Cycling is the New Golf in Hawaii

Riding a bike lane past strip malls, I felt like that Native American character in the pollution ad from the 70s. Once this was a trail that turned into a dirt road. Then a paved one that brought progress and jobs to this side of the Island. Now it brings consumers to Costco to buy calories in bulk or tourists to shop at strip malls and stay at resorts. Can’t we keep America beautiful? without all these damn cars?

It was the game of chicken I played with a dump truck that had me upset, feeling sad. Given the split-second choice between challenging the driver for my place on the road and riding into a debris field, I choose to veer right off the road. A near instantaneous double-flat resulted and the dump truck driver likely never saw me. Continuing after patching tubes, onto a unremarkable, unswept bike lane, an obese family cut me off to get into Costco. I thought, hope you get the closest parking space to the entrance to not expend any more calories than necessary to buy more calories to consume.

bike lane golf cart

Sweet spot of disposable income sports!

Before turning onto H-1 and a brief meeting with the dump truck, I rode on a pleasant resort lane that was there for golf carts and bikes. Look at that sweet spot: golf and cyclists, both disposable income sports at a resort! What’s next? A cross race ON a golf course? Maybe if the racers only use file treads and tourism industry better understands tourists that come here to ride. It wouldn’t take much to improve the lanes. A street sweeper alone would make a ride less flat prone. There was plenty of shoulder.

At dinner, I spoke with a director at the Aloha Tourism Board. The board is working very hard at marketing the Islands as a place to do business and not a resort boondoggle – they’re placed perfectly for the Pacific Rim trade. Agreed and hey those business people ride bikes. It’s the new golf, ya know. They were very well aware of the impact to tourism Ironman, XTerra and other bike-related events have here. I stressed how much I’ve written about riding in Hawaii and promoting rides like the Banana Stand or challenging yourself on Mr. Steepy.

The everyday tourist cyclist spends money too and with just a little help, they’d enjoy the ride much more.

manicured paths

Manicured grounds and paths

If you’re Ihilani resort with your bike, here’s a spin for you. Watch the entrance to the highway and the strip-mall drivers looking for a parking space. End with a ride along a well-manicured path in front of Disney’s Resort and then swim in the pool.

Poolside

Poolside

As fortress-type resorts go, Ihilani is one of the best and is refreshed after a $30M renovation this Summer. It’s a JW Marriott property. Also see HBL for more rides and Alaska Air for affordable fares. They’ve got 27 daily flights now.



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