Saturday night. Honolulu. It is not easy as a cyclist here, especially not when you grew up in Europe where bicycling was a part of your education through mandatory classes in elementary school. It's a big shift from the dedicated lanes of bike-friendly cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona and of course Cologne.
In Honolulu bike lanes hardly exist. There are a few very beautiful paths in the tourist areas like 'Ala Wai', but commuting in the city is a different story. Irritated car drivers aren't used to dealing with bicycles in the road and usually aren't paying attention. As a cyclist you have to be wide awake and swerving back and forth between streets and sidewalks, depending on which is less dangerous at any given moment. It's no surprise that most people here leave bicycles to rust in the garage once they get their driver's license.
But the bike lovers are here. You can sense it at every turn - time is changing and they are searching for each other to come together, and we are excited to be part of this thriving community. Just like last Saturday afternoon around 70 to 80 passionate bike riders met for 'Bike-In Movie 2.0' to celebrate cycling in the city. Of course almost everybody went by bike to Old Stadium Park with a blanket on the rack and had a warm and open-hearted get-together. After music, bicycle fun, dancing and poetry, the documentary 'To Be Heard' played on a large reverse-projection screen and quality sound system as we laid down our bikes and relaxed on the grass under a beautiful starry night.
It was the second event of the hosts, R3IMAGE, a collective of urban planners working to expand equity, public voice and creativity in community action.
I liked it a lot and hope that 'Bike-In Movie Night' will become established and will bring more and more bike lovers together.