Registration open for 10th annual Pedal to the Meadow

  • John Steinhorst / The Garden Island file

    In this May 25, 2018 photo, more than 100 cyclists compete in the Pedal to the Meadow uphill race.

KEKAHA — Registration is open for the 10th annual Pedal to the Meadow, the bicycle hill climb race on Kauai, to be held May 25.

Pedal to the Meadow is the signature event of the Kauai Omnium— three USA Cycling-sanctioned races over two days over Memorial Day weekend. The Mana Time Trial and the “Cycle on the Strip” Criterium on May 26 round out the competition schedule.

A social group ride is planned for the following Monday along the Garden Island’s east and north shores.

“Hawaii geography presents a challenge to local cyclists,” said race director Binney Williamson. “Flying inter-island, shipping a bike, renting a car, paying for lodging all add up. So, we added the Time Trial and Criterium to justify the journey for Oahu and neighbor-island racers.”

About 100 riders from Kauai, other Hawaiian islands, and the US mainland are expected. The hill climb and time trial are open to trained riders who are at least 10-years-old. The criterium is open to adults ages 20-and-up. All events have riders in their 70s.

This active weekend on wheels is organized by Bicycle Racing Kauai with the support of the Honolulu-based Tradewind Cycling Team.

Pedal to the Meadow riders start the 16-mile climb at 8 a.m. at the old cane haul road in Kekaha, and follow the rim of Waimea Canyon to finish at Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow in the cool uplands of Kokee State Park.

“Every other island had a hill race except us, and we certainly have a hill,” said Mary Williamson, race operations manager. “The race elevation gain is over 3,800 feet.”

After almost a year of planning— combining her event-planning experience with her husband’s cycling knowledge and mentoring by veteran race promoter Atomman Kimm— Pedal to the Meadow was born in 2010.

The course record is held by Mark Galedo, now a professional cyclist in the Philippines, who in 2014 finished with a time of 58:02.

Regular group training rides are organized each spring. New riders also can set their bike on a training stand and watch a ‘you-are-there’ course video on the Bicycle Racing Kauai channel on Island Ride Kauai, an indoor cycling studio in Lihue, can also help people prepare.

On May 26, cyclists and triathletes will race against the clock in the 11-mile Mana Time Trial. Participants set out at one-minute intervals from MacArthur Beach Park in Kekaha and ride to the former Mana sugar camp area and back.

After a lunch break in Waimea town, the events continue at Kauai Raceway Park with timed sprint laps in the Cycle on the Strip Criterium. The public is invited to watch free of entry and should bring chairs, pop-up tents, refreshments, hats and sunscreen. Alcohol and animals, though, won’t be allowed. Spectators may pull up close to the drag strip.

Pre-registration is required at Entry fees vary by deadline and an annual or one-day USA Cycling license is needed each day. Packet pickup times and race rules are listed on the website.

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