In these Boomer days of taking care of my bodily vessel, I’ve taken up riding my bicycle 4 to 5 times a week. In doing so, I have made some observations that I would like share with my fellow riders.
First, a few tips on bike safety. Before doing anything, get down on your one good knee and ask the Biking Gods for protection ‘cause you’re going to need it. While you’re down there, check the tires and make sure they are pumped up. Tighten all levers and check the seat and chain. Make sure you have a rear view mirror, reflectors and a horn or bell. Wear a helmet.
Why be so vigilant while riding around this city? Because it seems that drivers look at “bike riders” as moving targets! Paying attention is of the utmost importance. Ride defensively. Take nothing for granted. Don’t ever think drivers of cars know where you are. They don’t! When riding passed parked cars, beware that someone could always open his/her door. Because when that happens, you’ll be hurled head first onto the pavement. And, believe me … it hurts.
Despite an ideal climate for bicyclists — consistent weather, a flat, dense urban center and an extensive bus system — Honolulu has struggled to create a bike-friendly environment. However, organizations such as the Hawai‘i Bicycling League (HBL) continue to work to turn O‘ahu into a more biker-friendly island. HBL is a 38-year-old nonprofit organization that works to get more people riding bikes for health, recreation and transport. It also works toward by making Hawai‘i’s roads safer through education, events and advocacy. HBL is the organization behind BikeEd for 4th graders all around O‘ahu and also the biggest cycling event in the state, the Honolulu Century Ride.
Recently HBL launched its Senior Cycling Program, which is the newest addition to the range of adult education programs. Through a grant from the City & County of Honolulu, HBL purchased several recumbent tricycles and provides rides and workshops to the public for free.
Because of the way the trikes are made, nearly anyone of any age is able to use them. HBL brings the trikes to off-road paths around Hawai‘i and invites anyone 55 or better to ride (helmets available). The rides are led by certified cycling instructors from the League of American Bicyclists.
Also, HBL has a 30-minute presentation that shows seniors ways they can incorporate cycling into their lives, along with the health benefits that can come from riding. For more information, visit www.hbl.org/seniors.
More about bike safety and approaching a cross-walk next time. Happy bike riding!