Adventure cyclist Conor O’Brian rides for Imua Family Services
Adventure cyclist Conor O’Brian will undertake a nearly 200-mile expedition around the entire island of Maui in support of Imua Family Services.
The nonprofit’s mission of helping children and families reach their full potential resonates deeply with O’Brian, who has spent multiple summers focusing on empowering kids to overcome challenges.
While much of his year is spent bouncing around the country in search of epic rides, O’Brian’s recent winters have been spent on Maui, where he plies his bicycle expertise and graphic design training as an employee at local bike shop Maui Sunriders.
“Coming into this winter of cycling training, one of my goals has been to ride all three of the major cycling routes that draw cyclists to the island – the West Maui Loop, the East Maui Loop, and the climb to the 10,000-foot summit of Haleakalā – in one single effort,” said O’Brian.
This undertaking opened up an opportunity for O’Brian to use his passion for cycling to support the children and families of Imua Family Services, who he first met through their annual Pedal Imua fundraiser, a gran fondo bike ride that traverses the West Maui Loop.
O’Brian’s ride begins with an early-morning start in La Perouse on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, followed by a long clockwise trek through South, West, North, and then East Maui. Emerging out of Kaupō, he’ll travel upcountry and finish atop the summit of Haleakalā.
For local cyclists looking to accompany O’Brian, he welcomes fellow riders for as long, or as little, as they would like. He does caution that he’ll be maintaining a brisk pace to ensure that he makes it to the summit for sunset. For others wishing to cheer on O’Brian, he welcomes safe roadside encouragement and is happy to exchange a quick smile or give a hi-five along the way.
Imua Family Services is thrilled that O’Brian has chosen the nonprofit to benefit from his ride.
“To undertake a 200-mile ride around Maui, from sea level up to the heights of Haleakalā, is a feat in and of itself. But to direct the attention of that achievement to benefit our local keiki and families really speaks to who Conor is as a person,” said Executive Director Dean Wong. “Imua deeply appreciates Conor’s support and the support it receives from Maui’s incredible cycling community.”
A similar undertaking was completed in 1980 by Scotty Ebberbach. Decked out in a white satin cape, Ebberbach traversed the road to Hāna on a moped to raise funds for Imua Family Services, then known as the Society for Crippled Children and Adults.
“Times have changed, and gears have shifted, but the drive and passion to help keiki on Maui remains strong and fuels the passion of riders like Conor,” according to representatives with Imua Family Services.
O’Brian’s GoFundMe campaign, which will direct 100% of its proceeds to Imua Family Services, has recently surpassed his initial goal of $2,500. For more information about O’Brian, and to help him reach his next fundraising milestone, visit Imua Family Services at www.imuafamily.org.