Ride on! Cruising Kauai's Waimea Canyon by bicycle tourby: Chris Bailey
posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 at 11:32 AM
Continued from previous page
Cool breezes whip against my face as we zip through grassy plains and tall pine forests, cruising along at speeds of 20 to 25 mph. Tropical flora such as eucalyptus and koa trees dance wildly in the wind. I steal glimpses of Waimea Canyon’s fluted cliffs to my left, the afternoon shadows filling its deep crevasses.
At the halfway point, Marlier signals the group roadside for a brief rest. It gives us a chance to marvel at a lush valley that extends on the right side of the road. Naumu tells us Hawaiians settled in these ravines centuries ago, establishing village communities that extended from deep within the canyon all the way down to the ocean.
Looking out toward the ocean, I see Niihau on the horizon. Naumu says we can see the sun setting directly over Niihau from the bottom of the canyon. But we need to move fast.
Refreshed and determined to catch the sunset over Niihau, we embark on the tour’s second half, carefully working our way down steep declines, tight turns and a particularly hairy hairpin. This rough patch of road feeds us into a straightaway—the homestretch of our downhill ride. Marlier takes off at breakneck speed past the high outer wall of Waimea Canyon, the final section. We follow. Above us, the bright bulb of a rising moon is ready to claim the evening sky.
Waimea Canyon now conquered, the group takes one final ride through the quaint town of Kekaha and down along the ocean, a gentle ride to cool down our legs.
When we arrive the sun is already behind Niihau. Alas, we’re too late. Still, it’s nothing to be disappointed about. Like the majestic Waimea Canyon, our beachfront view is one of a kind.
Outfitters Kauai, (888) 742-9887 toll free, (808) 742-9667, www.outfitterskauai.com
Photos: Outfitters Kauai
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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Hidden Hawaii: On the way to Waimea Canyon
Kauai in just one day: 5 things to do, part two
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