Hawaii mourned in 2010 when 18-year-old Zachary Manago, who was cycling with friends, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Wahiawa.
Manago’s parents, Dennis and Daphne, and the Hawaii Bicycling League want to reduce the odds of a similar tragedy ever happening again. That’s why they created Zachary Manago’s Ride in Paradise, which is happening for the eighth time today.
The 47-mile ride began today at 8 a.m. at Camp Erdman with other riders slated to depart from Pokai Bay Beach Park at 11 a.m. and Neal Blaisdell Park at 2:15 p.m. The route winds from Kaena Point to the Waianae Coast and ends in Ala Puumalu Park in Salt Lake after participants ride down the Zachary M. Manago Memorial Bikeway on Ala Napunani St.
The event aims to raise awareness about safety for all road users, identify danger zones, and to support the Hawaii Bicycling League’s advocacy and education programs. It also raises money for Zach’s Fund, which supports the annual race and other cycling priorities.
The ride follows last week’s signing of the Safe Passing 3 Foot bill, a city law requiring that drivers provide at least three feet of separation when passing a bicyclist. More than 300 individuals, including members of the Hawaii Bicycling League and partner organizations, submitted testimony to get the measure passed.
It also highlights the transformation of Ala Napunani Street into a “complete street,” a term used to describe streets that are designed to accommodate everyone from pedestrians and cyclists to motorists and mass-transit users. Ala Napunani Street now has buffered bike lanes, which have been designated as the Zachary M. Manago Memorial Bikeway.
Manago was killed on Dec. 17, 2010 while on an overnight around-the-island bike ride with friends. An SUV driven by Douglas Curtis struck and killed Manago, who was biking just ahead of his friends on Kamehameha Highway near Leileihua Golf Course. Curtis left the scene but he was apprehended several days later after Manago’s friends found his SUV and reported it to police. In 2012, Curtis was sen tended to serve 10 years in prison, the maximum penalty for the offense.
Bike safety is a growing topic nationwide. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 30 cyclists were killed on Hawaii’s roads from 2005 to 2014, the most recent state counts available.