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 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!!!!
Wow, I love this place. The people, the beauty, the kindness…LOVE. This was my second trip to Jamaica for the Fat Tyre Festival and it certainly won’t be my last. There is something about Jamaica that is intoxicating- yes, we did drink a lot of rum but thats not what I mean. It just has this crazy energy, a youthfullness, it’s bright, it’s colorful, it’s loud, there are a million smells…it makes me happy. All of the things I hate about it make me love it even more…
I honestly don’t know what else I can say about it other than the trails are epic, if I wasn’t riding every day I would 10lbs. heavier with all the delicious food I ate, I met so many great people, my face hurts from smiling for a week straight…
I think I am going to let the pictures do the talking on this one. I do want to give a giant shout out to Jonathan and Andy for organizing a killer trip, Martin and Norvall, Sanchez and ‘Fifty’ and the boys, the Blue Mountain crew, everyone on the trip…THANK YOU.
Got questions about Jamaica? Want to see more photos? Head on over to my Facebook page.
One more thing…I have a kinda big Jamaica related announcement coming soon…it’s pretty cool. :) Don’t go far.
So on a recent flight to DC, I sat next to a slightly intoxicated guy named Bob who chatted my ear off but kept me laughing much of the flight. He was traveling with a bunch of co-workers (who were also very aware that it was Friday!) who had just spent the week in SF on a business trip and who had all just listened to Timmy O’neil (Patagonia athlete) speak. These guys were totally fired up about everything, including my trip to Jamaica. Anyway, over the course of the flight I got a dissertation about corporate giving and Bob proceeded to give me a $100 bill and told me to pay it forward…(AWESOME!)
I carried around this $100 bill for awhile, waiting for the right person and the right moment…
I chose to pay the $100 forward to a guy named Grant. Grant is a farmer in Jamaica who (along with Andy of the Fat Tyre Festival) has created a seriously awesome downhill track. Grant doesn’t ride bikes, I don’t think he ever has but he uses the trail day in and day out as a walking trail and keeps it awesome for us bikers.
One of my favorite days of my trip was riding his trail down (20+ min) down to a black sand beach where he and his family and friends prepared the best meal in Jamaica. The special thing about this spot is that it is at a remote black sand beach….no buildings, the only way to get there is by boat, biking, hiking or donkey. Grant treated us like family in every sense of the word and for that, I am so thankful.