International BMX racer Maliek Byndloss in Jamaica this weekend
BMX Jamaica's National BMX Racing Team received a big boost as Maliek Byndloss, who finished the 2013 season as the UCI's #6 ranked junior rider in the world, switched his riding allegiance from the United States to Jamaica.
The move created waves in the international BMX scene and quickly put BMX Jamaica firmly on the international map.
Maliek has now confirmed he will be in Jamaica at the Eden Park BMX track in Jacks River, St Mary, today to conduct a riding clinic with local riders at the track. In an exclusive interview, Maliek noted "I'm looking forward to working with riders in Jamaica and sharing with them some of the tactics and techniques that have helped me to become the rider I am today."
The Eden Park BMX Track, which is the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean was completed in July 2012 and has become the focal point of a growing BMX racing scene on the island.
Saturday mornings find the track filled with local riders looking to progress their skills. The Jamaica Cycling Federation's BMX Coordinator Jonathan Gosse explained that "training is held on Saturday mornings and normally sees 20-30 riders. It is free to use for all those who want to participate. Donated bicycles, helmets and pads are also available to use for riders who don't have their own equipment".
Gosse also expressed his excitement about Maliek coming to Jamaica. "Maliek's presence on the national team gives BMX Jamaica instant credibility on the international scene. Watching Maliek's progress as he practises intensely for the 2016 Olympics in Rio will be fun, but for us, it is equally important that we work hard to ensure our local riders have the resources and opportunity to follow in Maliek's footsteps. His commitment to the local riding scene will be critical in our efforts to develop the sport here in Jamaica."
The day after the clinic at the Eden Park BMX track, Maliek will attend the Jamaica Bicycle Bash at James Bond Beach.
"I'm looking forward to the Bicycle Bash. It sounds like a really fun event and it will be great to be around so many people who share a love for bicycles and cycling."
The Jamaica Bicycle Bash, a project of the Oracabessa Foundation, is dubbed "A Celebration of Jamaica Bicycling Culture". The day is filled with races, games and competitions.
The "Rambo Race" is a 5K race that loops three times around Oracabessa and James Bond Beach. The crowd favourite "Rambolympics" sees riders carrying various items on their bicycle around a 200m track. There are also stunt demonstrations, a bunny hop competition, and lots of other games and races. Gates open at 10:00 am. Admission is $100 with a bicycle or $200 without.