Maui News

New Maui Bicycling League Formed; 1st Meeting Tonight

December 19, 2014, 10:07 AM HST
* Updated December 19, 10:09 AM
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An ad hoc community group, led by Saman Dias of Pedego Maui (back row, right), worked together to form the Maui Bicycling League, an island chapter of the Hawaii Bicycling League. Courtesy photo.

An ad hoc community group, led by Saman Dias of Pedego Maui (back row, right), worked together to form the Maui Bicycling League, an island chapter of the Hawaii Bicycling League. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

The new Maui Bicycling League hosts its first general membership meeting tonight in Māʻalaea.

The group was formed as a local chapter of the non-profit Hawaiʻi Bicycling League to make Maui a safer place for cyclists and pedestrians.

The meeting will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Discovery Center classrooms at the lower level of the Māʻalaea Harbor Shops.

The meeting’s agenda will include electing a Steering Committee from the membership and discussing the organization’s goals and plans.

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The public is invited to attend and join, with membership applications available at the meeting.  The cost of membership is $35 for adults; and $25 for seniors, students or the military. Applications are also available online.

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“Bicycling is an activity that supports health, fitness and a healthier environment, and Maui has the perfect year-round climate for bicycling — but our island offers very few safe places for children or adults to ride,” said Saman Dias, one of the group’s organizers in a press release announcement. “We heard from many people who said that they would ride more often but feel they would be putting themselves in danger by riding on our roads.”

Dias worked to assemble a group of people including serious cyclists, recreational riders, parents, triathletes and others, who began meeting last summer to find a way to improve the situation.

The resulting ad hoc group wanted to continue the many years of bicycle advocacy work by the Maui Bicycle Alliance, which had been led by local activist Walter Enomoto until he stepped down last year.

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“After several Maui advocates met at a Hawaiʻi Bicycling League workshop held earlier this year, the topic of developing a Maui chapter of the HBL was discussed,” said Sandra McGuinness, Coordinator of Nutrition & Physical Activity Coalition of Maui County. “HBL Executive Director Chad Taniguchi was interested in exploring the idea, and since that first discussion in March, we are seeing that the Maui chapter will become a reality.”

“We saw the advantage of joining forces with this existing nonprofit, which works at both the state and local level to make streets safer through education and advocacy,” said McGuinness.

Representatives say the group will work to establish safe paths, trails and lanes for cyclists and pedestrians on Maui.

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