The official bicycle hill climb race of Kauai – Pedal to the Meadow – gears up for riders on May 24 at 8 a.m. Riders begin on the hot and dry west side of the island, climbing along the rim of Waimea Canyon, up to the cool and wet Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow in Kokee State Park.
Top cyclists from around Hawaii and the Philippines come to tackle the scenic, but challenging nearly 16-mile climb with an elevation of 3,835 feet. If you plan to partake in the event, you must register before race day and have a USA Cycling license.
A first place finish will give the winner $50. Second place gets $30.
For cyclists’ safety, and to help minimize driver frustration, officials with the race suggest using the Waimea side road between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. when the race kicks off. Officials remind drivers to use caution, patience and to be considerate of the cyclists when driving along the course route and by Kokee Museum.
Race organizers welcome fans to gather at the start and finish lines, even along the race course, to cheer on the cyclists. Just make sure you get there before the race begins and if you’re cheering along the route, don’t stand in the road.
You may even be interested in volunteering for race day to help organizers with various duties. Since the weather can be significantly cooler at the race end than the starting point, race volunteers take a cyclist’s small “top bag” – which is typically packed with dry clothes, a recovery drink mix, and other shoes – to the finish line for them.
An interesting note about Kokee State Park: you can’t get a cell signal. There is a pay phone next to the museum. (Just to see a working pay phone may be worth the climb in and of itself!)
Riders, volunteers, and their support teams are also invited to an “after party” at The Garden Island Inn.
This is the 6th year for the Pedal to the Meadow event, sponsored by the Tradewind Cycling Team, which continues to grow in popularity.
To register for the race, or to see if you can volunteer, visit: www.kokee.org/festivals or call the Koloa Landing staff at 808-240-6600 to find out more.