Imua Family Services, along with a committee of community-based cycling enthusiasts, has announced the launch on Dec. 1 of what is planned as an annual event, Pedal Imua Gran Fondo.
A gran fondo is a type of long-distance road cycling ride which originated in Italy in 1970, and roughly translates into English as “Big Ride.”
The event includes the option of 60- or 30-mile rides, an elevation gain of 4,173 feet starting and ending at sea level, and a mass start at 7 a.m.
Pedal Imua is sponsored by Krank Cycles, Maui Cyclery, West Maui Cycles, Minit Medical, Deep Relief Peak Performance, Old Lahaina Luau and Maui Brewing Co.
Registration for either ride can be done online at www.pedalimua.com.
Pedal Imua is a fundraiser with the goal of becoming an annual event that celebrates the lives of children with special needs by embracing our connection to the aina, which defines our sense of place, “Hawaii nei,” according to an announcement. Pedal Imua will benefit Dream Imua, a program to give hope back to children in life-altering circumstances.
Dream Imua, formerly A Keiki’s Dream, grants child-directed dreams to children ages 4 to 16 in crisis of any nature, such as abuse, neglect, trauma or major medical issues. Dream Imua not only offers a reprieve from suffering, but validates the child’s self-worth, sending positive messages of support and encouragement, reminding the child what it is to have hope.
With hopes to engage the cycling community, Pedal Imua invites riders and cycling enthusiasts to ride to support Dream Imua and to participate in the West Maui Mountain Loop, which stretches nearly 60 miles.
“We are so excited to launch this amazing event, and have received great support from Maui’s cycling community,” said Dean Wong, Imua Family Services executive director. “Dream Imua is such a meaningful and valuable program to children who are facing trauma in their life, the opportunity to have a dream-day is life changing.”
The event will include an Ohana Festival with festivities for the riders, volunteers and their guests, complete with massagse for riders, children’s activities, prize drawings, sponsor expos, food, beverages and live luau entertainment. The event will take place on the Special Events Arena lawn (the corner of West Kaahumanu Avenue and Kanaloa Street) at the War Memorial Complex.
For more information, visit www.imuafamilyservices.org.