The handlebars, those are the first things one notices on Natalie Iwasa’s bicycle. The handlebars thrust forward from the stem and then swoop back majestically to give the rider a comfortable upright position. Ask Natalie where she found such unique handlebars and she can only recall that “they had in the back at McCully Bike a long long time ago.”
Natalie is the Bike Mom, one of Honolulu’s most vocal bicycle advocates. And her latest project is Cyclovia Hawaii - beginning with August 26th’s Hele On Kailua event. The premise of Cyclovia Hawaii originated from Bogota, a Colombian city that was so distraught with endless neighborhoods and rampant population growth that the city became downright hostile to reside in.
Bogota’s leaders were aware that public spaces were being lost to automotive travel. It began to take away the humanity of its people. So the city changed itself and began building parks and bikeways. Along the way Ciclovia was born, forbidding any privately owned vehicle to operate on city streets for one day. These days Ciclovia in Bogota is a weekly event, and seventy-five miles of streets become a people’s parkway.
Cyclovia Hawaii has smaller but equally as grand goals. Natalie wants “kids to be able to play and to feel free to run around and walk and bike. And these days, it is just not like that … I am just really concerned about the obesity rate and the lack of physical activity that a lot of kids experience, and I just think it is really important for us to do something about that.” As a mother of two, Natalie bikes to school at least three days a week with her children - rain or shine.
Working with a crew of volunteers - including Jeffrey Ideta - the Cyclovia Hawaii team has successfully maneuvered a pedestrian/bicycle only passage on Hekili Street in Kailua (from 11AM to 3PM). It will be first Ciclovia in Hawaii and participation is essential to demonstrate the island’s need to change its notions of public spaces. KVIBE will be collaborating with Cycle Manoa and attending in force - fingers crossed. Please come join us and celebrate human interactions without automobiles.
Additionally, KVIBE would like to thank Sadaf Kashfi from Canada for helping out at the warehouse for the last few weeks. A new year of school has begun, and it is brilliant time to be at KVIBE. The warehouse will be open for Admissions Day - August 17th - from 10AM-3PM but will be closed the following Saturday.
Hele On Kailua | CYCLOVIA HAWAII | August 26, 2012 | 11AM-3PM