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Biking on the Big Island
For cyclists seeking a diverse two-wheeled adventure, extraordinary biking experiences await them on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. With a perimeter of just under 300 miles, athletes can push themselves up steep 14,000-foot volcanoes with majestic views or feel the wind whip through their hair as they rush downhill toward crystal blue coastlines.
Wherever cyclists choose to cruise, there’s no lack of beautiful scenery. From waves of black lava to luscious rainforests, there’s a plethora of beautiful vistas on Hawaiʻi’s largest island. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or a Sunday rider cruisin’ with a coconut hat, grab your wheels and get ready for a pedal-pushing good time.
For the ultimate in cycling adventures, check out Hawaiʻi Volcanos National Park where cyclists enter into a world of unique and varying landscapes on Crater Rim Drive surrounding Kīlauea volcano. Cyclists of all abilities and ages can pedal through rain forests, deserts and volcanic craters. Dress for all kinds of weather as conditions can range from wet and windy to hot and sunny. If breathing problems exist, be aware of biking near Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, as some days the sulfuric acid and dioxide gas can make breathing more difficult.
If you’re in advanced shape and can tackle some intense elevation changes, the ride up to Mauna Kea offers outstanding views from its observatory and a thrilling downhill excursion from 13,000 feet. Another mountain biking adventure is Puʻuhue Road in North Kohala. The beautiful scenery winds through luscious green ranch lands with miles of ocean views. You can even see Maui on a clear day when the vog is at bay. For those wanting a longer ride, the Mana Road trek around Mauna Kea is a 43-mile adventure starting in Hilo. The dirt road meanders through lava field deserts with glimpses of island wild life. The last ten miles descends 4,000 feet down a red dirt road and deposits riders in the lovely paniolo (cowboy) town of Waimea.
Be An Ironman
For cyclists wanting to try out their pedals on the Ironman Triathlon route, this 112-mile challenge runs along the Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway from Kailua-Kona to the turnaround in Hawi. Prepare for possible heavy trade winds known to blow cyclists across the road. To be a true Ironman, one must compete in running and swimming as well, however accomplishing this bike route will get you one third of the way there!
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