Hawaii’s roads aren’t considered the most cyclist friendly in the country, but both cycling enthusiasts and tourists will find unique opportunities to train and explore the islands’ beauty on bicycle.
The most famous biking experience in Hawaii is a bike tour down the slopes of Haleakala volcano. Cyclists are driven to an elevation of 6500ft and then coast down the mountain. The sights and smells are breathtaking, but the road is steep and curvy and one has to be careful not to lose control.
Professional athletes take another approach, they cycle up the volcano! The fresh cool mountain air makes for excellent conditions, but it’s a grueling trek.
Maui’s south coast offers a more conventional biking experience. Starting at the Wailea resort one can bike for 7.5 miles to the end of the highway at La Perouse Bay. What makes this route fantastic are all the beaches to explore along the way. It’s possible to start the journey sooner, somewhere in Kihei town for example, but the traffic is much more management starting in Wailea.
The Big Island of Hawaii is home to the Ironman Triathlon championships. For serious cyclists this is the best Hawaiian island for cycling. The best areas to cycle are the southeast coast, and Volcanoes National Park. One caveat for biking the park is to check current VOG (volcanic smog) conditions.
Similar to Maui, Kauai offers a downhill bike experience for tourists – from the top of Waimea Canyon. Seriously cyclists can do the trek in reverse, but once again the uphill is extreme, suitable only for the super fit.
On Oahu the best location for biking is along the famous north shore where surfers ride giant waves in the winter months. Once again there are many beaches to explore along the way. On Oahu bike tour companies often combine biking and hiking into a single adventure.