Riders flash smiles, feel safely back in saddle during Hilo Climbing Time Trial

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Dave Lee puts his number on his helmet before participating in the Hilo Climbing Time Trial hosted by the Hawaii Cycling Club in Hilo on Saturday, July 18, 2020.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Leonard Bisel cycles up Saddle Road to compete in the Hilo Climbing Time Trial hosted by the Hawaii Cycling Club up Saddle Road in Hilo on Saturday, July 18, 2020.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald, Steve and Nancy Lundblad ride a tandem bike Saturday while cycling in the Hilo Climbing Time Trial, hosted by the Hawaii Cycling Club, up Saddle Road.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Laupahoehoe’s Melissa Schad won the women’s division Saturday, finishing in 1 hour, 15 minutes, 45 seconds.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Cyclists prepare for the Hilo Climbing Time Trial, hosted by the Hawaii Cycling Club, which took them 12 miles up Saddle Road in Hilo on Saturday.

  • KELSEY WALLING photos/Tribune-Herald Jeff Lassle passes Leonard Bisel on Saturday while they compete for third place up Saddle Road in the Hilo Climbing Time Trial, which was hosted by the Hawaii Cycling Club.

It was a perfect day for a bike ride at the Hilo Climbing Time Trial on a sunny Saturday.

“It went really well. We had a few people, unfortunately, who couldn’t make it because the road closed in Volcano, and a few couldn’t finish because of mechanical issues,” said event organizer Jennifer Real. “It was beautiful and everyone felt safe and had fun.

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“For the turnout, we had twice as many as last year. We had to cancel some participants because of COVID-19. We want to grow and build the cycling community.”

The Hilo Cycling Club limited the number of participants to 30.

Sam Anderson-Moxley won the men’s division, completing the 12-mile jaunt up to Saddle Road in 46 minutes and 31 seconds.

“It was a lot of fun. It was my first race in a long time,” Anderson-Moxley said. “It was nice to have competition. It’s been a long time away from competing.”

He and his wife Katie were married last June and moved to Waikoloa in December. He’s an elementary school teacher and competed on the semi-professional cycling circuit back in California, where’s he’s from.

“I won a lot when I was younger,” he said. “But as a pro, the wins were fewer and fewer. It’s nice to have a little victory.”

Melissa Schad, from Laupahoehoe, captured the women’s division in 1:15:45.

“Overall, I was really excited,” she said. “My time was very comparable to last year. I was happy about that.”

Riders started out on 30-second intervals, so social distancing was safely in place.

It made even vigilante people like Schad feel comfortable.

“I had a mask on going to the top in the beginning,” she said. “Then I put it in my back pocket and at the finish line. I’m always thinking about it (coronavirus) and washing my hands.”

Schad fits the mold of an amateur biker who turned biking into a journey of fitness.

“I started as an amateur athlete, and I set goals. It took me 10 years to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in 2005,” she said. “I started my family in 2006. For me, fitness is important. It’s part of my daily life. I’m a coach who promotes everyday fitness. I coach people to be active.”

Her website “jawsaquatics.com” promotes that, offering swimming and biking lessons for young and old.

Real is also the medical director for North Hawaii Hospice. She deals with COVID-19 patients

The HHSAA recently postponed the start of high school football to Aug. 31.

But is football safe?

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“A lot depends on the status of COVID-19 locally,” she said. “There are not many cases. Sports could be considered. But things could spiral out of control with different scenarios.”

Maybe the safest sporting activity for now is to put on a mask and go for a bike ride.

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