LIHU‘E — Wendy McKintosh got to use a new electric-assisted bicycle during the August Bikes on Rice event sponsored by Get Fit Kaua‘i, the Kaua‘i Path, the County of Kaua‘i, and a host of community sponsors.
“Her other bike is too big and heavy to fit on the Kaua‘i Bus,” said Tommy Noyes of Kaua‘i Path. “The one she’s using is part of a grant from the Office of Economic Development to promote the use of eBikes. We’re working with Wendy on the problem of her bicycle and riding the bus.”
Ben Sullivan worked with McKintosh on getting the bike turned on and having the rider get familiar with the bike ahead of the leisurely ride around town starting from the Lihu‘e Civic Center fronting the Moikeha Building.
“Whoa!” McKintosh said. “This is No. 1? I think I might leave it here for the whole ride. Are we getting back by 6 p.m.?”
Held on the second Tuesday of the month, Bikes on Rice is described as “safe, slow-paced fun rides throughout the surrounding neighborhood designed for all ages and abilities.”
Josh Pappas took advantage of this, bringing his fold-up three-wheeler to ride in the Very Leisurely class that was teamed by Rich McKeever, whom Noyes described as an accomplished bicyclist who formerly put in at least 40 miles daily in New York.
“Rich is the sweeper for the Bunny, Rabbits and Turtles,” Noyes said. “That is our Very Leisurely class. The Marin County bicyclists came up with the classes that range from Very Leisurely — usually 6-year-olds coming off training wheels — to the C-Class where cyclists maintain a 20 mph pace throughout the ride.”
The classification is part of a new format to Bikes on Rice, where group leaders take out smaller groups of six riders or less, and the group leader deciding the route. The smaller groups also allow for groups of different abilities and levels.
Sullivan made sure all participating cyclists had a waiver signed, and Noyes was ready with extra helmets, and face masks for those who did not have them. Bikes on Rice coordinators and group leaders all don masks before the ride. Once on the road, face masks become optional as bicyclists maintain social distancing between riders.
The next Bikes on Rice is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8 starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Lihu‘e Civic Center.