Tearing it up on the trails

OMAO — About 300 riders young and old convened for the third annual Kapa Moke Jr. Boys Day Hare and Hound Poker Run races on Sunday.

The Garden Island Motorcycle Club hosted the affair in Omao.

“We got riders that are as young as 5 years old, and riders all the way up to about 70 to 80,” said GIMC president Bertram Almeida. “It’s just getting recognized as one of the more fun events for dirt bike riders. It’s not as intense as the Labor Day Hare and Hound. It’s more centered around families and celebrating children.”

The annual event is held in remembrance of Kapa Moke Jr., who passed away in a swimming accident in 2012. He was 3.

“He was a very outgoing little boy — 3-year-old who was always on the move,” said Kapa Moke Sr. about his late son. “He was a fun, happy boy. He used to like riding. We would come up here every weekend.”

“It’s just amazing. It’s such good vibes,” Moke said about the event that is dedicated to his boy. “I enjoy it so much because it’s good morale. It’s all about the kids. I see the kids having fun.

Moke, too, was among the 300 who rode the trails.

“It was good. It was fun. Everybody did a good job out there,” he said. “(The trail) was cut nice and safe, and all the kids were having fun.”

“I try to ride as much as possible. I used to ride every weekend. Now, I ride every other (weekend),” he added.

The races began at 9 a.m.

Participants of varying experience levels took in part in a hare and hound race, in which the objective is for the field of riders to chase after the “hare,” another rider on a dirt bike. A cash prize is given to the person who catches up to the target first.

Riders also took part in a poker run, in which riders went along a trail marked with ribbons, stopping at checkpoints to retrieve a 3-by-5 card. Whoever checks in first with all 10 cards is the winner.

David Carvalho of Lawai, 12, said he’s been riding since he was 3 years old.

“It was good. I crashed like 10 times,” he said about riding the trails. “We’ve been doing this for generations. My whole family rides bikes. … I would describe it as the most coolest feeling in the world.”

Trophies were given to top placers.

In addition, 21 bicycles that had been donated by various sponsors were given out to children who attended.

“It’s to give them something positive to do and teach them some life lessons — how to respect the land, how to interact with one another, and just get them away from the iPads and cell phones,” Almeida said about the young people who participated. “This helps get them out there and get them connected with the land. You can see it all around here.”

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