Introducing the Cycle Safe Dubai Committee

We thought it would be a great time to introduce the Cycle Safe Dubai Committee. Below you can read a bit more about the great people governing Cycle Safe Dubai!

 

Phebus Georgiades:

Born of this world, my family is originally Greek Cypriot but I was born in the Congo and brought up in South Africa.

I have lived and worked in many countries and have always carried a passion for sports. My introduction into sports began with my father.

I started Karate at the age of 7, achieving 2nd Dan from the highly respected Japan Karate Authority and representing my province in the South Africa Games. I also represented my province in tennis and became one of the youngest tennis coaches. My tennis career was cut short at the age of 23 due to a shooting injury to my arm sustained during the South African/Angola war.

I have also represented South African Schools in football. At 16 I started participating in cycling, running and tri events. Over the years I have been involved in various sports committees.

I have completed 6 Cape Argus races (which based in Cape Town, is the World’s largest timed cycle race) and my passion for cycling started when I was 6 years old when my Uncle gave me my first single speed bicycle.

I then stopped for 20 years until migrating to Dubai, where my passion for cycling has returned & now ‘A DAY WITHOUT CYCLING IS A DAY WASTED!’

 

Andy Robinson:

Having lived in Dubai for over 20 years now, I cycle regularly with my wife Mandy and two daughters Megan and Katie.

I first started cycling on a mountain bike around Nad Al Shiba with an enthusiastic bunch of locally based Filipino’s one hot summer.  As the weather cooled down I then progressed to the single tracks of Showka, and then the road bike bug started to bite. Putting slicks onto my mtb, I started to spin my legs around the Dubai Autodrome.

In 2011 I thought it would be a good time to try my hand at road biking, and was able to borrow a road bike from a friend just in time for the second Spinneys 92. I completed my first event in a respectable time. The inevitable happened and I purchased a road bike, becoming a regular rider with Stewart, Nichola and the Cycle Safe Dubai group on training rides around UAE and the notorious coffee rides to Bab AL Shams.

I have competed in events in the UK, and one of my highlights is completing the London to Paris ride in 2013.

 

Rhys Williams:

I am a 37 year old Aussie expat from Brisbane. Having lived in Dubai for nearly three years now, I work for an architectural firm designing hospitals.

I have been into cycling since I was 5 years old when I started competing in BMX races. I got into mountain biking during my university years and then into road cycling as a result of wanting to get fit for mountain biking. I have to admit I am now addicted to cycling and enjoy the social aspects of riding more than full on racing. Cycling has become more of a passion for me and most weekends revolve around some form of cycling related activity.

I am now working on a growing bicycle collection here in Dubai. I had 7 bikes (road, fixed, mountain bikes, a bmx and unicycle) back in Australia but have only 3 here – so lots of room for more. I found Cycle Safe Dubai online when I arrived in Dubai and started coming to the Friday morning rides when we used to ride on the road out at Al Qudra (prior to the building of the cycling track). The Cycle Safe Dubai team gave me a very warm welcome and I enjoy being a member of the cycling community here in Dubai. I try to mix my rides between both road and mountain biking and have recently been to the UK to ride at the mountain bike parks in Wales.

My goals in cycling are to have fun, de-stress, make more friends and keep losing weight.

 

James Thomas:

Having procrastinated for at least two years prior, the combination of watching Sir Bradley Wiggins win the tour and the Olympics time trial, and friends in the UK getting fed up with my talking about cycling, I finally took the plunge. I walked into Revolution Cycles in September 2012 and bought my first road bike.

My first goal was the Spinneys 92 that December, which I had no idea if I could complete. I started at the Autodrome, joined Cycle Safe Dubai and built up from the 35/45km group. The 92 went well, and from there I have continued to ride most weekends, and have got stronger, fitter and lighter!

I still enjoy every (well most!) rides, and some might say I am now (slightly) addicted. Riding with Cycle Safe Dubai has been great, a like-minded community of people who are friendly, helpful and keen to see cycling grow in the UAE.

 

Stewart Howison:

Born in Scotland, I grew up in South Africa. My current age is 39, going on 25!

I started cycling around the age of 8 but got into it for real at the at the age of 11, when my mom bought me my first race bike.

Having competed on the local race scene in South Africa, in the junior’s and into my early 20’s, I never turned cycling into a career it was always to remain my passion.

I hung up the wheels for a few years while I focused on making a living, though when I moved to Dubai in 2009 to pursue my career in radio, I decided to reignite my passion and love for the bike in what was to be my biggest adventure yet!

5 years on a lot has changed, from only a few riders on a deserted dessert road, to my partner and I now owning the largest cycling event in the middle east  “The Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge”.

I have been actively involved in the conceptualization and design of both Cycle Parks and Cycle Paths, and often receive calls asking advise form various government departments.

Over the years I have seen absolute beginners raise from struggling to do a 20 km per hour average to keeping up with the fast bunch.

Since moving to Dubai I have been invited to ride with some of the best riders in the word, both current and past legends.

In 2013 I was recipient of the The Esquire Magazine’s ‘Man At His Best’ award for contribution to sport.

Each year I still have two races that I use as goals to keep me fit, however I compete only socially and as a personal challenge now. Those races are the Cape Argus in Cape Town and the Momentum 94.7 in Johannesburg.

My schedule and passion to get more people on bikes keeps me from personally racing in the UAE, although I get a lot of pleasure from seeing pother people achieve their goals through my events.

Last year I found myself in possession of an entry for what is dubbed to be “The toughest Mountain Bike race in the world,”   the ABSA Cape Epic, and… I finished it!

 

Nichola McDonald:

I am a 39 year old South African expat from Johannesburg.

I have been in Dubai for nearly 10 years now and work for a US company that provides software and services to the Oil and Gas Industry.

I began cycling 5 years ago when Stewart, Donal, Nick and I started the Cycle Safe Group. Having always been a runner, it was only when Stewart started the group did I actually start cycling. I managed the beginners group for the first year of the Cycle Safe Dubai group rides and week by week my cycling improved.

I now compete with some of our ‘’FAST’’ riders in local events. I also am part of the Revolutions ‘Love Catz’ Ladies race team and we ride as a team in all of the cycling events held in Dubai. It has been a wonderful experience watching the cycling develop in Dubai over the last 5 years and I have become an avid fan of cycling now. I cycle up to 5 days a week and miss it terribly when I travel.

The social aspect is wonderful, I have met so many wonderful people over the last 5 years and I continue to meet more every week. My weekends are spent cycling and socializing with my fellow teammates. I am also a Type 1 Diabetic and have been for 30 years now, so sport and exercise is crucial to me managing my diabetes. The cycling has improved my overall blood sugar control over the last 5 years and I feel physically a lot better for it. I would highly recommend it to any diabetics out there.

I am a road cyclist and have not yet ventured over to the Mountain Biking as I rather enjoy the speed and competitiveness of the road cycling. But I am sure to try it in the future! Cycling has helped me with coping with a very stressful work environment and I can’t imagine my life without it.

My goals in cycling are to have fun, de-stress, and get faster on the bike of course!

 

Kevin Tan:

Howdy Yall!  Yep that’s right, there’s a Texan amongst this rag tag bunch in these here parts.  For those that aren’t in the know, Texas is in America down south.  No… we don’t ride horses to school, Yes… we love our BBQ, Yes… Walmart is real and not a fictional place created by the Biggest Loser.

I started cycling 2 years ago and coincidentally shortly moved to Dubai just after that.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the impact this sport would have on my life.  From meeting new friends, to traveling to corners of the globe, and even losing a few inches from the waist line, it’s been one hell of an addicting ride.

So what next ya ask?  Keep the smiles going and enjoy the ride…. and get faster of course!

 

Sean Mcbride:

Coming from a parentage of a Pro cyclist and an Olympic cross country skier, having a naturally high vo2max, lean muscle mass and an ftp of 490 Watts would give anyone an obvious advantage on the bike.  Unfortunately this isn’t me…  but I can still be found battling against the winds of Al Qudra on any given Friday morning, meeting new people and sharing the joy of cycling(drafting).

Having started riding Bmx in the early 80’s, I progressed onto road/track racing in the late 80’s, before heading to the place that serves the wonderful beverage sourced from hops. There I stayed for almost 20 years before returning to two wheels on a Wednesday evening at the Autodrome, and 4 laps later the comeback was complete!

But it was a challenge. Being something of a traditionalist, and having missed 20 years of cycling I am slightly suspicious of/confused by such things as gels, protein shakes and energy bars, being not quite convinced they are better than cheese, crisps/KP nuts and Lilt(totally tropical taste).  I am also still assessing the merits of the clipless pedal(witchcraft),  electronic gears(seriously)and brake levers that also change gears(actually brilliant).