Riding on Oahu?

So, noticed the “don’t go on vacation” thread and lo and behold we have 8 days coming up in Ko Olina at the end of March for a family vacation. I have a C category ride Apr 5. I kinda have structured my plan so that I have a recovery week while we are away. I’m not bringing my bike but I may rent one for a day or two, otherwise I may just do some spins in the gym to remind my legs what’s what.

Any recommendations for safe road ride routes on Oahu? Any coffee shop/bike shop group rides that allow drop ins? As mentioned, we are staying at Ko Olina on the west side, ideally I’d like to start from there, but I’d probably rent from a place in Waikiki that I scoped out on my last work trip (short 25 hr stay, check the handle… I get a discount due to my vocation :innocent: ) so I could always start from there when I pick up the bike.

Any insight appreciated!

Strava heat map shows lots of riding to the north.

Warning: that’s where I went on vacation, prior to injuring my hip after hopping back on a bike when I got home. Learn from my mistakes: stay in Oahu.

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Take a bike tour of Honolulu. Not great training, but we enjoyed it very much and you’re on a bike all day. Check out trip advisor. There’s a beer lovers tour now, several Diamondhead options too. Wife and I did it and had fun.

Bike Tour Hawaii with Kelly was the one we used and enjoyed.

Wife is not a cyclist like me, but we do a bike tour almost everywhere we go. Honolulu, Sydney, Adelaide out to the coast, New Orleans… fun stuff.


Thanks for the feedback guys. Will look into these.

We have a Sunday Morning Coffee Jam on the west side and that’s close to Koolina. It can be a spirited ride if certain people show up. More of a social ride through residential neighborhoods rather than a sight seeing ride.


If you’re going to be renting in town, you can go splurge at The Bike Shop Honolulu and they have some nice rentals like the Venge or Tarmac Disc. Bikeadelic is also a good place to rent.

Riding from central Oahu up Kunia to the North Shore is nice. Not much of a shoulder for most of it though and cars can be speedy depending on the time of day. North Shore riding east of Haleiwa can be a bit sketchy if you don’t know what you’re doing as there’s not much of a shoulder for many sections and lots of potholes open up during winter. If you’ll be hanging around Dillingham airport, there’s not much traffic there. Not much of anything over there except for mountains air and beach.

In town, riding up and down Tantalus, a cat 2 climb, is nice. Lots of potholes so be careful on the descents. Going around Diamond head, toward Hawaii Kai and up to Makapuu is a common east side ride. Lots o riding in Kailua area too. Also, another The Bike Shop up there with rentals.

If you want to check the routes, you can look up the segments like Tantalus TT, Honolulu Century, Haleiwa Metric Century or DEMRR (Dick Evans Memorial Road Race) then you’ll see what’s rideable.

I do not recommend riding anywhere from the downtown to pearl harbor area. Not for vacation at least. It’s just somewhere you have to go through but can be sketchy if you don’t know what you’re doing. Also, rush hour in the afternoon starts around 3:30 and the vehicular rage doesn’t temper until after 6:30. It’s not bad, but people are more in a rush around that time so yea…


Oahu is really notoriously overcrowded and traffic is very heavy most times of day. I haven’t lived there in a very long time, but traffic has only gotten worse with time. I agree with the recommendations above for Tantalus and Diamond Head if you want a challenge (get there early), but both are on the wrong side of the island from Ko Olina. The issue on that side of the island is that it’s either really crowded down by Schofield or really narrow over by Haleiwa. I’d try to find a group ride or just do some surfing, snorkling, hiking, paddle boarding, and enjoy the break. Beautiful views everywhere once you get away from Honolulu.


Another rec for Tantalus - I rented an Allez from The Bike Shop in Honolulu and did the Tantalus climb when I visited 2 years ago. Most people do the climb clockwise as the descent will have less turns. It’s not too long either, so it won’t wear you out or take you away from the rest of your vacation.

And like others have said, traffic and road conditions can be a problem, so go early in the day.

Also there’s a lookout point on the east side with nice views of the city, and if you come back in the evening it’s a nice place to catch the sunset.


Any MTB recs? I’ll be there for a few days in May.

I haven’t ridden MTB so I can’t say for sure. I know people who do and generally there’s not as much MTB spots. You can to look at Olomana, I know there’s a trail there. Also St. Louis heights. If you’re looking for something easy, there is always Kualoa ranch which is very scenic but $$$ as it is private land and it’s a tour. Some of the staff at The Bike Shop Honolulu and Bikefactory MTB so ask them and they’ll be able to help you out.