POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 8, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 3:47 p.m. HST, Jul 8, 2011
A weekend islandwide bicycle ride will commemorate the life of Zachary Manago, an 18-year-old Hawaii Pacific University student and bike enthusiast who died in December after being struck by a motorist.
The two-part bicycle ride, organized by the Hawaii Bicycling League, will kick off a weekend of community awareness for bicycle safety.
"Hopefully, we can shed some new light on the safety of riding a bike and the awareness on motorists' part to decrease accidents," said Dennis Manago, Zachary Manago's father.
The 68-mile ride begins at 7 a.m. Saturday in Wahiawa near a memorial for Manago and the site of the accident off Kamehameha Highway near Leilehua Road, and ends at the state Capitol.
Along the way, organizers will stop at police stations to share their concerns about bicycle safety. About 90 people are expected to complete the ride.
At the Capitol, the league also will host a bicycle safety clinic from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
"This is to give people an idea of how to ride safely on the streets of Honolulu," said Chad Taniguchi, league executive director. "It's an introduction to bicycle safety."
"The reason we are doing this is because so many people say, ‘I'd like to ride but I'm afraid,'" Taniguchi said.
Clinic participates should bring a helmet with their bicycles and meet at the Queen Liliuokalani statue.
On Sunday the second portion of the bicycle ride, 76 miles, will start at the Capitol at 8 a.m., proceed to Waikiki, then to Haleiwa to complete the full 144-mile, two-day course. Mayor Peter Carlisle will participate in an abridged ride.
The goal of the weekend is to bring more awareness to drivers and cyclists, Taniguchi said.
"We really have to watch out for each other," he said.
"Zach was a promising young man with his love for cycling and baseball, and as a college student the whole world was ahead of him. For his life to end so tragically, I think people realized it is a consequence when people don't drive safely," Taniguchi said.
Dennis Manago said his son felt strongly about improving bike lanes on Oahu. A few weeks before the accident, he wrote a final research paper on the issue for one of his HPU courses.
"Bicycle lanes will not only encourage and increase the amount of cyclists on the roads but it will also help and lessen the pollution we have here in Hawaii," he wrote.
"Zach's vision is to make bike lanes more accessible so we can have more ridership and everything else will follow — less cars, less pollution and a safer rider experience," Dennis Manago said.
The bike safety education fund in memory of Zachary Manago has raised $14,000 since January. For more information go to hbl.org.