It’s no secret that riding on the Big Island is difficult because so much of the land is privately held. We have exclusive access to Waipio Valley Rim, Pololu Valley, and Parker Ranch. As the only bike tour company allowed to operate in these areas, we give you a backstage pass to the best show in Hawaii. When you ride with us, you “know the band”, so you can be sure that Big Island Bike Tours will show you remote country roads and singletrack through hidden valleys, rim trails, plateaus and pastureland, past ancient volcanoes, waterfalls, and stunning ocean views.
THE PRO EXPERIENCE
Born from the idea that each rider deserves and needs an array of support systems in order to maximize their potential as an athlete, Big Island Bike Tours implements the “pro experience” in everything we do. You may not notice how clean your drivetrain is. You may not notice the chairs awaiting your arrival with clean towels to wipe away the road grime. You may not notice that every bottle and hand up you get is precisely what your body needs to keep going. You may not notice that your rain bag was put in the follow vehicle the day it decided to rain. This is exactly the way we like it because it means we’re doing our jobs, so that all you have to do is ride.
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
We ride bikes for many reasons, but a large part of why we ride is our commitment to a sustainable way of living. Riding bikes is inherently good for the earth and we want to inspire people by taking them around one of the most unique ecological places on the planet in hopes that they may integrate a bicycle into their daily lives.
Talk is cheap so we put our money where our mouth is. We are partnering with 1% for the Planet. After each fiscal calendar year we will calculate our dues and contribute our 1% to making a difference to the environment.
There’s no way around it, sometimes cars and vans are apart of our operations, but we have chosen to utilize locally produced Biodiesel in all of our vehicles. Choosing diesel is more expensive, but we believe using a locally produced product made from recycled vegetable oil is worth every penny.
Ok, we admit it, we’re bike nerds. We love debating wheel diameter sizes, suspensions, carbon tubular vs. carbon clinchers and so on. So, when it comes to the latest and greatest gear, chances are we are going to get our hands on it. This means that we will procure the best bikes, with all the best components, everything from saddles to tires for you to ride. So whether it’s off road or on, leave your bike at home and ride one of ours.
It’s a summer morning in 1989. Slurping cereal after swim practice, I turned on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. The announcer screamed hoarsely from the TV set, as the leader of the tour, Laurent Fignon, fell to the ground covering his face. I had tuned in at the very moment when Lemond won the ’89 Tour de France by the slimmest of margins ever recorded in tour history, eight seconds. Not only was this a sensational come-from-behind win for an American, but Lemond did it by using the controversial, unproven aerobar (New equipment in 1989). Drama, technology, heroic effort, sporting success; these elements were branded into my brain. That’s the moment when I fell in love with the bicycle.
Years later I would race and train in Europe. Belgians in particular would stop me just to talk about Lemond and the ‘89 Tour. While I would never go on to compete in Le Tour, I did spend fourteen years making a living racing bicycles, bumping bars with some of the sport’s biggest stars. I began my pro career as a U.S. criterium specialist, learning enough along the way to go from a sprinter to a team captain, and someone who could compete for the GC in stage races. Traveling to races not only in Europe, but also China, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Africa, I achieved my own victories and defeats, and my love affair became a lifelong career.
Along the way Hawai’i became my home. My wife Hannah and her entire family are from Hawai’i, and now that we have two young sons we’ve settled on the Big Island permanently. For the past nine years I’ve run informal training camps for my pro cycling teammates in the off-season in order to take advantage of the warm weather, incredibly diverse terrain, and the occasional wave. During that time, I have ridden every road possible on the Big Island and have learned to maximize training while enjoying the incredibly unique culture and natural beauty of Hawai’i. It’s during these epic Hawaiian-style rides that I’ve day-dreamed of showing other people Hawai’i from the saddle.
I retired from racing in the fall of 2014. Family and Hawai’i were calling, and it’s rare for a rider to continue racing into their forties. It was a great final season. Probably my best World Tour memory from that year was racing Stage 5 at the Tour of Utah with my teammates on Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies. In the final miles, BMC Racing set up their red and black lead out train at the front of the pack, ready to propel 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans across the line for a stage win. I was able to attack the BMC Racing team, open a gap, and tow teammate Eric Young into the perfect place for the stage win. In a bike race, things need to go exactly right to pull off a win against World Tour teams. It was special because it was a full team effort — those moments in the sport are rare. It felt great to contribute to such a big win in my final season.
Now that I’m retired I’m ready to help contribute to your big win or great cycling experience with custom road and mountain bike tours and training camps, designed around you and your group’s desires and interests, and fine-tuned for different ability levels. When you come to Hawai’i, I want you to make the most of your stay, so you can take full advantage of the culture, food, natural history, scenic beauty, and incredible riding in Hawai’i. The Big Island is not only home, but it’s a great place to ride and train and I look forward to showing you the incredible spectrum of cycling Hawai’i has to offer. Come and be a part of our family and let us show you the Big Island!