OMA’O — A lot of firsts marked the trails that wound through the hills and forests of Bill Cowern’s orchards Sunday.
This was the first time that, through the cooperation of a lot of different entities, about 250 motorcycles, ATVs, mountain bikes, and keiki motocross enthusiasts were able to participate in an event in this area.
Kaua’i Off Road Riders (KORR) leaders emphasized that it was only through this cooperation that motocross enthusiasts were able to secure the Family Fun Poker Run in the trees in the area between the Kahili Mountain Park and Koloa.
“This is not a race,” the organizers said. “This is a family fun event.”
“This is a test to see if we can have a relationship,” the KORR leaders told the riders.
A representative from one of the leaseholders in the area told the group at a preevent briefing, “The owner will be dogging your trail after the event, so please, if you want to come back, heed the flags, and don’t damage the trees.”
Among the group of riders was Kristin Kawamura, 7, who was experiencing her first motocross under the supervision of her dad, Kela, who borrowed one of his daughter’s bikes to be able to slow down enough to keep up with Kristin.
“She’s been riding for about a year now, but this is her first event,” Kela said. “She wanted to come, so here we are.”
Another newcomer to the sport was Kawehi Taniguchi, who recently wrapped up soccer with the U-10 Tunda Girls. Taniguchi was breaking in a Grizzly 80 ATV while her sister Kylie, 13, joined cousin Britney Gardner on Kawasaki 100s.
Keiki Toy Run set for Sunday
Russell Haluapo reminds motorcycle enthusiasts that the annual Keiki Toy Run is coming up this Sunday, Dec. 11. The run helps gather toys for Kaua’i’s keiki. In the past, it has been led by Santa.
The group will gather at the historic county building from 9 a.m. with the convoy to Waimea leaving at 10 a.m. on a leisure cruise.
Everyone is asked to bring a toy, which does not need to be wrapped. Although billed as a motorcycle event, Haluapo said everyone is invited, on “motorcycle, car, or feet.”
For more information, call Haluapo at 639-0113.
Al Stiglmeier, one of the KORR sweepers for the B Class whose his house was just over the hill, said that for a long time he had been talking with Cowern about having this kind of event in the area.
As the roar of A- and B-Class riders took off in clouds of dust and smoke, a tiny bike with a barely audible purr emerged.
It was Kendall Van Giesen, whose grandfather was one of the KORR starters.
His toes barely reaching the pegs, the toddler emerged from the dust riding a specially equipped Honda 50 with training wheels.
“He can barely talk, but he can ride,” said Kendall’s grandmother, Wendee Van Giesen. “He’s been interested from when he was real little. But the whole family rides, so this is going to be his passion.”
Tom Leighton of Two Wheels pointed out the Waterfall Cafe cart that brought dining to the command area.
Leighton said he saw the trailer by Opaeka’a Falls, and when he approached Cecilia Moler and Myra Matangi about bringing the trailer to the event, they were all for it.
“We even brought the omelettes,” Moler said.
The business has been operating by Opaeka’a Falls for about two months. Moler’s sons help out, too: Chris is the head chef, and Justin is the general do everything guy.
- Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and email@example.com