HONOLULU (KHON2) — Daphne Manago likes to go on long bike rides these days just to focus on her son.
It’s been over 10 years since Zach Manago was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle. The driver fled the scene.
Zach is remembered every year by family, friends and cyclists at the annual Zachary Manago’s Ride in Paradise event, which celebrated its 10th edition Saturday.
“His vision was for safer streets so I’m sure he’s just smiling down and thrilled to see the turnout and just what the bicycle league is doing for his vision,” Daphne said.
Riders of every experience level geared up to hit the four-mile loop in Kakaako on protected bike lanes and infrastructure that has been renovated over the past decade to assist cyclists; the fruits of Zach’s vision to bring awareness for safer streets, riding with aloha and sharing the road.
“Normally we have 100-150 riders. This year we had over 300 riders. It was phenomenal,” Zach’s brother Nick said.
The vision has sparked change in Hawaii.
“Over the past 10 years, there’s been about $49 million which has come from the federal government. The state and city are managing on a master plan,” Hawaii Bicycling League Event Director Stacey Acma said.
Daphne has seen many changes over the past decade, but there is one personality that has been for the better. With free time during the pandemic, Daphne got back on her bike.
“So now I have a goal to do like 30 miles a week and I just enjoy it, I totally enjoy it. And I understand why Zach also loved it,” she said.
It gets her closer to her fallen son, who was an excellent athlete. Zach was a star baseball player at Moanalua High School, headed to play at Hawaii Pacific University. He was also an avid cyclist.
“There are many moments when I ride alone, and especially on his bike path, I do a lot of thinking and I kind of like that time alone just to spend to be focused on him and what it would’ve been like if I was riding with him,” Daphne said.
The Managos took some time Saturday to reflect on how much he enjoyed events like Saturday’s.
“He’s happy,” Daphne said. “I could just see him, you know? And I’ll just have to wait until I can see him again and be able to ride again. I miss him every day,”