Ok, I waited a week, but now I need to tell you about Kona.
So I went and stayed at the King Kam. Do the same thing if you want to watch the triathletes – it was quite the spectacle. From my cheap hotel room I had neither window nor mountain view, but I had an unobstructed view of the assembly space where the triathletes gathered. And there were quite a few of those – in all shapes, ages, genders and groupings. The funniest was a father with two dogs and two kids – and they all jumped into the water and swam out towards the open sea. What a sight!
Biking was a bit of a disappointment. There were bikers all over the place, but nothing that really competes with Foothill Expressway. The weather was perfect, and yet you’d find people on the main highway, Queen Kaahumanu, only sporadically. As it were, the shoulder was wide enough to fit two bikers not on good terms, and went that way from Kona to the turn to Waimea, about 33 miles.
If the road was good, not so was the terrain. Hawaii is fairly flat, as it turns out, and the road has only minor ups and downs once in a while. You can go all the 66 miles and never encounter a decent hill! (Nor are there side roads, since the island is really not very densely populated.)
Aside from this highway, probably made specifically for triathletes, the shoulders are not encouraging. A tour of the whole island would be a pain, since the roadway is frequently quite uneven. The slope of Kilauea is much steeper than it seems, too, by the way.