Island-wide memorial ride honors slain bicyclist

By Jill Kuramoto
Published On: Jul 08 2012 01:20:00 PM HST

An island-wide bicycle ride raises awareness of bicycling safety and to help realize bicycle rider Zachary Manago's dream.

HONOLULU -

An island-wide memorial honoring a young victim of a fatal hit-and-run victim pedaled its way around Oahu Sunday.

Day two of the Zachary Manago Memorial Ride began at the State Capitol, and had hundreds of bicyclists pumping through the 144-mile course that finished Sunday afternoon.

The annual event is held in an effort to raise awareness of bicycling safety and to help realize Zachary Manago's dream nearly a year a half after the fatal collision

"I cannot, cannot believe it's been that long." said Rob Belgro, friend of Manago. "It feels like it was a few months ago."

On December 17, 2010 Zachary was killed while riding his bicycle, by a hit and run driver on Kamehameha Highway near Wahiawa.

Army Sgt. Douglas Curtis was sentenced in May to the maximum 10 years in prison for the crash.

Zachary was 18 years old.

"In his last term paper he wrote about having a more bike friendly Hawaii," said Daphne Manago, Zachary's mother. "And I think by raising awareness, some of his vision will hopefully come true," said Daphne Manago.

It's the second year, Manago's family and the Hawaii Bicycling League have organized this ride to raise awareness of bicycling safety and raise money for bike safety education.

"We ought to be able to connect the bike routes, we out to be using bicycles more frequently," commented Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle at Sunday's event. 

While the city supports the creation of more bike lanes. It's a long and sometimes controversial process.
Family and friends say while the ride is all for a good cause. Each bicycle and each mile moves them forward towards hope for safer roads and healing.

"If you just start small, if it's just one community, hopefully it will start happening throughout the state," Daphne Manago said. "I know this is what he wanted. I know he's watching over all of them."

On Tuesday,the Governor is expected to sign the "Vulnerable Users Bill" into law.

It increases the penalties for drivers who seriously injure or kill a cyclist, pedestrian, public safety officer or construction worker on a public road.

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