, the roads are narrow, and the traffic is fast.  That being said, it would also be fun to ride the Kona Ironman course through the lava fields.

If you hang out near the Hilo side of the island, you'll have a lot less traffic to deal with, and incredible views.  The ride along the coast on Hwy 137 was one of my favorite stretches, had great beaches and an outstanding restaurant on the south end of the road.

If you're very ambitious, I really have to plug the ride up to Mauna Kea.  I made an attempt to ride from sea level in Hilo to the peak at 13,800ft, and only made it up to 12,500 ft before the altitude really got to me.  I would suggest driving up to the visitors center and riding up from there.  No matter how you get up there, you really have to check it out, it's out of this world.

The last ride would be up to Volcano National Parks.  The lava fields in that area are some of the best, and I had the chance to watch an active lava flow while riding around last year. 


Offline DwarvenChef

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 11:48:54 pm »
I am planning to camp most of the trip, do you think that is posable there? Any suggestions on rentals or did you bring over your own bike?

I'll be going there from Fresno, CA. by that time. Didn't think it would be easy to get all our equipment and bikes there as easaly, so renting a reasonable bike would be our first choice.

ANY hints as to where to get local info for this trip would be a huge help :D
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2009, 11:30:10 am »
Renting a bike is pretty easy, just about any bike shop will have rentals or demos available, but they are mostly mountain bikes.  I ended up traveling with my own bike. 

Just a note about flying bikes to the islands, the major airlines charge anywhere from $75-$150 each way, but the smaller airlines (such as Mesa) only charge around $25-$40 each way.  I started the flight towards Hawaii on Delta, and was charged $80 for my bike, but on the way back I started with Mesa, and only paid $25.

There are a lot of opportunities to camp on the islands, but there are also a lot of different rules for each campground depending on the district (State Parks, National Parks, Forest Reserves, County Parks, and Private Camping facilities).  Here's a really good resources that has pretty up to date prices and locations of camp sites on each island:

http://www.alternative-hawaii.com/accom/dxcc.htm
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 11:36:20 am by Successor to the Professor »

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 03:06:05 pm »
Nice link :) thanks, Ya I figured they would charge an arm and a leg... Was looking at some of the "tour Hawaii" web sites but have no clue yet as to what ones are worth the $$ Still in reaserch mode there :p If you don't mind me asking about how much was the full trip? I'm looking at about 1 week on the island.

Thankyou for the info, still love to hear from others about their experiences...
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline Aloha_Cyclist

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2009, 11:29:35 pm »
I live on Oahu. Beautiful Island, but cycling around it can be dodgy and camping is not so accommodating. There are several good bike shops but no one set up to help touring cyclists.

Going to the outer islands will be your best bet. The big island offers a lot of variety. I've done the Ironman there and it gets windy on the Kona coast, if looking at lava fields and riding in heat and wind appeal to you its unparalleled. The Hilo side offers a more lush landscape.

Maui has a beautiful ride out to Hana where you can find some great camping or perhaps a serious ride up to Haleakala National Park (10,000 feet) where you can camp with a permit and have an unforgettable descent down. 

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2009, 12:24:14 am »
Thanks for the reply :) So far it's looking like the big island will be the best for all of us. Hope to see a few things while out there, so first trip should be a veriety I guess :)
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline alohalisco1

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2009, 06:44:26 am »

Aloha  I live on  Maui , if you thinking about touring i would come here instead of the Big Island,  Hawaii (big island)  is very heavy with smog and the distances to places to camp are far in between , though as us touring cyclist  know that is of little consequence , but still You would have a better trip in Maui, better beaches more camping and the scenery is the best in the islands.    check www.gocyclingmaui.com, they dont rent touring bikes but can give you all kinds of good info, the airlines are charging $100-$300 for your bike each way, Delta is the highest at $300
 i also have a website related to touring at www.beyondthegreatdivide.org mine is about my upcoming world tour.

Aloha

Aaron

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2009, 02:01:44 am »
Thankyou very much for the post and links. :D
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline getverticalPV

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2009, 10:56:53 pm »
Hey DwarvenChef -

My wife and I did this exact thing two years ago - we ended up staying in hotels and/or bed and breakfasts but it was awesome.  Here are some trip details: 

http://travel.yahoo.com/trip-view-1071294-hawaiian_cycling_honeymoon;_ylt=AmWFO5MFx0gurIdTNwhTfQGfItAF

http://jasonshimko.org/blog/?cat=12

Feel free to message me and I can give you more details and tips.

js

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2009, 03:10:50 am »
Nice :D I looked at the first few days of the trip and will finish later to show my wife.

Thanks for sharing that :)
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2010, 06:21:24 pm »
Ok, found my old post on our Hawaii plans.

Can anyone tell us if anything has changed in the last year? We just started training again (seriously this time) and will be heading out there in 2011, not 100% on island or the date at this moment.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 05:03:35 am »
Looks like the big island will be our first choice. Can anyone suggest good maps of the non toursty side? We are both from a tourist town here in CA and don't need that same kind of insanity on our get away trip :)
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline bike-tourist

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2010, 04:36:13 pm »
My Wife and I did a one week tour of Big Island in February 2008. I think I would want a little bit more time on your tour then we used.  We flew our touring bikes with very small granny gears with us on this trip.   NEEDED THE GRANNY GEARS.     The grades are not steep yet the winds on top of the grades make them feel much steeper at times.

A brief outline of our trip.

Arrived in Kona later Sunday evening and stayed at the KONA SEA SIDE HOTEL. A nice modestly priced hotel (BIG PLUS the staff looked after out bike boxes for the week until we returned from our riding).

Monday an easy day about 23 miles uphill in hot to warm weather, we are on the dry side of the Island. To Hookena Beach campground.         Watch the half ton trucks, very rude drivers that dislike cyclist.  Very scarey to be helled at well slowly  climbing hills in traffic on a narrow paved shoulder.   (This was the ONLY day we had trouble with traffic and is a short section of the Island to deal with the problem) Be prepaired for the halh ton drivers and do not let these very few drivers on Big Island get you down).     Best problem Male driver of the day ...he was just letting us have it with both barrels of his limited vocabulary as he passed,  we were approaching a stop light.... At the light we pulled behind him and his wife in the passenger seat was letting him know in very clear language what she though of his treatment of cyclist.  We laughed for the next few miles over this.  Should carry some evening food and breakfast starting food as there are no stores around most of the camp sites on the Island.

Tuesday we are now relaxed and into the ride,  yesterday's short ride was planed as an easy ride due to  our jet lag .  Ride to Punalu County beach about 48 miles.  A very lovely day with little traffic and wider paved shoulders.  When you pass stores stop at them as they are far apart, and pick up the supplies you need for the days ride and evening meal/breakfast. As you approach the crest of the headlands around Ocean View the winds will get strong they only last for a short number of miles before you are on the down grade.  ( Remember to get coffee in Ocean view cafe/ there is a large store to stock up at here as well).  The ride down to Punalu beach is down hill mostly from here and an enjoyable and wonderful afternoon of views.

Wednesday Up hill for 40 miles to Volcano, on wide paved shoulders.    This all up hill at a shallow grade for 40 miles, but it is a continuous grade for the day there are no breaks.  There is a town called Pahala that has most of the basics and great coffee, stop here as the next services are at the end of the day in Volcano.  As you climb you pass elevations every 500 ft. The grade is constant, so you can judge your distances by using the elevation signs.  The final 6 miles the winds will pick up as you crest the volcano. The grade gets easier just at the perfect place...the wind and heat will have taken a light toll for dodays ride and you are glad that it is easier for the final miles.  The Food at Restaurants was the best that I can remember on many bike tours.  We stayed in a lovely  cabin in Volcanoe, ( Volcano Inn) there is a campground, but it rains a lot in Volcanoe and I knew we would need extra rest after this days ride.

Thursday Road to Lauphoe Point Campground about 50 miles, But first half is all down hill.  We were expecting rain alll day. Yet just as we started our days ride the sun came out and we followed a break in the clouds for most of the day.  A fantastic days ride good shoulders. Along the Windward side of Big Island we left the belt road and took a few of the scenic side roads, these are well signed and only add a couple of extra miles to the ride, yet take you through rain forests and past tall waterfalls that you will remember for years.  Again there are few services so stock up on your food when you see a store.  We stayed at Lauphoe point campground and it lightly rained through the night.

Friday road to Spencer Beach campground 42 miles.  Breakfast coffe along the road talked to truckers, they have ben passing the work along the belt road that there are two bikes going around the island. The trucks have been great of this trip and it is/was a reflection of a population that was enjoying life and enjoys watch others enjoy their lives.  Had lunch in Honokaa and took the "Old Mamalahoa HWY" up the mountain.  This is the old road it is steeper, yet views are better and there was no Traffic.  Mid afternoon break in Waimea then down to Spenser Beach.
Again there are no services at the campground so remember stock up at Waimea or ride back up hill 15 miles and a vertical gain of 3000 feet.  For Balance of the trip stay on the asphalt with your bike!  We are new to this environment at learned about deserts thorns after a 200 footbike push through the sands.. Four flat tires and a dozen thorns in each tire, we spent a lot of time cleaning these tires are patching.  Carry spare tubes we did and we needed them.   Also SPENCER BEACH gets booked out so if you do not have a reservation you are out of luck and will be told to move on regardless of the daylight conditions.  I would book a night plus and minus each side of a stay at spencer park if there is any question on your dates.  ( it costs a very few extra dolloars, yet your options at night time are few!)

Saturday ride back to Kona 34.1 miles Mainly flat , but the winds!!!!!   We had so very strong side winds first thing in the morning about 30 miles per hour. My wife is able to ride up hill in a granny gear all day with never a complaint, yet the side winds here were driving her off the road even as she walked the bike.  The only way we could get through this section was to transfer all her panniers to my bike. This allowed the wind to blow throw her front wheel and allowed the trip to continue. My bike was double loaded, yet we were on the flats+/-.  I tacked as in  a sailboat on the 12 ft wide paved shoulder for the next few miles until the wind became a tail wind.  Once the wind was behind us the extra panniers transformed my bike into a clipper ship and I did not turn the cranks for about 30 miles, as my wife happily lead the way along at 30 miles per hour pace.


Sunday was a relaxing tourist day in Kona and a mid night flight back to winter.

Summary:
Be prepared for the rain, it rains hard on the windward side of Big Island, it is a Desert on the lea side carry lost of water. Reservations are a must! Carry spare tubes and have good gearing on your bike we have 20 inch gears for the tough sections...they are short but gearing is important.  Watch your Air line fares in relation to bike costs..it cost almost as much to fly the bike with some airlines as yourself.  Check the carriage rates before selecting the flight.  Your panniers acn be waterproofed by inserting glad garbage bags before you pack them. TRAVEL LIGHT.

We are in reasonable shape, yet we are not racers, you should have a reasonable baseline of riding miles  before you start your trip and plan a short first day. It is a lovely ride enjoy it, ride in the direction we did as the paved shoulders are ocean side and the paved shoulders are only on Ocean side across many of the bridges.





Offline DwarvenChef

Re: Hawaii trip in the works
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2010, 03:22:22 am »
Thanks for the write up :) Gives me some good data to check up on :)
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.