Greg Downie

Thursday, 8th September 2011

Greg Downie is one of those guys who seems to get younger rather than get older!  The 59 year-old veteran cyclist is one of the island’s most enthusiastic riders, and a role model for aspiring young cyclists.  When he’s not working as Master Chef at Silver Point Hotel, Greg is either on his bike training or coaching the members of the Junior National team.

Greg loves the sport of cycling and he’s still winning races home and abroad.  Indeed he held the fastest time from Warrens to St Lucy Church and back for 20 years, and since the road has now been altered, it will never be broken!

But Greg is no dinosaur in his sport and is always updating his equipment to keep abreast of modern technology –

“Cycling is much better today than what it was 40 years ago when I won my first bike after entering a Redifusion radio contest.  There were only fixed speed bikes in those days, and most of the early meets were held at the Old Kensington Oval on a grass track.  The first National Road Race from the Esplanade around the island took place in 1971 when the Cycling Union was in its infancy.  Nowadays bikes have 20 different speeds and there is a huge emphasis on lighter machines.  I have a Scott bike carbon fibre which is the lightest bike around right now.  The legal limit is 14 pounds and I just about make it with my water bottles!”

Greg has certainly plenty happening in his cycling life as Coach of the 15-18 year olds, and preparing and competing in local and overseas events.  The major goal in 2011 is the Masters Championships in Cuba in August/September and there’s plenty to do in preparation for that event.

Greg has some good advice to visitors that want to share his enjoyment of cycling in Barbados;

“There are plenty of clubs to hook up with through the Barbados Cycling Union website (www.barbadoscyclingunion.org). Many visitors already do this and have great fun.  If  I could add one more important safety tip on top of our normal safety precautions, then it would be to forget the ipod when you are cycling! Otherwise, happy days!”

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