The Cayman Islands Cycling Association (CICA) was formed in September 1982 by Robert (“Bobby”) Nunes, an attorney with over twenty years of experience in national sports administration, including cycling in Jamaica. He served for seven years as the association's first president. William McTaggart Jr., the first vice president who later succeeded Nunes, rendered valuable services to the sport in its pioneering days. McTaggart's family store, “Uncle Bill’s,” was the initial headquarters and meeting post for island cyclists.
Expert and renowned cycling coach Mr. Ted Gray, then based in Jamaica, coached Cayman's leading young cyclists, including Michele and George Smith, Wayne McLaughlin, Richard Pascal, Dennis Brooks, Anthony Ebanks and Craig and Perri Merren, via frequent visits to the islands. He later became the resident cycling coach. Gray, who was the president of the Pan American Cycling Federation and an outstanding Coach throughout the Caribbean, Americas and Europe, was a blessing in the development of Cayman cycling.
Another key participant in the history of the CICA is John Reid, who moved to the Cayman Islands from Portsmouth, England with his wife Caroline and teenage children Rebecca and Jonathan in 1979. A senior rider and official, Reid was very passionate about cycling. Alongside Caroline, who became race secretary, he created aptitude for the growing number of cyclists in the islands, and also helped to create more races and sponsored events. Locally, Reid made a huge contribution to cycling as official, training supervisor, race director and cycling team manager of the Pan Am Games in 1987.
Cycling developed as a competitive sport from a non-existent level in 1982 to having a six person team compete at the Los Angeles Olympic Games only 24 months later in 1984! A remarkable achievement, no other sport in Cayman has progressed at such a fast rate. With the help of Coach Gray and the Jamaica Institute of Sports, Jamaican national road cyclist Arthur Tenn, who was an experienced road rider, was brought to Cayman to help prepare and improve the Cayman cycling squad for the 1984 Olympics. Tenn went on to become the 1st Caribbean cyclist to finish an Olympic road race.
The Cayman team completed the 100 kilometre course in 2:22:43. Four years later, at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the team knocked more than 3+ minutes off of that time. This time around, the islands' team was riding special low profile bikes designed for such events with rear disk wheels and 24-inch front wheels, as well as bull horn, or upturned, handle bars.
At its peak in the mid to late 1980s, the Cayman cycling scene was buzzing with organized races, training programs and youth development programs, and many athletes competed internationally in highly recognized events such as the Olympics, Commonwealth, Pan-Am, CAC, CARIFTA Games and other regional events. Cayman cycling gained recognition during the CARIFTA Games by winning the islands' first gold & silver medals on the track and many after in road events.
Through the keen dedication of Reid, now race director, the 1986 Milo Classics sponsored by Jacques Scotts, Nunes' brother in-law, would become one of the biggest cycling events in Cayman. Cycling clubs from Jamaica as well as top international riders such as Peter Aldridge, Raymond Thomas and Kurt Catnott brought a higher standard of racing to our roads.
Other events followed, like the 1990 Hydraulic Tour with international teams from Jamaica, Barbados and Miami-based cycling clubs arranged by Coach Gray and his international connections. Other sponsors such as Butterfield Bank, British Caymanian Insurance and Prudential Insurance companies assisted with cycling events in the 1980s and 1990s.
Through that peak we saw one of our most committed and talented riders, Perri Merren, develop into a semi-pro cyclist, riding with teams in places such as Spain, Europe and the USA. Merren brought pride to our islands, being the 2nd Caribbean cyclist to complete an Olympic R/Race in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, finishing 16th overall. Merilyn Phillips, the older sister of Craig and Perri Merren, completed in the first ever Olympic road race for women and to date remains the only woman to represent Cayman as a cyclist at the Olympic Games. Rebecca Reid, the second rider at the 1987 Pan-Am games, competed in the road race and track events.
International Games and Meets (1984 - 2014)
− Olympic Games 1984, 1988, 1992 & 1996 - (Events: Track, Team Time Trial & Road Race '84-'92 and '96 Road Race only)
− Commonwealth Games 1986, 1990, 2000, 2014 - (Events: Track, Team Time Trial, Indy Time Trial & Road Race)
− Central American Games (CAC Games) 1986 - (Events: Track, Team Time Trial & Road Race)
− Pan-American Games 1987- (Events: Track, Team Time Trial & Road Race)
− World Championships, Colorado Springs 1986 - Road Race
− CARIFTA Games 1985 - 1988 - (Events: Track & Road Race) (Is this right?)
− Tours of Dominican Republic - 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 (The Cayman cycling team placed 3rd overall in 1989)
− Red Lands Cycling Classic, California – 1986 (Events: Road Race)
− Jamaica Blue Mountain Time Trial – 1986, 1989 (4th place and 2nd place)
− Texaco Games 1989, 1990,1992 – (Events: Track & Road Race)
Although the public roads in their current state pose road safety challenges, the CICA currently uses them as the only means of organizing races and training. Dedicated cycling facilities, such as a BMX dirt track, are a current fundraising goal. This would serve island youth training in cycling, as well as those who enjoy the sport recreationally. This could lead to attending regional and international BMX events for riders between the ages of 5 and 18 years. A new generation of cyclists are emerging from the CICA's humble roots.
The Cayman Islands Cycling Association is committed to promoting the sport of cycling. We foster a spirit that, through social and competitive cycling events and gatherings, enables all of our riders to achieve their fitness and competitive goals.
Cycling as a sport promotes discipline, teamwork, physical fitness and dedication. The Cayman Islands Cycling Association promotes cycling within a competitive, constructive, friendly and supportive club environment. We advocate road riding etiquette, road safety, road traffic awareness and cycling as a sport for all in the pursuit of a healthy and active lifestyle. We strive to raise awareness of cycling among Cayman Islands youth, helping, coaching and encouraging them. The CICA organizes various cycling events throughout the year, including the Cayman Classic Series in May, Road Race & Time Trial Championships and more for the active cycling community.