Dogs, cattle also hell to Hell of the Marianas bikers

MVA chair warns of stray dog on Capital Hill, cow in Marpi

People are being urged to keep their dogs leashed and their cows behind fences to ensure the safety of the many cyclists who would be training for the upcoming annual Hell of the Marianas.

Speaking during Tuesday’s Marianas Visitors Authority board meeting, MVA chair Marian Aldan-Pierce said she may sound like a broken record as far as the Hell of the Marianas is concerned but MVA really need to work with the Saipan Mayor’s Office and the Department of Public Safety for the safety of bikers.


Aldan-Pierce recalled that she was with a group of bikers going through the Capital Hill area when they were chased by a pit bull. She said they stopped and didn’t know what to do because it was not just the pit bull, but about seven other dogs that have been aroused by the commotion.

She said the fact that the dogs were not leashed is very dangerous because a lot of Hell of the Marianas bikers will be training before the actual race.

Aldan-Pierce said there was also a “stupid cow” in Marpi that recently injured two cyclists when it suddenly crossed the road. She noted another incident when a lawyer crashed his bicycle because the cattle came running out of the nearby jungle.

Aldan-Pierce said majority of cattle owners have grazing permits, which means that these cows should be behind a fence. She recalled that the cows were freely roaming around Marpi several years ago, prompting them to complain to the Department of Public Lands secretary.

“The secretary of Public Lands came out and said, ‘If you guys don’t keep your cows behind the fence, it’s open season.’ The next day, all the cows disappeared,” Aldan-Pierce said.

Aldan-Pierce said these incidents are dangerous to bikers, so they have to start making announcement advising people to keep their cows behind fences and their dogs in their properties.

Hell of the Marianas, a 100-kilometer bike race that started in 2007, is a yearly signature event of the MVA that boasts of stunning views from Saipan’s northern to southern tips.

The event is considered the “ultimate race” in the CNMI, with professional athletes from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Russia, China, Australia, the Philippines, and elsewhere participating.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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