Kona Roads: Riding the Big Island

Riding hard on the roads of Kona, I thought that much suffering had come before us. That the training we were doing was nothing compared to the champions who had left it all on the road in the cycling leg of the Ironman.

palms_snow.jpg

Riding in wind like that reminded me of the Tri-Cities, where I learned to ride and race. It envelopes you, like riding in sand (or snow) – you can’t do much more than spin and at times were were going about 12 mph. Riding back towards town, with a tailwind, we’d hit 28 without pedaling. I’m sure tales are told on the group rides and in the bike shop about the suffering out and flying back.

The road rolls with 6-ft shoulders, no major climbs, but you’ll find yourself wondering why you’re going so slow, until you turn around. That might give you some time to read all the lava lettering.

I haven’t ridden across a lava field before, with the beach, palm trees, and a snow-covered volcano in the distance. It was visually striking and a reminder that we were riding on a Big Island.



4 Comments

Keep an eye out for Lance - he’s training in Hawaii now: www.twitter.com/lancearmstrong

Keep an eye out for cars on that road, too.  I got hit by a left hook at one of the intersections between the airport and Kona a few years ago.  In talking to the insurance guys, it sounds pretty common for people to drift across the line while oggling the lava and punt cyclists from behind - and since its a highway, the results aren’t pretty.  Sure is a nice place to ride, though, other than that!

@erik,

Good tip and I noticed lots of bike signage in right turns lanes off the highway saying [bike crossing zone](http://www.flickr.com/photos/huggerindustries/3171184928/in/photostream/). Wondered if that was for Ironman because of accidents, or the engineers doing the right thing (maybe all 3). Maui is way sketchier to ride with lots of driver aggression, honks, and I got ran off the road last year.

@me

Didn’t see Lance, he’s riding North of us—also, no need to use a fake name or email here, we don’t spam.

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