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Cycling protest

Justin Marville

Cycling protest

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The real trial may be getting cyclists to ride.
Local cycling could face yet another major boycott from its national series, as several members of the sport’s body have threatened not to take the line at Sunday’s time trial unless the potentially dangerous St Philip course is abandoned.
Team G4S Swift coach Colin Forde revealed the possible plans ahead of a meeting with some of the parents of the younger cyclists concerning their safety.
“How can you have a time trial coming on to the ABC Highway when you are putting them at risk by having them go on to that highway with traffic going to and coming from the airport?” questioned Forde.
“Parents already have raised their concerns about this route, and the Barbados Cycling Union (BCU) has had problems with marshals at normal races, so how will they expect to marshal a course like that?
“Now we have to make a decision whether we are going to allow our kids to ride this course because we cannot endanger these kids just for the sake of riding a national championship,” he added.
Starting outside the entrance to the Foursquare distillery, the event is supposed to head towards St Patrick’s and Searles before turning left at the roundabout and passing Slumberfoam en route to the ABC Highway.
The riders will then turn left on to the Highway, go past the Grantley Adams International Airport and go on by Casa Grande. From there, the cyclists will go on to the junction at Six Roads and keep left before returning to the Foursquare start.
Yet Forde reasoned the membership expressed a concern over the course from the moment the route was revealed, pointing out the course featured four roundabouts and various points the police won’t be able to properly supervise.
Forde said he had discussed the matter with the racing secretary and proposed another course.
“I mean our cyclists can’t be trying to go as fast as they can when they’re riding and concentrating on people coming out of side roads while thinking about avoiding oncoming traffic.”
Customarily, the national time trial would be staged just outside Mile-And-A-Quarter along the Highway 2A course, but the BCU apparently decided to make a change due to roadworks earlier this year.
But Forde has reasoned that route is now suitable for use, and said he explained such to the executive.
It’s not the first time this season the BCU has been knocked over its safety measures, with Loraine Goodman urging the executive to stop staging road races without sufficient police presence after nearly witnessing her son, Chayne, get knocked down by oncoming traffic.
Three years ago, 21 riders staged a protest against the BCU by refusing to move off the line at the national road race, but that was in objection to the event’s rescheduling.
BCU president Keith Yearwood was unavailable for comment up to press time.