Note: In addition to the rental fees mentioned below, expect to put down a deposit on a credit card or leave your credit card number on file.
Kona & Kohala Coasts
When you’re planning to spend a fair amount of time in Kailua-Kona, where parking can be at a premium, consider renting a bicycle for easy riding and sightseeing along flat, often oceanview Alii Drive. A cruiser can also be handy if you’re staying at a Kohala Coast resort and want an easy way to shuttle around shops, beaches, and condos without having to jump in the car. Experienced cyclists may also want to trace part of the Ironman course (112 miles round-trip) along the wide-shouldered “Queen K” and Akoni Pule highways from Kailua-Kona to Hawi, or join in one of several weekly group rides of the Hawaii Cycling Club (www.hawaiicyclingclub.com).
For simple cruisers, head to Kona Beach & Sports, in Kona Inn Shopping Village, 75-5744 Alii Dr., Kailua-Kona (www.konabeachandsports.com; 808/329-2294), which rents 24-speed hybrid bikes for $30 a day, $112 a week. Pros and amateurs alike flock to its sister store, Bike Works, in Hale Hana Centre, 74-5583 Luhia St., Kailua-Kona (www.bikeworkskona.com; 808/326-2453) for an even bigger selection of bikes, including mountain bikes, road bikes, and triathlon bikes ($55-$65 daily), with big discounts for longer bookings. Bike Works also has a shop in Queens’ MarketPlace, Waikoloa Beach Resort (www.bikeworkshawaii.com; 808/886-5000), with road and city bike rentals ($30–$85 daily). Both stores offer weekly group rides.
Note: Reserve rentals well in advance for the first 2 weeks of October, during the leadup to the Ironman World Championship.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The national park has miles of paved roads and trails open to cyclists, from easy, flat rides to challenging ascents, but you’ll need to watch out for cars and buses on the often winding, narrow roads, and make sure you carry plenty of water and sunscreen. Download a cycling guide on the park’s website (www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/bike.htm) or pick one up at the Kilauea Visitor Center. The closest bike-rental shops are in Hilo, including Mid-Pacific Wheels, 1133 Manono St. (www.midpacificwheelsllc.com; 808/935-6211), which rents mountain and road bikes for $35 a day, including a helmet; bike racks are $10 a day. Or leave the planning to Volcano Bike Tours (www.bikevolcano.com; 888/934-9199 or 808/934-9199), which offers fully supported half- and full-day guided tours ($115–$150) in the national park that include some off-road riding and, on the longer tour, a van trip to the end of Chain of Craters Road. That’s where a 1.25-mile stretch of pavement closed to cars connects with the 8-mile emergency access gravel road to Kalapana; it’s suitable for hikers or mountain bikers, but was overrun midway by the July 2016 lava flow. The first few miles feature interpretive signs and great coastal views, but if the flow is still active, flumes may discourage exploration.
Riding Like (or with) a Pro
Former U.S. pro cyclist Alex Candelario’s Big Island Bike Tours (http://bigislandbiketours.com; 800/331-0159) boasts experienced guides, elite-level mountain and road bikes, and, in several cases, exclusive access to scenery well worth the pedal. Based in a quaint, remodeled shed at Waimea’s picturesque Anna Ranch, 65-1480 Kawaihae Rd. (Hwy. 11), the company offers a variety of day trips and longer tours for varying abilities. Ride a mountain bike (with electronically assisted bikes for the less hardy) to waterfalls above Anna Ranch, by the rolling pastures along Waimea’s unpaved Mana Road, or across rugged terrain to Papakolea (Green Sand Beach); experts can take a shuttle ($35) to ride 46 miles around Mauna Kea on Mana Road. Road cyclists can cruise downhill to Honokaa and head either to the Waipio Valley Overlook or the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, do a 16-mile loop through Holualoa with a lunch break at Holuakoa Cafe, or explore back roads of Kau. Most tours last two to three hours and cost $189; multiday tours can also be arranged.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.