Cycling Hawaii-guest post

We give you a great island route, local spots to swing through, and the most incredible sights to make the most of cycling around some of the world’s most beautiful islands from an experienced cyclist with deep ties to the Hawaiian Islands – my mother is from there and of Hawaiian heritage.

If you’ve never been to the Hawaiian Islands, the big Island (Hawaii) and Kauai get visitors but are very rural islands, Maui gets quite a few visitors but is very chill with people hanging on the beach all day and in bed by 10pm, Molokai and Lanai are rarely visited and Oahu is the most populated with the capital city of Honolulu.  Despite the drawbacks of being in a more populated area as a cyclist – Oahu is the most popular island to visit and most likely your flight from the mainland will land here so therefore most people will find themselves on Oahu wanting to cycle.  Oahu has it all – from rural, to nightlife to shopping to incredibly natural beauty like Hanauma Bay, the North Shore beaches, golfing, and Manawili Falls Hike, among many others.

Back to what’s important though – the eating (you thought I was going to say cycling didn’t you).  Get an early start leaving your Honolulu hotel around 5:30am, head to Bogart’s Café at 3045 Monsarrat Ave which opens at 6am.  The Taro Banana Pancakes with Haupia Sauce are a must.  Now you are ready for your Oahu Metric Century ride (about 62 miles).  You’ll need a road bike to do this ride; I recently used my Dawes Giro 400 Road Bike newly bought from Bikesnbits online.  Pack up the car with your bicycle and family who can hang at a slew of choice beaches on the North Shore while you ride, or if you’re going solo without a car (the less desirable option) you can take the bus from your hotel to Kaiaka Bay Beach Park, the start of our ride.  Honolulu’s public bus system is called The Bus (has bike racks) and you would take the 13 to the 52 if you’re leaving from the Waikiki area (most likely as this is where most hotels are in Honolulu).  Oh and don’t forget to pack the Malasadas from Leonards Bakery at 933 Kapahulu Ave (less than a mile walk from Waikiki) you purchased the night before to be a ride snack.

The Ride:
Start/Finish: Kaiaka Bay State Park
25k Turnaround: Sunset Beach Neighborhood park
50k Turnaround: Kahuku High School

100k Turnaround: Swanzy Beach Park

You will exit Kaiaka Bay State Park going east on Fresh Air Camp Road, going north east on Haleiwa Road (left), you will now take a left onto Kamehameha Highway/Highway 83 (the locals call it Kam Hwy), which follows the coast north and then east, and finally south.  Once you’re on the highway it’s simple – just follow the coast.  It’s up to you how much of a challenge you want, as laid out above there are 25, 50 and 100K turnaround points.  This is an intermediate ride in-shape beginners could do.  They should be aware the shoulder can be narrow at times, but fortunately the views will be fantastic.  It’s mostly flat with a few moderate hills.  You will ride through Haleiwa Town, along the shores of Waimea Valley, Sunset Beach, Kahuku and Kaawa.  You will be rewarded for your efforts when you return from your ride which should take 3-4 hours.  You’re in the land of the original Shrimp Trucks on Oahu – the North Shore.  My favorite is the Spicy Garlic Shrimp at Honos Shrimp Truck in Haleiwa, right near the start/end of your ride.

Mango Coconut Shave Ice with Ice Cream on the side

Generally I would say, just follow the coast (Kamehameha Highway) and you’ll find your way as a cyclist.  Oahu is only 112 miles around, so if you wanted to do a gnarly century ride this is the perfect place. Flacyclist has a nice blog on the internet about his 112 mile ride around Oahu with tips.  Avoid cycling on the Pali Highway as you can hit speeds as high as 45mph and it’s just scary.  The reception of cyclists in Hawaii is mediocre, generally.  Unfortunately it is a pretty car-centric population, although the people of Hawaii are usually very nice (Aloha spirit) so as always be respectful of all others on the road and (hopefully) they will respect you back.  Ok, now that you’re back in Waikiki and you’re still hungry, because let’s face it burning all those calories affords the biggest perk of eating whatever we want as cyclists – go to the Southshore Grill at 3114 Monsarrat Ave (near Diamondhead) and get the Fish Tacos with Garlic Fries (oh la la so delish). For desert get an island favorite, shave ice, at Waiola Shaved Ice at 3113 Mokihana St.  Bask in the beauty of the islands, the the most wonderful foods available in the nation and the hard work you put in on your bicycle today.

Although a bit outdated, “Hawaii by Bike” by Nadine Slavinski can be helpful for general advice on cycling the islands.  I’ve not done it, but have heard Maui is a very friendly island for biking, but there are not a lot of camping options.  I’ve also heard the Big Island (Hawaii) has fantastic cycling, with plenty of camping along the perimeter of the island.  There are also just so many more miles to be ridden as the island is much bigger than Oahu.  Enjoy any cycling you are able to do on the islands, you will not be disappointed.

Author Bio:

Andy is a keen cyclist, who writes about cycling and adventure holidays. He contributes to a number of blogs for cycling and traveling articles. You can tweet @Andyandrewsteph

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