A big thank you goes to Mike and Jackie Steele who did this tour several years ago. They wrote an excellent itinerary that Kris found in the Almaden Cycle Touring Club tour binder. They had done all the difficult planning required for a 2 week trip.
We stayed home for one week and then flew to the big island of Hawaii with our new single Bike Fridays. We took a cab to Kona and stayed at the King Kamehameha Hotel for two nights. We put the bikes together and did a bit of riding around Kona, down Alii Dr. Saw where they start and finish the Ironman. Ate some fabulous food and swam in that wonderful warm water.
Then we were off to circle the island by first heading south. We put our clothes and essentials in one of the suitcases and then attached the suitcase to a trailer which is hooked up to a bike, Bob's bike. He's stronger, he can carry 40 pounds of stuff! We stayed at Bed and Breakfasts or small hotels all around the island. It took us all day to climb the road to Volcanoes National Park, but it was worth it. The next day we cycled around the rim of the craters and saw lots of lava and steam vents, lava tubes, rain forest, etc.
The ride to Hilo was the easiest, all down hill! We stayed there two days walking around town and cycling up to the falls and Boiling Pots. Neat town, sort of like Santa Cruz.
Then we headed north to Pa'aulio and the Waipio Valley, very lush country. Waimea and the cattle country were next, I had been eaten alive by mosquitoes so I was glad to leave the rain forest areas and get to the pastures. After two nights in Waimea (Kamuela) we headed back to the King Kam in Kona.
All in all it was a great trip. The roads were adequate for cycling although there was a ton of glass. Motorists did not try to run us down. Maybe because Bob had three socks hanging out the back of the suitcase that he was hauling - his flag system! It really is a diverse island from desert to lava fields to rain forests to cattle grazing country. We didn't get enough beach time in, we were usually too far from the coast. We didn't have the time to get to places like South point and the one place where the lava is still flowing into the ocean.
It was a great summer, full of wonderful memories.
--- we rode every day and covered 355 miles. The weather was very cooperative to us. It never rained on us enough to get wet. We carried the fenders and rain gear for nothing. Most of the roads were uncrowded with traffic and had some shoulder. The places we stayed were very good. I think we both liked the Volcano National Park and Hilo the best. Well, maybe because as I type this I'm thinking of other highlights.
The Pocket Llamas did very well. I fabricated some brackets to mount existing rear racks on the bikes. Kris had one thorn flat on the rear wheel on the last day. I used 1.75 tires with Slime added. Kris used the suspension seat post off the tandem. We both used the Terry Liberator men's saddles. I have never used a better saddle. I also swapped the excellent Kalloy stem ohm my bike for the Gervin Flex stem. I t was perfect on the road and really saved my hands and wrists. They did not make one in a size that fit for Kris. I remember a 10 mile stretch of secondary road that we took that was nothing but old patches. I just flew down the center of the road with the trailer bouncing behind me. Cables need tweaking along the way and the front wheel bearings needed adjusting several times. The usual stuff for new bikes.
We visited several bike shops along the way. One owner owned a Rocket and rides it every day. He pulls a BOB trailer. There is a special nut bracket for use with the Sachs hub.
The BF trailer worked exactly like we hoped it would. Most of the time I forgot it was there. The bike with trailer felt sort of like the tandem. It was heavier, accelerated slowly but had a solid feel. Braking was good. The large capacity was a luxury on a long ride
We hope that you enjoy our trips. The camera still has some undeveloped film so we may add some more pictures.
Bob and Kris Thompson