Tips For Biking On the Big Island of Hawaii

Within the past year we have seen a significant increase in biking accidents on the west side of the Big Island of Hawaii.  Many have been our guests and have had their vacations ruined by the accidents.  Luckily we are not aware of any that has resulted in deaths in the Waikoloa Beach Resort area.  While I am not a biker, I just wanted to offer some what seems to be common sense areas to bike if you are not familiar with the Big Island of Hawaii.

Safe Areas to Bike
Waikoloa Beach Resort – the Waikoloa Beach Resort is a safe place to bike with relatively large shoulders.  There are a lot of condominium complexes so there are a lot of roads that access into the main road that bikers ride.  Due to this, there has been several accidents at the intersections of this road.  Due to it being within the resort and the speed limits low the accidents have not been too bad.

Mauna Lani Resort – the Mauna Lani Resort offers the same conditions as Waikoloa Beach Resort.  There is a round about in the resort that has been the location of a few accidents.

Mildly Safe Areas to Bike
Highway 19 – This is one of the most common places that people bike longer distances.  There are larger shoulders making it safe.  Since it is a highway, the cars do drive faster, which can make for horrible accidents if they happen, but if everyone is being cautious accidents should be avoidable.  Many bikers continue this road into 270, which is similar.

Saddle Road – I have not quit figured out why people bike this road, but it is relatively safe.  It does offer larger shoulders like highway 19 if you do not go onto the “Old Saddle Road”.  The downside is that you are highly likely to encounter fog, rain, and colder temperatures (40-50 degrees).  If you encounter the fog, I would highly encourage turning around.  There are a large amount of auto accidents due to the fog on this road.  On the negative side, many of the fatal accidents on the Big Island of Hawaii do happen on this road thus potentially making the shoulders unsafe if that shold happen.

The road that goes up from 19 to Waikoloa Village (yellow on the map) – This is not an ideal road to bike, but I have not heard of a lot of accidents.  The shoulders are smaller and the road is windy and steep in places.

Unsafe Places to Bike – this are places that locals shake their heads every time they see someone on these roads

Upper Road (Highway 190) – this highway has very small shoulders and if the biker is not fully in shoulder can hold up traffic.  This frustrates drivers and you see unsafe passing, close proximities between car and biker, etc.

The road between Kawaihae and Waimea – this road has very small shoulders and is very curvy although the map does not really show that.  This road is not recommended for the same reasons as Upper Road.

While this is not a comprehensive list, hopefully it acts as a guide to keep bikers safe on the Big Island of Hawaii.

hawaii bike trails