Unlike many clubs, our group started off mostly by accident. Originally, it was nothing more than two ladies on a Saturday ride together. Occasionally another friend or two would join in. The point was not the get in a hard workout, but a chance to chat and catch up while burning a few calories. Eventually a small group went together to take part in a community ride in up in Waimea. The group didn’t even have a name then, but when asked who they were, they joked that they were the “Coffee Talkers” since they were mainly getting together for a chance to talk. When they were introduced as “The Coffee Talk Riders” cycling club, one of the ladies said “We’re a club??? Well then I’m making shirts!!” Eventually a few others joined in. It should be no surprise, but when a group of female cyclists get together for a regularly scheduled ride, the men are not very far behind!! Now, from these very humble beginnings, we have over 200 “members” (more on that later).
Our group started almost as a joke. But, unbeknownst at the time, the CTR’s were filling a very needed role in our community. While other clubs have some great cyclists who are very talented, our club was for more of the weekend-warrior type of athlete. This served as a great starting place for people entering the sport. Another thing that made the CTR’s different was that it started out as people getting together to socialize and ride. What we have now is a group of riders who also participate in different fun events. What kind of events? Well, we’ve gotten together for Laser Tag on a members coffee farm, Trivia Night at a local establishment, snorkel boat trips, countless dinners, bike part swap meets, and a 3-day Around the Big Island bike ride. We’ve had some great ideas from members that we have been able to act upon too. We’ve put together this little website, a FaceBook page and Twitter account. We send out weekly emails to everyone that has most every local race listed on it. We have a tent that we bring to triathlons and other events, and one of the best perks of all, a discount card for some of our local businesses…we like to call them our sponsors. Along the way, we have been able to take part in many of the great events Kona has to offer. CTR’s always seem to answer the call whenever a local event needs a few volunteers.
Our club has also been a great meeting place for people who want to step things up too. Need to find someone to go on a long run, or train with for your next triathlon?…you will likely find someone here to partner with. Looking for people to who swim from the pier just about any day of the week?...no problem! We have first time riders and people starting to make positive changes in their lives. We also have over a dozen Kona Ironman finishers in our group, and we love to cheer them on! Pretty much any level of fitness will fit in our group.
We would be remiss if we did not mention one of our signature events- The Birthday Ride! Once a month we celebrate the birthday of everyone who had a birthday that month. Of course no birthday would be complete without tassels on your handle bars, a birthday hat, and a Hawaiian lei! On the ride back we meet up at the coffee shop, drink, chat and eat some kind of birthday treat.
So as you can see, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have no dues, no bylaws, and no board. To become a “member” of our club, you only need to ride three times. As a member, you earn the Discount Card, where over 25 local businesses give us discounts. And if you are only in town a few weeks, we love visitors to join us!
Coffee Talk Riders - It's All About The Talk