“I don’t remember how to ride a bike!” “I’m too scared to ride in Honolulu traffic!” “I don’t have a bicycle.” These are some of the reasons Hawai‘i seniors give for not riding a bike.
The Hawaii Bicycling League (HBL) is here to help with the first two excuses. Honolulu-based HBL has recreational and educational programs for all ages. HBL’s Senior Cycling Program is back in action after a pandemic break. HBL is a great resource for seniors looking to get into biking for exercise and recreation. Activities for seniors include educational programs, fitness rides, group rides and even trike rides.
For those who say they don’t remember how to ride, we say baloney! Scientists agree with the old expression, “just like riding a bike,” Once you learn to ride a bicycle, you never forget. According to Popular Science, cerebral coordination among several areas of the brain is so intense that the motions involved in cycling are never forgotten. It’s commonly referred to as “muscle memory.”
For those who say they’re afraid to ride in urban traffic, HBL offers route planning, precautions and other tips for riding in Honolulu. HBL Adult Education Director Malia Harunaga says maps are available that show bike lanes and which streets are the best — and the worst — for bicyclists.
Adult trikes make biking possible for people who don’t feel steady enough for a two-wheeler. HBL, through a grant from the City and County Honolulu, has purchased eight recumbent tricycles that are great for people with back problems or poor balance. Trike rides on the Pearl Harbor Bike Bath are scheduled throughout the year (visit www.hbl.org) and are broken down into rides of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty.
If you don’t have a bike, O‘ahu’s Biki Bike bike-share program is a great alternative. HBL Executive Director Lori McCarney says she knows a man with Parkinson’s disease who started riding Biki Bikes. Now he says his Parkinson’s is much better and he’s able to do more things. For a Generations Magazine article about e-bikes, go to http://bit.ly/GM-E-Bikes.