» Chad Taniguchi, 59
» Hawaii Bicycling League Executive Director
Bike commute to work 2-4 times a week
Kailua to Kaimuki and return (about 15 miles each way)
Swimming at Kailua Beach 2-3 times a month
Sit-ups and push-ups while waiting for the bus
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but it was also the father of Chad Taniguchi’s decision to commute via his bike from Kailua to town.
“It started with the bus strike in 2003,” said Taniguchi, the executive director of the Hawaii Bicycling League. “I was a bus commuter, but during the strike, I started catching rides with friends. It got me thinking how else could I get to work.”
After the strike Taniguchi, then the executive director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, began putting his bike on the bus rack and would ride to work after getting into Honolulu. It was more convenient, he said, because he didn’t have to wait to transfer. But it was during a wait at a bus stop that everything changed for Taniguchi.
“This young triathlete passed me on her bike and, with a big smile, said, ‘You can bike this you know,’” Taniguchi said. “It was a challenge, a dare, so I rode with her over the Pali in the dark.”
Taniguchi used to go through the two tunnels, until his wife suggested he find a safer alternative. He now uses portions of the Old Pali Road, which added about 15 minutes to the ride but “better to avoid rock falls instead of cars,” he said.
Taniguchi is living the mission statement of the HBL, which is to “promote cycling for health, recreation and transportation through advocacy, education and events.” He’s found a way to save money, save the environment and exercise, all at the same time.
His next big project is the April 10 JBK Haleiwa Metric Century Ride, a 100-kilometer (62.5-mile) event from Kalaka Bay to Swanzy Beach Park and back. There are also 25K and 50K ride options (hbl.org).
The Waimea High graduate, who holds degrees from Stanford and the University of Hawaii, also has incorporated other exercises into his routine. There are days when he uses the bus for part of his commute, “so if people see a guy in a (bike) helmet at the bus stop doing pushups and sit-ups, that’s me,” Taniguchi said. “I believe in maximizing your time and I can get my exercise while I’m waiting,”