Author Topic: 2011 Hawaii  (Read 18300 times)

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Offline DwarvenChef

2011 Hawaii
« on: August 03, 2010, 05:56:26 pm »
Back again :) Next year is my wife and I 20 anyversory and we want to ride around one of the islands of Hawaii. I remember bringing it up last year and think Maui was placed high on the list. We have started training and getting out equipment set up, really at the begining of the equipment issue :p We still don't know if we will beable to bring our bikes yet or not, think SUPER tight budget, so shipping the bikes vs renting a few is something still to be researched.

Anyone have comments on panniers good for the Hawaii weather? Personally I don't mind spending the money on quality items but my wife gets kind of funny when the $$ start racking up, so best bang for the bucks would be a good place to start.

I haven't choosen an island yet but plan on getting the topo maps of any routes we like. What maps of the islands would be good to get once we choose the island?

I'm sure more questions will pop up as the time passes and I'll be posting here with all the developments :)
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline roslynrhonda

Re: 2011 Hawaii
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 11:35:24 pm »
We are going to Kauai in Feb, 2011 and taking our mountain bikes.   I have found a bike cargo case on Craigslist and we are able to borrow another one from our friendly bike shop (thank you Fred @ Recycle Shop in Ellensburg, WA!).  We have been learning a lot about shipping bikes and how important that travel case will be! Also packing extra tires/tubes as we aren't sure if we will be traveling on volcanic rock or sand, but how much worse can it be than the basalt of Eastern WA?  My boyfriend's bike is a 29" and hard to fit in a case, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Has anyone else biked Kauai?  I am anticipating lots of rain in February, but we will have a great time rain or shine.  Have a great day and enjoy the ride!

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: 2011 Hawaii
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 03:32:21 am »
We are most likely going to the Big Island and renting bikes, cost wise it seems the best route for us.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline JHamelman

Re: 2011 Hawaii
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 07:38:41 am »

I received this reply to your query (via email). I hope the information is useful.


Hey there--

Cycling around the big island is great!  I just did a 10 day trip around the entire island.  Though I definitely agree that the Kona side is less enjoyable due to the resorts and the higher percentage of tourists, I wouldn't say that the roads are bad.  They're more narrow in certain places compared to the other side of the island but I felt like those roads were safe and comfortable compared to a lot of what I experienced on the northern tier and pacific coast routes.  I will say that the feeling of climbing out of the dry, lava rock Kona side and then suddenly dropping down into the much more lush and green Punalu'u area was incredible.  You get a similar feeling as you leave Volcano national and drop into Hilo or Puna.  Landscape and scenery changes quickly and dramatically

I flew into Kona and rented a mountain bike and a BOB trailer from Kona Bike Works.  It worked out fine (especially on the dirt roads and trails that I chose) but I definitely missed my touring bike as I'm not used to flat bars or plastic-based saddles.

At first I just used the free map I was given on the plane but eventually purchased a map from the welcome center at Volcano National Park.  (It's this map:

I camped out every night at county parks except for 3 nights.  It's $5 for a permit ($6 online) and I found that was the cheapest option.  (I think Spencer might be the only place where they check permits but I didn't mind supporting the county parks.)

I also stayed at the Hilo Bay Hostel (really nice), Hotel Honoka'a Club (not as nice but close to Waipi'o and Honoka'a is a great town), and I camped one night in Waimanu valley which was a bit of a hike, though my favorite part of the trip.

Definitely go down and see the farms/beaches/surfing in the Pahoa/Puna area and also the Kohala coast in the north.  I think these are both areas that cyclists frequently skip since they're essentially side trips that can easily be avoided if your goal is just to go around the island.

Keep in mind that there's lots of climbing on that island! -- but it's worth it.  Hawai'i is such an intense place and it's sad to think about all the people that travel there and leave without any sense of what life is like there.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 11:11:10 am by JMilyko »

Jennifer Hamelman

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205

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Offline roslynrhonda

Re: 2011 Hawaii
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010, 11:04:40 pm »
The Big Island was our #2 choice, I expect it will be a lovely vacation for you!  The travel case we found on Craigslist for $40, a steal with a retail value of $300-400.   Combine that with a $75 baggage fee and it is less expensive to travel with our bikes than rent them.  Plus, we know/like our bikes & what they are capable of- they are lightweight.  The rental shops on Kauai all had Kona's which are pretty heavy compared to the Specialized bikes that we own. My boyfriend is 6'3" and has a 29 inch bike, hard to find in a rental.  I am very excited about this trip, it will be the first time to Hawaii for both of us and we are so thrilled that we can bike instead of having to rent a car- that's a cost savings in itself- traveling on a budget! Our next obstacle is food- I've heard that Hawaii is quite expensive, so we are trying to stock up on healthy snacks (love dehydrated mangos!)and figure out a way to cook fresh seafood and veggies.  Perhaps packing a Jetboil system & a hotplate?  Any ideas?

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: 2011 Hawaii
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2010, 03:32:12 am »
Thanks for that quote :) Helps me out on figuring things out.

I'm 6'1" and have a tall bike as well. Our Specialized bikes where stolen (one after just having it 24 hours..), so we got Trek bikes now, no one has tried stealing them yet... and I'm happy to have them. But I'm not sure if taking them with us will be a posability, we shall see as the time to get tickets nears.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Offline DwarvenChef

Re: 2011 Hawaii
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2010, 05:13:10 am »
Ack... Unless we win the lotto (crud, forgot we would have to buy tickets...) we are not going to be able to go to Hawaii next year... But we can still get a ride in :) Seems the Cascades route #4 map goes right near our city, so we are looking into getting a ride to Truckee and doing that instead :) So that is our new focus and now I'm awaiting the maps :)
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.