SAIPAN, MP-Approximately 70 cyclists owned one of the northbound lanes along the seven-mile stretch of Chalan Pale Arnold (Middle Road) on Sunday en route to Banzai Cliff to express their intent to keep Saipan's northern end development free.
The cyclists turned out to show support for the CNMI Zoning Board's recent decision to block the encroachment of local business into Saipan's last remaining rural areas that has thus far staved off attacks from overzealous land developers.
Sunday's ride demonstrated the level of popularity that cycling has achieved in the Marianas and the pack of riders was an impressive sight for onlookers who caught a glimpse of Saipan residents live their healthy lifestyle.
The final destination was the same for all of the riders, but organizers offered three courses for road bikers, mountain bikers and newcomers to the sport. The road bikers stuck to the pavement as they raced up to Suicide Cliff, Bird Island, and the Grotto while the mountain bikers turned up the FEBC coral road, navigated down the Kimikaze Trail single track, shook off the mud on the way to Santa Claus Lane en route to the Cowtown Trail.
While the experienced riders answered Marpi's challenge, the newcomers enjoyed a straight shot from Garapan to Banzai Cliff and waited to the pack to regroup before the return trip.