It was 100 miles of blazing fun

The traditional kick-off event of
Cayman’s cycling season, the Massive 100 mile Challenge, took place recently.
The event, organised by the Cayman Islands Cycling Association, saw cyclists of
wide ranging abilities gather at Seven Mile Public Beach before dawn on Sunday
10 April, ready for the 5.30am start.

With long journey ahead of them and
the prospect of a very warm day, the early start was an absolute necessity.
Some 60 cyclists registered for the event, although a couple more who had
neglected to register for the event joined the group.

Cyclists started by completing a
circuit through the District of West Bay before heading out to the Eastern
Districts. The first refreshment stop took place after some 30 miles at the
Frank Sound Road junction, with cyclists taking their time to fuel up and
prepare for the next leg of the challenge.

From there, the participants cycled
through East End and North Side on their way to Rum Point, before heading back
to the water stop along Frank Sound Road. A number of cyclists who did not feel
up to the full 100 miles made use of the opportunity to turn right and head
back towards the finish line at Public Beach for a ride of around 80 miles,
while those aiming to complete the full distance turned left to complete
another circumnavigation of the Eastern Districts, without the additional
outing to Rum Point this time around.

One previous participant who was
not out on the road was David Kirkaldy of Massive Equipment Rental & Sales,
who had decided to step in as sponsor of the event this time around rather than
take on the 100 mile challenge.

“Massive was pleased to sponsor
this premier endurance event on the CI Cycling calendar. As a novice cyclist I
participated last year, completing about 85 miles. A century, particularly for
new road riders is a daunting goal,” said Kirkaldy.

The water stop was a great
improvement on previous years, with A Step Ahead Physiotherapy lending a
helping hand to those cyclists suffering from the effects of their epic
journey.

The Cayman Islands Red Cross was
also there in case of injuries or other health issues, but fortunately they
have a relatively quiet Sunday morning.

Towards the end of the event, the
fitter cyclists starting picking up the pace, eventually reducing the leading
group to around 10 including Perri Merren, Johan Heath, Dean Gaffigan, Michele
Smith, Barry Jones, Marius Deysel and Michael Stomps, who were in pursuit of
Steve Abbott, who had taken off down the road.

The group eventually caught up to
Abbott and a flurry of attacks followed, but no one was able to gain a
significant advantage. The group remained together on their way to the line,
with Abbott managing to sprint clear of Jones to cross the line first.

At the finish, participants were
treated to a barbecue courtesy of Calico Jack’s to help replace at least some
of the energy burned off on their arduous journey. There was also a random
prize draw, with prizes donated by Massive, including two Apple iPod Shuffles
and vouchers for Fireworks Ltd, as well as prizes donated by Digicel.

Kirklady has big plans for the 2012
edition of the event as well. “We hope to be able to sponsor the same event
next year and grow it, particularly among novice riders, perhaps with a
pre-event training schedule, and hope to have jerseys also,” he said.

The next cycling event is the
Cayman Classic Series, is on 1 May with an individual time trial, followed by a
different event each Sunday in May.

For more information on the events,
or to offer to volunteer at any of the events, e-mail [email protected]
or visit caymancycling.com

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