Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica. 4th time to Jamaica and I can officially say I have finally laid out at the beach. hahaha. Ridiculous, I know. This trip was a little different than years past, there were essentially two parts to the trip, a project for the Jamaican Tourism Board without bikes and a week of bike fun (also for the the JTB) with the Jamaican Fat Tyre Festival. I feel like so much has happened since Jamaica, which it has. It’s kinda been a whirlwind of bikes and rad trips and I take way too many photos that sorting through them is a mission and a half when you constantly on the go…soooo I will let the photos and Dennison’s Vlogs tell the story. I will post the videos series we made for the JTB as they are released!
Yessss. So stoked to go back to Jamaica for the Jamaican Fat Tyre Festival. The festival isn’t till next week but Matt Dennison and I are headed there this week to get some ‘work’ done and check out some other hot spots.
I was so proud to be a part of this event. I saw how hard everyone at Altius worked to put this thing together and to see it all come together in such a spectacular fashion was pretty bad ass….the turn out was huge, the excitement was contagious and it was just FUN. So fun. There was a lot of pressure to make this a great event and they went above and beyond, I think you are going to see a lot more of the Downhill Taxco in years to come.
Taxco is our base until the end of the trip.I didn’t really know anything about Taxco before coming here…we have been from place to place to place so I hadn’t even googled it. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised, it is beautiful. Upon arriving we went and did a massive ‘course walk’ with the promoters, policia, government officials, emergency services…basically anyone who is involved…I say ‘course walk’ because it isn’t really a course walk, we just saw the route. The boys have been busy building away…there is so much to do to make it a fun but safe course. I think Witek is going to do a good job on this course. Urban races have a reputation for being notoriously badly built and unsafe…things break, stuff isn’t padded, routes aren’t clear, lips and angles are far from correct…anyway, I think he will bring a lot of insight into this emerging discipline.This is where the Taxco urban race will be and I am so excited for all of my racing friends to roll into town. That is one of the coolest things about bikes…no matter where you go, you have friends…friends from home, friends from abroad and new friends.I love it!
After a full week of shooting, it was nice to have a little downtime in Ixtapan de la Sal. Bunglalows Lolita and Ixtreme World were kind enough to put us up for the weekend and show us a good time. I think that Ixtapan de la Sal is going to be the next hot spot for mountain biking in Mexico. Hano the owner of both Bunglalows Lolita and Ixtreme World has a real vision for this area and he already has a rad pumptrack and downhill trails…and that’s just the beginning.
During our time here, the boys put some love into Hano’s pumptrack which was pretty cool. It was super fun to just hang out and laugh and shred with friends!! Pumptracks are the best. :)
Oh yes, I played my first game of golf too (Thanks Gran Reserva!!!). Can’t say it is my favorite sport, but I had fun!!
I am slightly obsessed with this place. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite place in the world to ride…I mean the dirt was epic and I was riding with my friends but as far as trails go it was more about the adventure of it all. The hike was pretty gnarly, it was really cold (hailing/sleeting), the terrain was really rough so our bikes spent the majority of the time on our backs and the elevation was high (we didn’t go to the peak but the peak is 17,000+). It’s crazy to think that 17,000ft wouldn’t knock me on my butt but it didn’t, I guess we are getting used to the elevation here in Mexico. Anyway, putting all of that aside, the place was just stunningly beautiful. All of the colors complimented each other and the light and the movements of the clouds, it was so, so nice. Looking back at all of my photos makes me love it that much more.
As if we got to ride our bikes at this place, but we did. I felt like I was about to get sacrificed to the gods of something while I was riding but it was pretty cool. If Super Mario land existed in real life, this would probably be it.
After spending some time up at Nevado de Toluca, we cruised down to Metepec which just recieved the designation as a ‘Magic Town’. Part of promoting this new designation was a live Televisa broadcast with our bike loving crew (us, a moto trials guys and a bike trials guy). Anyway, we did an urban segement here in Metepec and we also made a few stunts in the city park, the most notable of which was the hole (see the video). Basically when we were scouting the park, Chase and Witek found this hole/cave thing…poop hole. Hahaha it was totally cool because it was one of a kind but I would want a hazmat mask to spend more than a few minutes in there. Hahaha. It is pretty much a cave/tunnel but you can drop into the hole from the top and they were bound and determined to make it happen, so thats what we did. I didn’t do the hole, I really, really wanted to do it but after seeing the success/failure rate (right around 50/50), I decided to pass. It was a super technical drop with little to no margin for error…you have to hip drop in blind like 8-10 feet and you have to be lined up perfectly to avoid hitting the sides…and then once you land you have to stop before hitting your head on the cave…which happend to nearly everyone. Rad, but not my cup’o tea. I have quite a few more videos coming but these photos and videos can keep you entertained for now. :)
Wow, this trip has been so awesome! Like I said in the last post, this trip was super last minute but sometimes those are the best kinds of trips. I didn’t really come here with expectations as I honestly didn’t really know exactly what I was doing. I didn’t even know who was coming! Less than 24 hours after arriving we got thrown into a full production and it was pretty freaking cool. In the end we ended up shooting 2 mornings of live Televisa broadcasts, the morning show and a sports show, and a bunch of other stuff which wasn’t/will not be aired live but rather for other other programing.
This Volcano we were in, Nevado de Toluca was pretty incredible. So beautiful and sooooo fun. The Mexican government was a major player behind this project so the Govenor of Mexico came out to see us ride and some of the other athletes do their thing! It was crazy there were policia everywhere and snipers and all sorts of crazy stuff…insane security.
I am so thankful for this experience. This is the direction that I am working towards and to get to do this trip, right now with the boys was great. I learned so much following them and watching them and listening and learning. And they were so incredibly encouraging and stoked on everything I was doing. So cool. Couldn’t ask for a better crew. :)
Anyway, I will let the photos do the speaking on this one.
PS. Keep an eye out for one of our many GoPro edits dropping shortly.
Soooo I was planning on sticking around Utah for a few weeks to ride and shoot. BUT I got invited to Mexico to do something for Televisa so I pinned it to Seattle to drop off my car, unpack, do laundry, repack and fly out….here we go!!
I have traveled to Jamaica the past 2 years for the Jamaican Fat Tyre Festival. I feel like I talk about Jamaica way too much? Maybe I do. haha. Anyway, when I went to Jamaica for the first time two years ago I found out that they were getting the first BMX track in the Caribbean and I thought that was so cool. Basically USA Cycling put out a call for proposal from Caribbean countries and Jamaica won. By winning, they got a course designer, builder and a start gate and in return they had to lease the land, get the dirt, equipment etc. This all cool and everything but there was one minor problem….no bikes. Jamaicans love their bikes A LOT. But riding those bikes on a BMX track is not a good idea for many reasons. Sooo 2 years ago a submitted a proposal to Specialized’s First Gear program to get some bikes to Jamaica and it was accepted!!! So fast forward to present time….it has all come together. The track, the materials, the bikes, the grand opening celebration. SOOO COOL. I wouldn’t miss it for the world so I made the trek down there to see the track in real life, see all the bikes getting loved and also see a pretty public stoke of many Jamaican government officials.
Oh and its Jamaica so I couldn’t come and not get my shred on right! :)
I just want to thank Specialized for donating bikes and gear, Pro-Tec for helmets, the Oracabessa Foundation + Goldeneye for helping to fund this project Simon Dunne and Jonathan Gosse <- none of this would have happend without this guy!!!!