The dusty town of Linden has long been known for its glorious history and exploits in the field of sport, having produced outstanding sports personalities in various disciplines: table tennis, football, hockey, volleyball, basketball, boxing, body building/weight lifting, cricket, swimming, track and field, etc. In the arena of cycling there was a time when we kicked up a storm, created much hysteria and rode with dominance against national top guns the likes of Neville Hunt, Johnny Crevalle, Kenneth Joseph, Errol McLean, Aubrey Gordon, Eon D’Ornellas, Randy Toussaint, Victor Rutherford, ‘Dark-horse’ Medford and Cliffy Mars, among others.
Back in those days the sole dominant cycle club in Linden was the Bauxal Cycle Club, which came under the dedicated watchful eyes of cycling enthusiast and patron, the late ‘Doc’ Anderson, former Guymine CEO, Dunstan Barrow and executives. Frankie Gitten, Judy Cameron, Delmon James, Wendel Trotz to name a few, provided many admirable, stellar and exhilarating performances and victories that maintained pride and kept the flag of the town flying high. Our cycling gems and ambassadors during that period were all household names in the community and beyond. They were: Vibert Rose, Ignatius ‘Iggy’ Titus, Gaylen Williams, Joylyn Joseph, Joseph ‘Brother’ DeAbreu, Linden Baker, ‘Chuck’ Lorrimer, Albert Rose… It was the might, style and endurance of this star-studded formidable bunch representing this dusty town that those top guns mentioned above contended. For all with interest and doubts, the records are available somewhere.
The recent annual Baker Memorial Classic that started off in front of the Bakers’ residence was very enlivening and a delight; it is no doubt a big plus for this town, now seeking to reclaim top rankings.
Only those who are not sports enthusiasts will not be familiar with the name Orville Hinds, who now rides for Team United. Though it is not quite a household name as yet, rest assured that once he keeps his performance in fine shape, it eventually certainly will become one. This Linden cyclist has been blazing the trail with splendid results, one of his most recent wins being the last leg of the five stage cycle ride for life, from his home town Linden to Georgetown, Carifesta Avenue.
The Stabroek News of April 17, 2014, under the headline, ‘Hinds most successful cyclist so far this season,’ wrote: “The most consistent cyclist in terms of wins for the season has been 2012’s National Road Race Champion, Orville Hinds. Hinds, a national rider, has won four events so far while placing second in two. He also finished third in another. The team United stand out also recording the fastest time for a 35 lap event this year. He stopped the clock in a scorching one hour, 14 minutes and 45 seconds when he won the feature Diamond Mineral Water meet in mid-March.”
Hinds started riding in 2008 as a B class in Linden, but rose quickly to record many impressive performances and quite a number of victories, and from all appearance does not intend to ease; his mind is set on creating history and he wants to do so in a big way, ‘big time.’ With a humble and quiet disposition, he is very disciplined and speaks with confidence, assurance and a positive mind of the goals he has set himself. He now rides for Team United comprised of former cyclists from Guyana, but the question of sponsorship is always a major hurdle. This is one reason why our emerging talented riders are constantly searching for favourable options, and why they will be easily lured into joining other clubs out of Linden, depriving the town/region of their prize medals.
Editor, some time not long ago, it was such a pleasure when myself and some brothers sat in conversation with one of Linden’s former cyclists, Ignatius Titus – the ‘Work horse,’ as he was referred to – reminiscing on the glory day of our cycling exploits, and the many scintillating events when our boys, the Bauxite Flyers, matched wheels against both national and international riders. ‘Iggy,’ as he is fondly called, during the course of the conversation could hardly contain his excitement; his exuberance overflowed as he recalled with much joy and pride electrifying snippets of a time gone. There was that sparkle in his eyes, and the fat full-moon smile was kind of contagious; the brothers were all engrossed and excited as well, jostling each other to tell of their most memorable experience. To hell with those who say the past is dead; it sure does linger on and roam, and can radiate, motivate and inspire. It can be used as a banner for the future, be our ‘singing tomorrow.’ It’s all up to us how we use it and how we work it. Though dead, it is still not always a dead thing for some, for at times it can work as a therapy. This is not merely living in the past with head in the clouds, as some would like to mock. ‘Iggy’ spoke of a past with delight, one that any community would to return, and this is why records and a sense of history are so vital. It is so sad that many youngsters in various sporting disciplines are so ignorant of and don’t seem to care much nor have respect for former champions, those who laid the foundations, those John the Baptists of sports and all other facets of life.
But Hinds, a fast rising cyclist reminds us of another remarkable Lindener: Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams, who exploded on the scene in a blaze like a shooting star some years ago, and who in the eyes of many should have been that shining star flashing way up high. ‘Fishy’ still possesses the potential for gunning big time; he is one of whom much is expected and who has the ability to deliver. With this remarkable and talented combination of Marlon ‘Fishy’ Williams, Orville Hinds and brother, young Michael Anthony, and John Charles, along with up and coming young guns in pursuit, we are beginning to see signs of a rebirth and a return to the days of glory. It’s just a matter of time; just you wait and see, this new brigade will not disappoint, the glory days will be back. In passing it is important to observe, that if the criterion for selection to represent Guyana at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Scotland is results, then why is Orville Hinds not on board? When certain questionable decisions and choices are made it is only fair that as a matter of transparency and respect, an explanation is given.