With the growth in amateur cyclists, both new and former cyclists, casual riders, cycling competitions and professional riders past and present frequenting these shores one could be forgiven for thinking that Cayman is one of the hot beds of European cycling. Like its very distant global neighbours where cycling/the bicycle is king and clubs are numerous like the sands on our shores comes the Cayman Islands first ever cycling club 53//11 Crankers.
"53//11 Crankers Cycling Club will be geared towards the promotion of cycling awareness and cycling events on the Island in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Cycling Association (CICA)”
...says Barry Jones, Founder of 53/11 Crankers Cycling Club and Vice President of the Cayman Islands Cycling Association.
The aim of the Club is to provide an environment which will help promote fitness through cycling as well as promote the bicycle as an alternate means of transport on an island which will eventually to a halt (e.g George Town and West Bay Road) due to vehicular traffic.
Crankers will also focus on attracting a greater number of youth and women to the sport by holding clinics on proper riding etiquette in a safe environment so that they can build confidence before reclaiming the roads.
But the club won’t stop at cycling it also has plans to run an awareness campaign in conjunction with all the stake holders which include CICA, NRA, the RCIPS and the Auto Association to name a few, to promote safety not only for cyclist but for all road users.
In terms of events we plan to hold races that will supplement CICA’s racing calendar which hopefully will attract international attention and riders.
So what’s in the name you ask? Basically the name equates to pure strength and raw speed on a bike. The hardest gear commonly used in road racing (gearing) is a 53 tooth chain ring up front (part of the crank) and an 11 tooth sprocket (part of the free wheel/body) on the back. At 90 rpm of the crank which is considered optimal cadence you can power a bicycle to approx. 34 mph using that combination and upwards of 40 mps in full sprint.
Not everyone loves racing a bicycle like I do but most have had/ridden a bicycle at some point and know the freedom that it gives.
But why such a passion for the bicycles? In no other sport do you get to travel great distance at relative speed through country sides up the side of a mountain. You get to take in breath taking sceneries while getting fit and staying healthy. Also most of my best ideas like this club was conjured up on the bike. I have seen quite a bit of the world on my bicycle.
Why start a cycling club? Cayman for a small cycling country boasts several Olympians, Carifta Champions and a even semi-pro. In fact Cayman first medals at any games came from cycling. The sport however went through a period of non-existence and being part of the group that got it going again some years ago I feel it is my duty to make the Cayman Islands prominent in the Cycling world once more and that I hope will be fostered at the club level.
Crankers can be followed on Facebook (53//11 Crankers)