More trouble in paradise

Back in April, I posted about the 3-way battle between motorists, guided bike tours, and the owners of bike rental shops in Hawaii. Now their bike-related tourism takes another nasty hit.

The National Park Service has suspended commercial bicycle tours within Haleakala National Park after the third fatal bike accident there in a year. They get an average of about 90,000 tourists that pay between $100 and $150 for a ride to 10,000 foot summit, so they can coast down 38 miles of lazy, twisting two lane blacktop.

I can see the appeal here, but obviously, there are some safety issues to work out. Just going from around sea level to 10,000 feet and back is probably not ideal for a physically fit rider, let alone an infrequent cyclist on vacation. The math required to figure the grade on that elevation change over 38 miles escapes me, but it seems like the potential to go faster than skills allow is certainly present. The above linked article states that even an experienced guide lost control and crashed. Not a good sign for novices.

Bicycle tourism in Hawaii is sounding more and more like a hard business to be in. And customers getting killed is certainly not helping.

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