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Hawaii Bicycling League Looking Ahead to Self-Directed Century Challenge

Rokuro Inoue
Hawaii Bicycling League

Organizers recently announced Kona's Ironman World Championship would be delayed to February 2022 due to the COVID-19 case surge, no doubt disappointing triathletes training for the event.

Lori McCarney can relate.

McCarney, head of the Hawaii Bicycling League, thought she would be heading to Ironman 70.3 in New Zealand this fall. The event was canceled in 2020 and set to resume this year, but she just got word it has also been pushed to 2022.

But McCarney’s main focus is the bicycling league's major fundraiser scheduled for Sept. 26.

The Honolulu Century Ride, usually a 100-mile route from Kapiʻolani Park to Kaʻaʻawa and back, has become the Century Challenge this year due to the pandemic.

Start times, routes and more will be up to the rider — there will be no cones or police, the league said.

"So our thought is: do it on one day, everybody can share the experience of biking on a certain day. We'll provide support to them, we'll provide some little challenges and we'll make it an event that can be fun, but not traditional — and as safe as we can possibly make it," McCarney told Hawaiʻi Public Radio.

McCarney is hopeful the event can still happen. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced Monday the suspension of large organized events for 28 days, starting Wednesday through Sept. 22.

It could be extended "based on current conditions and impacts to the medical providers," the city said.

Suspended events include conferences, trade shows, concerts, gatherings in connection with weddings and funerals, and ticketed sporting events, according to the city.

McCarney said you may see more bicycles out on the road on Sept. 26, but not necessarily in the same place.

"We need the support. It's been a tough couple of years for us so we're hoping people will support us," she said. "Join us. We'll have some swag for you, and support you, and you'll have fun and be out and out biking with lots of other people."

Register for the Century Challenge here. This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 24, 2021.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
Sophia McCullough is a digital news producer. Contact her at news@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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