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Places to ride in Hawaii

Places to ride in Hawaii
September 24, 2015 mariane uehara

{article published on Hawaii Sport Magazine – Aug/Sep issue}

I guess of all three sports (swim, bike, run), the bike is my weakest one, however that does not mean it is my least favorite sport. Actually I love riding my bike just as much I enjoy running and swimming. Each sport has some unique aspects. On the bike I can go farther, longer, and also faster! Hawaii has so many wonderful places where you can ride a bike, so it’s really hard to choose just three places. But here they are:

Tantalus – Oahu


Tantalus is a gem in the middle of Honolulu. A challenging 5 mile climb, that no matter how many times I ride it, it never gets easier. The accomplishment of reaching the very top is always a refreshing reward. Even more special than reaching the top is the scenery along the way. The lush green of the various types of trees, the birds singing, the sweet smell of the flowers, and the cool atmosphere, makes the ride fabulous. In a crazy way I enjoy the pain of going up Tantalus more than riding down, but the stunning view of Diamond Head going down is one of the best post cards of the city, in my opinion.

where: start at the bottom of Makiki Heights Drive and loop around.
distance: almost 5 miles to the top, almost 10 miles for the whole loop

Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway – Big Island


Kona, on the big island of Hawaii, is my favorite island to ride a bike. More specifically, I love riding the Ironman Hawaii bike course. The reasons I love this course are: large bike shoulders, very few, almost zero stop lights, clear skies, ocean along the entire ride, and the lava fields that go on forever! Yes! I love the heat and the lava. That environment makes me feel like I am in a whole different planet (laughs). Tim and I fly to the Big Island quite often. I am extremely lucky that I have had the opportunity to train there so many times. On this course I have had my best and fastest rides. One time, me and Ray Brust caught Tim Marr and Chris McCormick. I was drafting Ray, and Tim and Macca weren’t riding that fast, but still we caught the pros (laughs)! Last year training for Ironmam Hawaii, I started a long ride with Tim Marr, Penn Henderson, Art Morales, and Terenzo Bozzone, all unbelievable riders. I put in my mind that I was going to do my very best to stay with them as long as I could. I made it until the beginning of Hawi, always drafting them of course! But I did!! It was the hardest and fastest ride I ever done. Thank you guys!

where: start at Kona town, ride all the way to Hawi and back.
distance: 106 miles

Haleakala – Maui


Haleakala is not just my favorite place to ride a bike, it’s one of the most special places I have ever been. The first time I rode Haleakala it was a few years ago with the Boca Hawaii group. We started the ride all together, but somehow I ended up climbing the whole mountain by myself, and I am glad I did. It is almost hard to express in words what I felt during my ride. At one point when I was getting closer and closer to the clouds, I felt so close to loved ones that are not here anymore physically but in my heart everyday. I don’t remember how hard or easy the climb was, I just remember how grateful I was for being there, for having the opportunity to live such an incredible experience physically, mentally and spiritually.
Oh! I also remember going down the mountain with my friends Aaron Sundberg and Jeff Ling. It was also physically, mentally and spiritually very challenging, but in a totally different way! When we started to ride down, it was pouring raining, and extremely cold. We could barely see our hands in front of our faces because of the strong mist. We were miserable, laughing and crying, and dreaming of a hot shower during the whole ride down. We safely made it to town, and it is one of my favorite adventures to this day!

where: start at Paia town, ride all the way to top (and just ride down if it’s not raining)
distance: 36 miles to the top.

Where is your favorite place to ride a bike in Hawaii?

some dreams are worth sharing…


photos by: Kevin & Spring (Tantalus), Wagner Araujo (Kona & Maui)