Share the Road with Aloha
As a visiting cyclist or tri-athlete, you may be familiar with a wide variety of traffic laws and customs from other states and countries.
Riding on Hawaii Island can be very beautiful and quite satisfying, however it can also be frustrating for everyone involved if you don’t know the rules of the road in Hawaii and the customs and expectations of the other roadway users.
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these safety tips,guidelines and rules for Sharing the Road with Aloha.
• Think P.V.C.: Be Predictable in your movements and actions; Be Visible by positioning yourself where others would expect to see youmand wearing bright colored or reflective clothing and lights at night/early morning; Be Courteous by politely communicating your intentions and gratitude.
• Obey All Posted Signs & Signals: This includes, but is not limited to stopping at all Stop signs and not proceeding through a signalized intersection unless you have a “green light”.
• Avoid Riding on the Sidewalk: As riding on sidewalks put you and pedestrians at a much greater risk and is against the law in the business district areas on island.
• Ride with the Direction of Traffic: It’s the law and is far safer, as it fits within the expectations of the other users of the road.
• Be Alert at Intersections: Approach intersections, side roads, driveways and other such points of potential conflict with enhanced focus and additional caution, get out of the “arrow position “or “drops”, assume that you have not been seen and be prepared to slow down or stop as needed or at a moment’s notice.
• Choose Your Route Carefully: Look for safer, less congested, alternative routes to ride whenever possible. Note: if the route you choose has a lot of pedestrians, be sure to slow down and yield to those on foot, as pedestrians will ultimately have the right of way.
• Avoid Distractions: Stay alert and remain focused on the road while riding your bicycle. Keep conversations to a minimum and if you must take that cell phone call, reply to a text message or snap a “must have” photo, be sure to stop and pull completely off the road to the far right side of the shoulder before attending to this business.
• Listen for Traffic: Your hearing is just as critical as your sight for avoiding potential conflicts with other roadway users, so refrain from using headphones while riding and pause your conversations when heading into intersections or heavy traffic or high conflict areas.
• Ride Single File: By Hawaii state law a cyclist shall ride as far to the right as is practical and is safe to do so. It is legal to ride just a maximum of two abreast, only when faster moving traffic of any kind is not being impeded. For instance in an exceptionally wide shoulder, two cyclists may ride side by side where enough space is reserved for a faster cyclist or scooter to pass unimpeded. Another example: While on a narrow road, quiet country road with no shoulder, cyclists must drop into single file position and yield to a faster moving vehicles approaching from behind (a good reason for using a mirror).
• Pass on the Left: Pass slower moving or stopped traffic (cyclists, pedestrians or vehicles) on the left. Be sure to scan behind you first to ensure that it is safe to make the pass. When passing cars be sure to avoid the door zone. When appropriate communicate your intentions when passing another cyclist by saying “passing on your left” and “mahalo” or “thank you” once you have made it past.
Positioning in Shoulders: Ride to the right of the midline of the shoulder or bike lane when available, to allow space for a faster moving cyclist (or scooter) to pass safely without having to enter the lane of motorized traffic, this is particularly important on the main highway, where there is extremely fast traffic and ample shoulder width for everyone. Yes, by the way, scooters do use the shoulders and bike lanes in Hawaii, so be alert and prepared for their approach.
• Positioning in Roadway: If there is no bike lane or shoulder, according to state law a cyclist is entitled to use of the roadway as a vehicle and may “take the lane” i.e. ride in the right most lane which serves their desired direction and destination. As outlined by law, when space is provided, such as a wide shoulder or bike lane and it is safe to occupy said space, “a cyclist shall ride as far to right as is practicable”.
• Pit Stop to the Right: If you must stop or slow down for any reason,be courteous to others coming up from behind you and get to the far right of the shoulder or better yet completely off the paved roadway, so others can pass safely. For example: if you get a flat, please position yourself off of the pavement to conduct your repairs.
• Signal Your Intentions/Hazards: Be sure to use standardized turn signals to alert other vehicle drivers of your intentions. Also, be sure to be courteous and point out any hazards to your fellow cyclists.
• Wear a Helmet: You never know when you might take a spill, so wear that helmet and protect your brain when you ride. Children, ages 16 and under must wear a helmet by law in Hawaii.
• Be Safe, Not Sorry: Have fun out on the beautiful Hawaii Island roadways, but yes be aware and use caution. Unfortunately every year several cyclists and triathletes have their trips cut short or severely hampered by mishaps out on the roadways, which ultimately might have been avoided
• Say “Mahalo”: Often other cyclists, motorists or pedestrians will yield or otherwise help you along your way, so please let them know you appreciate their courtesy by saying “Thank You”.
• Sharing the Road with Aloha: As a bicyclist you represent the entire cycling community to everyone that you encounter, so ride with the spirit of Aloha as it makes it that much better for the next cyclist.
Mahalo nui loa for your kokua... and enjoy the ride!
Thank you for choosing to experience and explore the beauty of the Big Island by bicycle!