Kauai< Hawaii bike rides

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Master-Ti
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 pm

by Master-Ti

I'm contemplating attending a conference in Kauai, Hawaii in February. Does anyone have any recent experience riding a road bike there?

I've done a Google search, and found not a lot of recent reports. From many years back though, there were reports of narrow roads with no shoulders, and recommendations not to ride. I recently posted this same question on www.roadbikereview.com and got similar comments. Any members here try riding on Kauai and wish to share their experiences?

Thanks in advance!

by Weenie


Fisherfreerider
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:19 am

by Fisherfreerider

I have only ridden on Hawai'i and the roads there rarely have a shoulder and you are always either going uphill or downhill. Not the greatest riding in my experience.

oreoboreo
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:25 pm
Location: Aloha, Oregon/ Poipu, Kauai Hawaii

by oreoboreo

We live there 1/2 of the year and find the riding on Kauai is top shelf. We live in Poipu and find that headed West the roads are better than roads past Priceville on the west side. Personally there are some of the toughest hills there, especially Waimea Canyon (2 ways to climb both tough). There is nothing flat so bring your climbing bike or you can rent from a couple of places on Island, however very few bikes. You can only rent tanks on Island nothing light.

Any more questions.... ask away I normally ride a couple thousand Miles when there.

Scott
Let's finish the ride with a 20% grade.

2011 Scott Addict R1 DA 7900 Matt black
2012 Scott CR1 Pro Ultegra 6700
2015 Specialized SWorks Tarmac Da 9000
2016 Specialized SWorks Tarmac DA 9100

Master-Ti
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 pm

by Master-Ti

oreoboreo wrote:We live there 1/2 of the year and find the riding on Kauai is top shelf. We live in Poipu and find that headed West the roads are better than roads past Priceville on the west side. Personally there are some of the toughest hills there, especially Waimea Canyon (2 ways to climb both tough). There is nothing flat so bring your climbing bike or you can rent from a couple of places on Island, however very few bikes. You can only rent tanks on Island nothing light.

Any more questions.... ask away I normally ride a couple thousand Miles when there.

Scott

Thanks for the reply Scott. That's very encouraging news!
I'm planning on staying at the Grand Hyatt Kauai in Piopu, so I'd be interested in your recommendations regarding routes.
With respect to the hills, what sort of grades and lengths should I expect? As I'd be heading out in February and I live in Canada, I would only have a few miles on the trainer in my legs, so huge climbs might not be the smartest thing for me.
Thanks in advance, and please feel free to PM me with specifics regarding recommended routes.

oreoboreo
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:25 pm
Location: Aloha, Oregon/ Poipu, Kauai Hawaii

by oreoboreo

In poipu you can do what I call Poipu loops. From the Grand Hyatt you head down Poipu road to the round about toward Spouting Horn. There is a Starbucks on the way, I know Canadian cyclist love to stop for Coffee and muffins on most rides...lol

Ride to the end of the road turn around back to the round about then head up the mall road to the top turn right to Koloa toward the bipass, down the bipass road back to Pee road. That loop is 16 miles a nice warm up with minimal hills and lots of shoulders the whole way. There are lots of other roads to explore in Poipu to extend that mileage. you can get 25 miles in on loop if you hit more roads. You might drive it first or you can get lost on the bike and have fun.

To get back to the main road to head West you ride up the mall road and hit the stop sign go across the street to Omao ( do not go up Tree Tunnel to get to the main road, unsafe) which is all up about 5-8%. Cross the main road and head west toward Kauai Coffee, turn left to by past traffic and keep heading West.this route out and back is about 75 miles and a strong head wind most days on return. All shoulders on these roads however most traffic is running at 40-45 mph. I always feel safer on Kauai riding since much of the roads do not run with view of the ocean and drivers are not sightseeing as much as most of the Islands. Personally I feel Maui is the most unsafe of all the Islands.

Just a few thoughts...
Let's finish the ride with a 20% grade.

2011 Scott Addict R1 DA 7900 Matt black
2012 Scott CR1 Pro Ultegra 6700
2015 Specialized SWorks Tarmac Da 9000
2016 Specialized SWorks Tarmac DA 9100

Master-Ti
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 5:54 pm

by Master-Ti

oreoboreo wrote:In poipu you can do what I call Poipu loops. From the Grand Hyatt you head down Poipu road to the round about toward Spouting Horn. There is a Starbucks on the way, I know Canadian cyclist love to stop for Coffee and muffins on most rides...lol

Ride to the end of the road turn around back to the round about then head up the mall road to the top turn right to Koloa toward the bipass, down the bipass road back to Pee road. That loop is 16 miles a nice warm up with minimal hills and lots of shoulders the whole way. There are lots of other roads to explore in Poipu to extend that mileage. you can get 25 miles in on loop if you hit more roads. You might drive it first or you can get lost on the bike and have fun.

To get back to the main road to head West you ride up the mall road and hit the stop sign go across the street to Omao ( do not go up Tree Tunnel to get to the main road, unsafe) which is all up about 5-8%. Cross the main road and head west toward Kauai Coffee, turn left to by past traffic and keep heading West.this route out and back is about 75 miles and a strong head wind most days on return. All shoulders on these roads however most traffic is running at 40-45 mph. I always feel safer on Kauai riding since much of the roads do not run with view of the ocean and drivers are not sightseeing as much as most of the Islands. Personally I feel Maui is the most unsafe of all the Islands.

Just a few thoughts...

Thanks again Scott. Those suggestions are very helpful and encouraging! Sounds exactly like what I'd be looking for, and should be a nice chance to escape winter and ride my bike in a warm climate.
What are the quality of the roads? Suitable for usual road tires, or should I fit something a bit more flat-resistant?

jfranci3
Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:21 pm

by jfranci3

I was there in 2012 and rented from Kauai Cycle (?). I asked them "what's better riding here - road or mtb?" and then rented a mtb. They sent me up kuamoo rd, which is all up hill. I got to the trail head and it was straight up. I just turned around an went back. I recommend you just drive to the trail head if you go off road. The 'ring' road is 2 lines, not a full ring, decently busy in the middle, and a 45mph zone (so 60mph) . I'd drive your road bike to the western side of the island and start riding further west.

Kauai is 'Wisconsin' or 'Wyoming' of Hawaii. It is not Maui. I'd use the Strava heat map to help you. https://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#11.64/ ... 2/hot/ride

by Weenie


oreoboreo
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:25 pm
Location: Aloha, Oregon/ Poipu, Kauai Hawaii

by oreoboreo

There are more rocks on the road then some Mainland roads I'd recommend gatorskins however definitely road tires are fine. A lot of the rock of course Canby lava rock in nature so it does cut a little quicker
Let's finish the ride with a 20% grade.

2011 Scott Addict R1 DA 7900 Matt black
2012 Scott CR1 Pro Ultegra 6700
2015 Specialized SWorks Tarmac Da 9000
2016 Specialized SWorks Tarmac DA 9100

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