Barry Nobles of Westover named BMX World Champion

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

WESTOVER – Westover resident Barry Nobles was recently declared the UCI Masters BMX World Champion of 2023 after participating in a competition in Glasgow, Scotland.

Nobles has been racing BMX for 25 years and discussed his journey to being declared a world champion.

“I actually won my first amateur world championship in 2003, exactly 23 years from this event,” he said. “I hadn’t done a world championship in a couple years, and it was just the right time. I thought, ‘Let’s get back on the international stage after stepping away for a few years.’ And I went over to Scotland and did what I needed to do and came home with the world title.”

Nobles and his family have been residents of Westover since 2019 and he learned his craft here in Shelby County at Oak Mountain State Park.

“There was a BMX track there and I fell in love with the sport,” he said. “Here we are 25 years later, still doing it as a profession and a full-time job.”

Nobles emphasized the importance of his background when it came to representing Alabama on the global stage.

“I grew up with much less than a lot of guys who have reached the top in this sport and to do it from a small town in Alabama makes it that much more special because we haven’t had anyone in the sport really form the south that’s done what I’ve done,” he said.

Despite making it to the top, Nobles still takes the time to share his craft with others and share his love of BMX with young aspiring athletes.

“I work with kids all over the country a lot and, when I’m on the road, I try to reach out and do coaching at the tracks that are from small towns just because those kids don’t have a local pro rider to look up to, just like me,” he said. “I didn’t have a local rider here in Birmingham, a pro rider to look up to and learn from. I really had to trial and error and kind of learn as I go and ended up making it work.”

Nobles shared that one of his goals is to potentially set up training here in Shelby County.

“That’s kind of the long term goal is to get something here and for all levels and all ages of bicycle riders,” he said.

Westover Mayor Larry Riggins honored and recognized Nobles accomplishment with a proclamation during a recent Westover City Council Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

“We are very honored and proud to have a world champion living right here in Westover,” Riggins said.

In his proclamation, Riggins declared Sept. 9, 2023 as Barry Nobles World Champion Day in the city of Westover.

“(We) encourage our citizens to join together in observing this day and supporting our neighbor in offering congratulations to him and his family for this great accomplishment,” Riggins said in his proclamation.