THE  BARBADOS  CYCLING  UNION

CYCLISTS CENTERED PERFORMANCE DRIVEN

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The official website of the Barbados Cycling Union.

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246-429-1998

ABOUT

A BREEF HISTORY OF HOW THE ORGANIZATION HAS DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS.
Cycling in Barbados has a long and proud history.  Dating back to the 1940’s, Barbados’ cyclists dominated the Caribbean grass track scene, and with names like Dobbie Douglas, Garry Hoppin, and later Lyle Carmichael and John Skinner.  

All these riders are still remembered fondly by members, who witnessed or have been informed of their exploits.  The primary venues of that epoch were the grass tracks of Kensington Oval in Barbados, Bourda in Guyana, Queens Park Oval and Guayacara Park in Trinidad, and Sabina Park in Jamaica.

Indeed, it was a cyclist who first represented Barbados at the Olympic Games.  In 1952, Ken Farnum was the Caribbean’s leading bike rider. But as Barbados had no Olympic Committee, Farnum was given a slot on the Jamaica Olympic team to compete at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

During that early period, the sport was governed by the Amateur Athletic and Cycling Association.  Track and field was a popular sport and the cyclists of the day felt that their progress would be impeded if both sports were managed by one body so it was agreed that there should be a separation of the sports of atheletics and cycling. 
The Barbados Cycling Union was therefore formed in 1962.  The

Union’s primary mandates were to: -

promote, encourage, develop the art and past-time of cycling and to support and protect the interest of racing cycling and
supervise and control all amateur and professional cycle racing in Barbados.

With the formation of the Cycling Union, Barbados’ cyclists commenced participating at major international meets.  In 1962, Barbados’ first cycling team to the Central American and Caribbean Games in Kingstown, Jamaica comprised Vernon Parris and the late Richard Brown. In 1966 Barbados was represented in cycling at the Commonwealth Games and another large team was sent to the Central American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico  that year. 

1968 was a landmark year for Barbados cycling from two perspectives.  Road racing was introduced.  Prior to 1968, road racing was against the law in Barbados.  This was a major impediment to the sport, as road competition is an integral part of the Cycling discipline. 
The first compititions were held at Bushy Park in the parish of St. Philip on what became known as "The Race Road"

Secondly, Barbados’ cyclists participated at an Olympic Games for the first time as a nation.  A team comprising Colin Forde, Michael Stoute, Richard Roett and Kingsly Reece, competed in Mexico City.

Participation at this higest level of sports has continued  with cyclist Hector Edwards, Charles Pile, Barry Forde, Rodrick Chase and Vincent Lynch compeating in successive Olympic years. Of note when examining this history is the fact that Colin Forde and Barry Forde were the only father and son to ever represent Barbados in Cycling. Barry doing so twenty four after his father.
Although Barbados cycling had made tremendous inroads and was seeing frequent international competition, there remained a major disadvantage.  All track cycling in Barbados was still held on the grass surface at Kensington Oval.  A venue that was only available on the days of competition.

Thus, when the Barbados National Stadium, with its internationally recognised cycling velodrome, was completed in 1970, it marked another major achievement for the sport.  It enabled the cycling management of that era to hold large international cycling meets at the stadium venue. 

These competitions featured the world’s best cyclists, usually five or six world champions from Europe and North America would be on hand.  Cycling became a very popular sport in Barbados and attracted a large number of participants and patrons.

These international extravaganzas achieved a number of things.  It enhanced Barbados as a sports tourism destination.  It uplifted the sport of cycling and also generated revenues to the Cycling Union, which could be used in facilitating and stimulating the sport.

Today, cycling is still a very popular sport in Barbados, and the Cycling Union has seven categories of membership namely Ordinar, Life, Honorary, Club, Private Rider, Visiting and Affiliated Membership.

Barbados is now the home of the Pan American Cycling Champion Barry Forde.  One the Caribbean’s leading bike riders, Barry has won gold, silver and bronze medals in major international competitions.  Prior to Barry Forde’s emergence, only Hector Edwards had won medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games with a bronze medal in 1974 and a silver medal in 1978.

The Barbados Cycling Union continues to work toward the development and enhancement of the sport of cycling in Barbados.  A hurdle is the very high cost of cycling equipment.  The organisation however remains very active and with the various plans and projects on the drawing board, it is expected that cycling will continue to develop.
MEET THE TEAM
The executive of the BCU is copmosed of professionals who bring a wide set of skills into play to facilitate the smoth and efficent management of the sport. The skills range from Business management, legal practicioners, ITC consultants and Insurance specialists. The common bond is an emence love foe the sport of cycling and the sincere desire to support our membership and rebuild the sport .