World 200 metres flying start record holder, Nicholas Paul’s recent Worlds kilometre 59.791 silver medal behind Jeffrey Hoogland’s 58.418, winning ride jogged my memory regarding ‘Kilo Kings’ from Trinidad & Tobago. A decade ago I caught up with Gene Samuel who took Worlds Kilometre bronze in 1991…
There was racing at the Palo Seco Track Meet, but first... It was Martha and the Vandellas who sang about, "Dancin' in the Street" - it happens for real in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. Outside the Coco Lounge the guys go into clinches with their girls on the pavement, one even has his black beauty do a couple of twirls.
I'm in Trinidad & Tobago, but in Fort William, which could be somewhere I saw in a movie; once you're in the Tropics it seems to affect your perceptions of time and place, is where the Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship is taking place, today - under the shadow of mighty Ben Nevis. Martin, our editor and web-guy is riding it and - strange though it may seem - I'd like to have been there.
Much of the Trinidad & Tobago 'Soca' music is topical, dealing with social issues like drugs and gang violence; political, blaming the politicians for high prices and squandering public funds or be-rating certain ethnic groups - I'm not sure a lot of it would get played in the UK.
We race at the Dwight Yorke Stadium today. "Abraham takes on the world," said the headline in Thursday's paper; USA, Canada, Jamaica, Argentina, Germany, Austria, Switzerland - that's not a bad cross section. But did he beat the world here in Trinidad & Tobago? All will be revealed.
Tobago is hot, real hot, damn hot - it's just the strong breeze which is preventing certain parts of me from spontaneously combusting. We're staying in Viola's at Lowland, which is the flat coastal strip between the capital of Scarborough and where we are now - Pigeon Point at the south west tip of the island.
If you want to escape from politics, Trinidad & Tobago ain't the place to come. In Rituals coffee shop they have the novel idea of screening the News channel, where politicians pontificate endlessly about the upcoming election (sound familiar, folks in the UK?) whilst 'New country' wails from the PA.
All night drive-in pharmacies here in Trinidad & Tobago aren't really the place cyclists should be seen at gone midnight, but Leif liked the 'skin powder' the Red Cross guys used on his abrasions so much that we had to pop in and see if we could get some more. They didn't have any, but it was another one for my 'experiences' file.
I felt like one of those football reporters at the racing here in Trinidad & Tobago at the Arima Velodrome, who has the copy all neatly spell checked; then the 2-1 down losing side bangs in two in the last 90 seconds. Roberto Chiappa was going to win the sprint final 2-0 against Home Boy, Sellier.