Maui News

Hawai‘i Joins Initiative to Get People Cycling and Boost Clean Transportation

April 9, 2021, 8:59 AM HST
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

The Blue Planet Foundation launched the Hawai‘i Bike Challenge, a month-long initiative to get more people cycling as a mode of clean transportation. The bike challenge runs from May 1 to 31, 2021 and teams of up to 10 people are invited to sign up for free.

Teams will earn points and win prizes donated by local merchants by riding their bicycles and encouraging others to ride.

“The Hawai‘i Bike Challenge is a great opportunity for residents to get more comfortable with biking for transportation, whether they are a seasoned pro or a first-time rider,” said Lauren Reichelt, clean transportation director at Blue Planet Foundation. “As more people turn to cycling for fresh air and exercise, we also reduce noise pollution and congestion and create better communities to live in. If participants choose to bike to the beach or the drugstore instead of driving, we’ll see reductions in climate-changing carbon pollution.”

Hawai‘i continues to see the impacts of climate change, such as the increased risk of extreme weather events like flash flooding and hurricanes, sea level rise, erosion, and coral bleaching. The planet’s daily average carbon dioxide concentration hit a historic high on April 3 of 421.2 parts per million (ppm) as measured on top of Mauna Loa–up from 415.6 ppm one year ago.

Each trip by bike instead of by car is an opportunity for a Hawai‘i resident to reduce their climate impacts. In 2020, Hawai‘i emitted nearly four million metric tons of carbon pollution from ground transportation–more than 20 percent of the total statewide emissions. Reducing the number of trips by car by even a fraction has a substantial impact on our overall carbon footprint. During last year’s Bike Challenge, participants across the US made over 1.2 million journeys by bicycle, and one in five of those trips were for transport purposes.

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The Hawai‘i Bike Challenge is based on a tried and tested model through the Love to Ride website platform. So far, Love to Ride has engaged over 570,000 people worldwide, including 132,000 “new riders” – people who haven’t ridden a bike or have only ridden a few times in the 12 months prior to registration. The platform offers ways to share photos, participate in weekly challenges, learn more about biking, and receive encouragement along the way.

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To take part in the Hawai‘i Bike Challenge, individuals can sign up for free online. Participants can cycle anywhere, anytime from May 1-31 to earn points. Teams and individuals will have the chance to win prizes throughout the challenge, including a two-night stay at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel.

Managed by Blue Planet Foundation and the Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawai‘i, the Hawai‘i Bike Challenge was developed in partnership with Love to Ride and with sponsorship support from Ulupono Initiative, Hawaiian Telcom, and G70. 

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