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Cycling enthusiasts choose the road over football

PO‘IPU — Instead of watching football on television, Mark Tanaka unlimbered his bicycle, Sunday [January 23, 2011].

“This is the first time I’m doing something like this,” he said, aware that just down the street, people were already gathering at the Po‘ipu Kai eatery for the morning game. “But I need to spend some quality time with my wife Joey, so I’m doing it.”

The Cycle Po‘ipu event was a three-stage bicycling event where cyclists had a choice of a long distance ride from Po‘ipu Beach Park to Kalaheo and back, a shorter run out to Maha‘ulepu and back using mountain bikes only, or an even shorter six-mile route to Spouting Horn and back.

Mark Tanaka, in the center of the medium length ride crew and wearing the blue shirt, passed on arm-chair quarterbacking to attend the free Cycle Poipu Fun Ride with about 60 other cyclists.

The Kalaheo loop took in 36 miles and an 800-foot elevation gain when combined with the Spouting Horn jaunt. The Maha‘ulepu loop was eight miles, or 14 miles when combined with the Spouting Horn run.

“We’re just weekend riders, so we’re just kind of cruising,” said Joey Tanaka, who signed up for the Maha‘ulepu loop.

Thomas Noyes, leader of that segment, said earlier there were about 40 riders taking off for the Kalaheo loop. “Everybody meets back here and we all do the Spouting Horn loop,” he said.

Recently, there have been several bicycling events geared to get people involved in the sport. More recently, the Philippine Island Hawai‘i Island club organized a ride from Hanama‘ulu Beach Park to Moloa‘a Ranch and back for more serious road riders.

During the Sunday event, a hand-scribed sign announced the next ride to be Feb. 20 at Lihi Park in Kapa‘a.

Kaua‘i Cycle and Tour is organizing a group road ride on Jan. 30 to Princeville Park. Details on the Kaua‘i Path website state this is a group ride, ride at your own pace, bring your own flat kit, food and water because the rides are not supported.

For the more adventurous, there is a Cycle Oregon kickoff party Feb. 8 at the Tiger Woods Center, Nike Campus in Oregon. This serves as the launch of the Cycle Oregon Week Ride, Sept. 10-17, which is limited to the first 2,200 cyclists who sign up. The Weekend Ride, July 15-17, is limited to 2,000 riders.

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