For John Kelley, cycling isn’t about how far or how fast. Ask the vice president of investor relations at Alexander & Baldwin about his most memorable rides and he’ll tell you about hearing cowbells on a misty country road outside of Munich. Or there was that time he could the smell the perfume of two well-dressed ladies on their way to church in Kahuku. And he never gets tired of the sight of the verdant rainforest along the Old Pali Road.
“The whole thing about cycling is that feeling of freedom and discovery,” says Kelley. “It can happen along a landscape you’ve never seen before or along a road that you’ve traveled a thousands times. You just can’t experience the world from behind the wheel of a car like you can from the saddle of a bike.”
Kelley began his biking career as a cycling dad, shuttling his son back and forth to club practices and races. One day, Kelley, an experienced runner, asked his son (who was mortified) and his teammates whether he could join in on the competition. Soon, he was pedaling along the highways and byways of Hawaii, taking in the sights, sounds and smells.
Today, Kelley is president for the Hawaii Bicycling League and his club Cambio d’Andatauro. He’s also president of the Hawaii State Cycling Association and is a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Bicycling. Kelley also coaches a triathlon clinic in the spring while still managing to ride at least two times a week.
“As far as racing goes, I’m a middle-of-the-pack cyclist,” says Kelley. “I got involved in the sport a little too late. But I get a big charge from introducing people to the wonder of the sport, that incredible sense of accomplishment you get after a long ride.”