Monday, May 7, 2001

Event promotes
bike commuting

May 14 to 18 marks
Bike To Work Week

By Lyn Danninger

Organizers of next week's Bike To Work Week concede the event is unlikely to attract a turnout of Tour de France proportions in Honolulu.

But even if the city's roadways are not covered in a sea of spandex, the idea is to encourage commuters of all ages to give bicycling to work a try and to reward those who already do.

Companies are also encouraged to recognize those employees who choose to bike to work, said Georgette Yaindl of the Hawaii Bicycling League.

"What we've focused on this year is getting some recognition for employees who already bike to work," she said.

Organizers of the event will be contacting Hawaii employers to ask them to recognize in some way those employees who are already biking to work, she said.

One of those companies who has already agreed to pay tribute to employees who bike is Big City Diner in Kaimuki.

The restaurant's bike-riding employees will receive lei and a free lunch, said the diner's owner, Lane Muraoka.

Muraoka says he will also change the marquee above the restaurant to remind people about the event.

"It will help to create more awareness (about bicycling) and it just makes sense," Muraoka said.

But there are some cyclists, like 58-year-old Richard Sullivan, who don't need any incentive to start pedaling.

Sullivan, an architect, bikes every day from home in St. Louis Heights to his downtown office. The trip is about five miles and takes 30 minutes, he said.

Sullivan says he became a bicycle enthusiast when he lived in San Diego. He describes the city as a bicyclist's dream.

"Of all the big cities I've been, San Diego is the best for bikes," he said.

He hopes one day Honolulu will have the same network of bike lanes and paths.

Sullivan says he even bikes around town to client's offices.

"I've become known as the biking architect," he said. "For me it's basically a way of life. I'm very comfortable."

As for words of advice for would-be bicylists, Sullivan has a few rules he lives by.

>> Pick your route and stay with it.
>> Always be visible.
>> Don't take risks. If you see a yellow light, stop.
>> Assume you can't be seen.
>> Give aloha and receive aloha. Automobiles aren't out there to kill you, give courtesy to drivers.

Bike to Work week culminates in rally downtown at the corner of Bishop and King Streets from 7 to 8 a.m. May 18 to celebrate national Bike to Work Day.

There'll be some prizes and also a free breakfast for cyclists, says the Bicycling League's Yaindl.

Sponsors of the event are City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii Bicycling League, The Bike Shop, Starbucks Coffee, Star 101.9 radio and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

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