Biking the Big Island

Biking the Big Island 1Cycling the big island of Hawaii affords quite the experience compared to mainland trips. With 4,028 sq. miles of land, two peaks at almost 14,000 Ft. and 11 climatic zones you should be able to find any route to suit your desires. Throw in the occasional sulfuric acid mist from the volcanos and this may not be your average Sunday cruise. Road Biking the Volcanos
Hawai’i Volcanos National Park offers a ride you don’t do every day. You drop into another world in the Kilauea volcano by way of Crater Rim Drive. You cruise through deserts and rain forests, past craters and rift zones. Biking here is accessible to all ages and abilities. Expect variable weather conditions as it can be hot, dry and sunny along the coast and at the volcanos summit; cold, wet and windy. Though this may sound like your normal mountain conditions there is a slight bent to this ride. Some days the sulfuric dioxide gas and sulfuric acid mist may make breathing difficult especially near Halema’uma’u Crater so check at the Kilauea Visitors Center before proceeding. Scenic Road Biking
The best way to enjoy the Old Mamalahoa Hwy to Waipio Valley ride is to drive to the Tex Drive In on Hwy 19 in Honoka’a for safe parking. Across from the Tex is the Old Mamalahoa Highway. A 4 mile 1,000 Ft. climb will carry you past rolling wetlands and stunning views of Mauna Kea and the Kohal Mtns. Follow the Old Mamaloa Hwy another 6 miles to Mud Lane at its junction with Hwy 19. Return to the Tex and continue downhill to Honoka’a, then follow Hwy 240 for 9 miles to the spectacular Waipio Valley Overlook. The Hawaiian Cycling Club lists this as possibly the best ride on the island. Mountain Biking the Pu'uhue Road
The Pu’uhue Road is a scenic trek with a steady climb. It’s in North Kohala and meanders through private ranch lands with spectacular views of the ocean and the island of Maui. This is a technically easy route made easier if done just downhill with a shuttle for hire at the bottom. Mountain Biking the Mana Road
Starting in Hilo, the Mana Road is a 43 mile trek around Mauna Kea one of the five Big Island Volcanos which tops out at almost 14,000 feet above sea level. Mana Road is a dirt and gravel jeep track that will take you through lava field deserts and past wild turkeys and wild pigs. The last 10 miles is a 4,000 foot descent on a red dirt road that deposits you into Waimea, a quaint town sitting at 2,700 feet above sea level. Mountain Biking Manua Kea
Mauna Kea offers a ton of elevation change with a famous observatory at the top. This is only for extreme mountain bikers and though not much of a technical challenge—you had better be in shape for the elevation changes. Then there is the thrill of bombing downhill form 13,000 feet on a gravel and pavement road after enjoying some amazing views up top. The Iron Man Route
This is the 112 mile route ridden by the contestants in the now-famous Ironman Triathlon. Run on the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway from Kailua to Kona; be prepared to be buffeted by strong steady trade winds that blow on the exposed western and northern coasts. The winds range from steady to blow you off your bike strength. You won’t get to call yourself an, “Ironman,’ until you do the swimming and running part, but it’s a good start.

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