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Hele in Hawaiian means “to go,” and that’s exactly what the Kailua community did this weekend by way of their feet and wheels. Pedestrians, runners, skaters and bicyclists took part in Hawaii’s first of its kind car-free event called “Cyclovia.”
A display of bikes at the Eki Cyclery booth during the first-ever Cyclovia Hawaii event.
Starting from Hekili Street, near Pali Lanes bowling alley, participants trekked along a 3-mile route. “Ciclovias” – Spanish for “bike paths” – originated in Colombia as weekly events where streets are cleared for pedestrians and bicyclists. Eventually, the trend caught on in American cities; hence, the word has since been modified to “Cyclovias.”
I didn’t take part in the cycling portion of the event but did make it in time to check out the different health and wellness booths, as well as watch the entertainment. Several people I talked to were visiting from Arizona, where Cyclovia is a major event for the city of Tucson. Hundreds show up every year. No word yet on when the next Cyclovia Hawaii will be, but I’m hoping other towns in the state will want to take part in it as well.
Kailua is the perfect town to launch this event because it’s mostly flat-land, and the community in general is fairly health-conscious. You might have noticed the bicycle rental stations throughout the windward town, which has become a great way for visitors to explore the island on two wheels. Not only are these recent additions promoting healthy living, but they also keep gas costs down for visitors on a budget.
CYCLOVIA HAWAII • www.cycloviahawaii.org