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  1. #1
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
    Reputation: ArmySlowRdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Big Island Vacation and Rides Report

    As the only bike "enthusiast" in my family I knew it would be hard, and altogether inconsiderate, to take a vacation to the big island and only have biking on the mind. So we mainly went because the S.O. wanted to see this:

    We stayed 5 nights at the Hawaii Nanaloa, full of all sorts of interesting kids getting ready for the annual hula competition. Still nice digs to just crash in for the nights.

    It took two days to take in the spectacle of the Volcano National Park. During the last day I managed to ride the Crater Rim Road Loop and also a few beginning segments of the "Escape" trail.

    Those were the 1st two days there. Then we took in sights such as a coffee farm, the Kona coast, the Waipio over look, Akaka Falls, and the Hawaii Tropical Gardens.

    The last day brought the most fun I've maybe ever had on a mountain bike. And for sure the most fun in Hawaii. Kulani Forest, south of Hilo, and not far from the zoo, contained an absolutely twisty, rooty, moss and lava stone covered trail that was a blast to ride. No real elevation gain but just a fast technical and very doable ride. The grin factor was off the chart, definitely the most grins per mile for me to date. And all this after a driving rain had just turned to a heavy mist. The trail books and reviews got it right when they said this trail remained pristine after a rain and very rideable.

    Anyway these rides were done solo. My S.O. said a tandem and another guy on a full suspension rig showed up shortly after I took off for the trail; I never saw them---but there is an awfully lot of fire road too, so I suppose they could have started on a different section of trail.

    Sorry the pics aren't the glittering type usually found in most of the posts here on passion but then again most of my friends aren't into cameras much, and just as often as not I'm out alone.

    Oh and being a foodie type in the Army I can't help mentioning the good eats on Hawaii---so much better than Oahu. Ken'sPancakes, Kuhio Grill, Cafe Pesto, What's Shakin', LuLus, and Harrington's all have my thumbs up. Thumbs sideways to Lava Rock Cafe and the Japanese Nihon Cultural Center and Restaurant. Gwen was a terrific server at Harrington's; the ambience and attention given to make sure customers have an outstanding dining experience is so rarely found these days. Cafe Pesto had an awesome Greek Calzone and the food in general was A+.

    My opinion of Hawaii Mountain Biking went from D- to maybe D- for Oahu and A for da Big Island!

    All in all 4 and a half days, 5 nights, just a few hours of biking in all but totally, totally worth while!!

    The big island: recommended for XC biking and good eating. Mahalo for reading.

  2. #2
    Reputation: SHAHEEB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    Looks like a nice trip.

    someday I plan to make a trip from Maui to see everything you mentioned.

    Thanks for the notes on places to eat.


  3. #3
    Reputation: airwreck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    got to agree on the kulani forest, great stuff, even in the rain. It's a unique situation there, private land were the local dirt biker club was able to get organized and manage the trail system.

    Is that a rental bike? The bars look bent.

  4. #4
    Glad to Be Alive
    Reputation: SHIVER ME TIMBERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    nice pics
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  5. #5
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
    Reputation: ArmySlowRdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck
    Is that a rental bike? The bars look bent.
    no, that's my Giant XTC hardtail. Out of the 3 hardtails I've owned it is by far my favorite and most trouble free; that is the stock bar--I thimk it has the slightest bit of sweep.

  6. #6
    Surfin' da mountain
    Reputation: Cucucachu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    New question here. Cool Pics!

    About four years ago, while on the Big Island, I rode a tour on the north end of the island. We rode on some private lands (Parker Ranch, I think) from the arid west side up over the Kohala Mountains to the wet east side and down to a lighthouse near Hawi.
    What an experience! It was mostly single track, cow trails and dirt roads (double track). A few places wasn't even trail, but more like grassy fields. We had to hop several fences and crossed a water flume (that flows water from the very wet part of the island to the north for sugarcane crops).
    My wife wants to do Maui next. Hope to get to do some riding there. Any good riding on Maui?
    Last edited by Cucucachu; 03-28-2005 at 11:38 AM.

  7. #7
    I Just Ride....
    Reputation: mtbbrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Good job! Ride On!

    Glad to see you are getting back to normal!
    Hoo Ahh!
    Artistic Mountain Bike Photography
    My MTBR Gallery
    "I Ride my bike, to Ride my bike...."
    From a Zen proverb

  8. #8
    Tear it all out! SuperModerator
    Reputation: CraigH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Thanks for posting this link in the other thread. I was out of town all weekend so missed it.

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