By Tommy Noyes
First off, Kauai’s awesome Paradise Ride is coming up Aug. 1 and 2. So you, avid cyclists ready to challenge yourselves and support a worthy cause, should check the www.KauaiPath.org calendar listing for more info or to enroll. Also on the same calendar is the upcoming free Bicycling Skills for Adults class.
The County of Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Department of Health promote bicycling as a fun way to exercise. The county features bicycling in its vision for complete streets, and the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation recognizes bicycling as an eco-friendly and smart transportation mode that relieves traffic congestion.
The common concern is that safety remains an issue, as more and more of us ride our bicycles around our neighborhoods and communities.
Kaua‘i Path — the nonprofit promoting multi-use paths for safe and enjoyable bicycling and walking — was awarded a grant from HDOT to teach Bicycling Skills for Adults. Anybody interested is encouraged to enroll for this last class in the series of full eight-hour trainings.
The free class will be held at the Kapa‘a Library, at 4-1464 Kuhio Hwy, July 18, from at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is at www.KauaiPath.org. Enrollment is limited, the curriculum is for ages 14 and up, and students should bring their own bicycle in good working condition and a helmet.
Feedback from adults who have taken the class is consistently positive, both from tentative riders who learned why their bike has so many gears and how to shift them, to avid cyclists who are accustomed to frequently covering long distances on the road.
“Kauai Path is generally able to loan a bicycle and helmet to anybody who wants to take the class but for whatever reason cannot provide their own suitable equipment. We follow the League of American Bicyclists’ curriculum, and cover a broad range of safe and intelligent bicycling practices,” said Dr. Randy Blake, a League Certified Instructor who has taught bicycling skills to hundreds of students and adults on Kaua‘i, and is the president of Kaua‘i Path’s board of directors.
Bicycle Skills for Adults covers basic repairs like fixing a flat tire, the fundamentals of using your bicycle’s gears, adjusting your bicycle to fit your body, and how to avoid potentially hazardous conditions. A course is laid out in the parking lot to develop and refine bicycle-handling skills under the instructor’s supervision.
An additional component of Kaua‘i Path’s educational program was conducting a bike rodeo for more than 100 keiki on May 2. Kaua‘i Path partnered with Wilcox Memorial Hospital and multiple community service organizations, and held the bike rodeo at Wilcox Memorial Hospital. Adults who completed Bicycle Skills for Adults assisted as volunteers at the rodeo that provided free helmets to novice cyclists, courtesy of Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
- Tommy Noyes works for the Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s Public Health Preparedness branch, serves on Kaua‘i Path’s board of directors, and is a League of American Bicyclists certified instructor.