Trail Hunter - Jamaica

Jun 22, 2016
by I Am Specialized  

Views: 40,405    Faves: 560    Comments: 26



bigquotesJerk chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Jamaicans have their chicken game on lock down. - Harookz


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bigquotesAs we passed through villages in the mountains, we'd often hear a bystander yell: "gimme one them bikes mon!" - Harookz


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bigquotesGetting caught in a rainstorm in Jamaica is not so bad. It's warm and then maybe there just happens to be waterfall and a cave around the corner where you can go chill. - Matt Hunter


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bigquotesAfter a day of riding the Blue Mountains, eating jerk chicken and drinking a red stripe you can't possibly even think about anything except how rad bikes are. - Matt Hunter


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bigquotesThe next moment changed my life forever. With a fresh case of the munchies, it was a quick stop at the smoke shack. This was the best-smoked jerk chicken I have ever had. Hands down. Mind blown. - Ron Penney


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bigquotesJamaicans really seem to have the low stress life figured out. It's contagious, too. By the time our trip was done, we were so relaxed that we could barely move. - Matt Hunter


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bigquotesThe warm-hearted people of Jamaica resonated throughout our trip. If you've never visited, be sure to add this country to your bucket list. - Harookz


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bigquotesSanchez must be superhuman. He can bunnyhop over a car. He teaches kids to ride bikes. He builds trails. When I think of mountain biking in Jamaica, I see him. - Matt Hunter


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bigquotesAll I remember during the whole trip was the locals making comments about our bikes, saying, "give me one them bikes mon!" We constantly heard that from the first day we loaded our bikes on top of our rad land cruiser all the way until I passed my bike back to the flight assistant... And even he was bugging me! "Just leave me with this bike mon!" haha - Matty Miles


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bigquotesThere are micro-shred scenes developing globally. Seek them out and sometimes you'll get lucky. - Harookz


bigquotesIt seems that every time we get to explore a new place on our bikes we only get to scratch the surface. I am anxiously waiting to book my next trip back to Jamaica with the crew - Matty Miles


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bigquotesWith that in mind, the trails turned out to be an extension of the vibe. Beautiful views... When it seemed like the heat was going to take us over, a monsoon would sweep through and chill everything out. Who or whomever created the trails we rode must have been smoking the same stuff as us because the flow was melting my brain. Riding blind and in the rain as thick as pool noodles, you would think that it would throw one off. But... Nope. Faster is all I wanted and, as much as I hated people wooing and hollering under the chair on a pow day, I found myself doing just that... - Ron Penney


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bigquotesJamaica just slides you into neutral and you just coast. - Ron Penney



Produced by Matt Hunter, Harookz and Matty Miles
Photos Harookz
Video Matty Miles
#trailhunter

MENTIONS: @munter / @Specialized / @harookz / @mattymiles



Must Read This Week

143 Comments

  • + 174
 One of the best travel segments I've ever seen. #IslandPride
  • + 4
 sweet feature of some of my friends I highly respect. Maximum Respect to the crew. Yo Sanchez.....het Natty..miss ya bro
  • + 10
 420 reasons to ride there.
  • + 5
 Hey Specialized, more of this please.
  • + 109
 $7000 lunch box
  • + 23
 Yeah but they come in different colours Big Grin
  • + 25
 @Lookinforit: I was really really hoping he was going to pull out a big bag of weed....out came the bag! but it was only sandwiches. I am 100% sure they did use that swat stash for what it was designed for while in Jamaica Smile
  • + 77
 *sits awkwardly at desk job*
  • + 22
 You too huh?

Feels like there is a lot more to life and a better way, more rewarding way to live.
  • + 27
 Its the fantasy this shameless advertorial is trying to perpetuate. In reality they got very dirty, got stuck, were threatened by a machete wielding bike hijacker, had to do numerous retakes to get "the right shot" and had to eat weird food. Feel better?
  • + 1
 @headshot: Actually yes I feel better now. Thanks
  • + 4
 @headshot: Don't for get the gastrointestinal distress. Nothing like pissing out your a#S in a foreign country.
  • + 6
 @headshot: actually things went pretty much as the video shows- some really awesome stuff was left out to keep the PG ratingSmile
  • + 1
 @singletrackjamaica: Jamaica seems awesome, pretty safe and I would love to visit some day.
  • + 46
 Wise words: "The good thing about life Mon, you never wait to have fun Mon. You should always have fun, cause you never know what tomorrow gonna bring."

Now let's go have some fun!
  • + 48
 I know what i would keep in the swat storage if I were in Jamaica...
  • + 27
 I was nodding knowingly when he reached for the SWAT box for the "surprise"....and then I was like "WTF! it's just food. No mon"
  • + 14
 @GeeHad: you don't know what was in that sandwich....
  • + 4
 A Rain Poncho! :o )
  • + 2
 Dam straight !!!
  • + 1
 Not many people know this, but you can keep your sandwich in here...
  • + 35
 'Jamaicans really seem to have the low stress life figured out. It's contagious, too. By the time our trip was done, we were so relaxed that we could barely move' - that's the weed, bro
  • + 4
 And thats good
  • + 1
 dat couch-lock lyfe
  • + 25
 Moaning about it being a Specialized ad - you think it makes you sound cynical but look at reality, we get some interesting bike related footage from Jamaica and awesome photos, kids get bikes and coaching and the legend of Hunter has a very good ambassadorial job for the brand. If being an advert bothered you I'd stay away from any mainstream MTB media full stop.
  • + 2
 The only thing that bothered me about this video was the colour scheme on Hunter's Spec. Having said that, he could probably ride a nineties Fisher Joshua wrapped in brown corduroy and make that look slick.
  • + 17
 Full respect to Sanchez and Specialized for giving those children what is often taken for granted. Great vid, pics, trail, place, people, story... - made my day!
  • + 4
 also Katie Holden for hooking them up
  • - 11
flag dtm1 Plus (Jun 22, 2016 at 12:01) (Below Threshold)
 Giving them what? Hooking them up with what?

Bikes? Nope.
Gear? Nope.
Friggen shoes? Nope.

Fresh dose of exploitation so Specialized can capitalize on a promo video? Ahhhh, how generous.
  • + 6
 The kids are still missing shoes to ride in. 5 10 step up.
  • + 7
 @dtm1: Could you be more cynical and jaded? The bikes that the kids are riding were donated by Specialized, and the gear was from other companies.
  • + 7
 @dtm1: I'm far from a Speshy fanboy, but they did donate a fair number of bikes and helmets to this program via Katie. Just setting the record straight. I don't endorse their special brand of law tactics, but in this case, they "done good".
  • + 12
 @dtm1: Where are you getting your information? Specialized (via Katie Holden) did in fact donate bikes and protective gear to BMX Jamaica in 2013 when we first built the BMX track. The fact that Matt came to Jamaica as a Specialized rider had nothing to do with the donation. I understand looking at things from a critical perspective, but good lord, your perspective should have some basis in reality.
  • + 2
 @ibishreddin: Step up yourself ibis. Contact Jonathan Gosse here: www.oracabessafoundation.org
Or simply click the donate button at the bottom of the page.
  • + 0
 sorry guys, but it's really weird (to say the least) to see so many barefoot kids wearing kneepads in one pic, and then Matt's bike in the next one.
Maybe Specialized should rethink its ads.... and its donations.
  • - 2
 @slumgullion: if that is true, then I stand corrected. The video made no mention of this, and it's still disconcerting to see kids riding barefoot while Specialized films them, and ostensibly profits from this.
@jagoose: See above, but just because Specialized donated a handful of bikes three years ago, that's still no reason to let these
kids who live in poverty to ride around barefoot while Spesh is filming and making marketing videos of them! I'd think you'd be more passionate than I about this as you're flying the Jamaican flag.
  • + 4
 @dtm1: they supplied the BMX Park in Ocho Rios with over 20 bikes and assessories
  • + 6
 @jagosse: Jon without your tireless work the BMX track would have never been built. The basketball court either. Sanchez has turned out to be the real deal and I am proud of the work he does on the north coast.
Maximum Respect
  • + 9
 I just want to clarify what Jamaican kids wear and why before you all vilinize anyone here. Most kids who have bikes wear knee high striped sox. None wear a helmet or gloves. No adult wears a helmet, except me and a few hard core riders. Most kids have one or two sets of shoes as it is a 3rd world country, one set for Sunday church and the other for school.
Most kids can not afford the 3 bucks for school[lunch and drinks and transport] and have a choice of shoes or school.
Most moms have a choice of food or school.
Yes it appears to be a video showing the gleeful exploits but you are dead wrong......those kids are happier than most of you here and they all love bikes unlike North Americans....Jamaicans adore bicycles.
  • - 11
flag dtm1 Plus (Jun 22, 2016 at 16:56) (Below Threshold)
 @madmon: ??? Thank you for making my point for me. Kudos on obviously having inside knowledge and a relationship with the locals, but you do understand that my issue is with the company who has the ability to give these kids with one or two pair of shoes, a third pair... Or giving their family some funds for their kids' appearance in this video. Why do you have a problem with the fact that I have a problem with that?!
  • + 5
 @Benito-Camelas: Actually shoes would be lost on them much like gloves are lost on me.. those kids in the bare feet had soles tougher then my rubber ones.. the track was pretty much crushed coral .. these kids don't need shoes.. intact i felt out of place ,after a few of those rain storms i was stuck immobile while i waited for my shoes to dry out.. my feet were sadly tender and weak..
  • + 23
 @dtm1: We have 50 pairs of 510 shoes at the BMX track. The kids can wear them anytime they want. Most of the time however, they don't want to. That's their thing. (Same thing happens with football shoe donations by the way) I appreciate where you are coming from in terms of alleviating vs replicating/ignoring poverty. The world can certainly use more people who care about that issue. All I can say is I've dedicated my professional career to doing community development work in Jamaica (of which this plays a small part) and I'm proud of the development of sport and development through sport work going on at the track and via mountain biking in Jamaica. Others may see things differently.
  • + 8
 @jagosse: Thanks for filling us in. It's hard to fully understand when not living there.
  • + 13
 great blue spesh enduro 26)
  • + 12
 The last two minutes... THAT is why we ride bikes.
  • + 8
 Incredibly good film. Those trails look f*cking sick. Will be visiting later this year, can't wait. Also 26" forever!
  • + 5
 Good to see Jamaica get some exposure. I have friends from there and they say the riding is so sick. I also heard that the fat tire fest there is awesome and a must do. Personally I would like to see a winter time Caribbean enduro series. Now that would be RAD!!!!
  • + 6
 Matt Hunter is doing it so right....i may be biased given he is my favorite rider, but the guy has the best gig in the sport.
  • + 4
 I have known all these guys for decades and they are ALL solid especially Natty Grant the guru of trails in Robin's Bay. I highly suggest taking part in their festival every February. Singletrkckjamaica.com
  • + 3
 That reminds me of everything I loved about that place when I lived there. That bamboo trail was amazing. I used to ride the rocky rocky trails on the west side of the island. The good side of Jamaica always makes me feel better when I think of that place. A large part of me misses it.
  • + 5
 great trails and trip and all, but my favorite part was the last one, seeing all those kids riding those bikes being happy and stoked, that made me happy
  • + 3
 looks amazing ,matt hunter makes you think your with him on his journey/trip the Rasta man trail builder that doesn't ride a bike ,just looks after the bikers and the dude running the bike school" cant beat that ,that's what should be done all over the world U.K take notice ,every kid in the world should have access to a bike to shred .2 WHEELS 1 LOVE
  • + 3
 eff you Matt Hunter in your sandwich hole.

Anybody see the Snoop Lion documentary, where they go out in the jungle in search of the good leaf and the guy in his posse (wearing a full khaki outfit) has to sit down after walking ten feet?

"Y'all go 'head, Imma light this Dutch and relax"
  • + 3
 This is the best thing i've seen on pinkbike in a long time. It really transported me, made me think about life, made me dream. Life can be so many different things. There is so much to experience and so many perspectives to learn. This is just the motivation I need to shake up my current routine and get me out into the world. I can only hope to experience some of the places and humanity shared here.
  • + 6
 What a fucking great video!
  • + 2
 I went on holiday to Jamaica a (good) few years ago and spent the 10 days thinking how good the hills looked for MTB and if there were any good tour companies around. If only I'd got a business brain, I could be getting free holidays by now!
  • + 2
 Jamaica Jamaica !!!!! great write up, video and pics. Seriously sick edit great vibe.. I'm remembering now about a guy named Zero that did a bike school.. this was around 2000 was in MTB magazine. anyone remember??
  • + 2
 we ride in Negril every year. He still can kick anyone's ass on any bike......that guy, my friend, is unreal on a bike. Zerial Hayles is his name. He was only beat once in 2001 by Peg Leg as he bonked a few hundred feet from the finishing line after lapping the pack.
  • + 4
 So relaxed you could barely move? I think they got up to something else in Jamaica
  • + 1
 Beautiful video! So nice to see depth beyond the ripping(which was amazing).
I got to hang out/live with locals while in Jamaica and I can't convey enough to my friends the sense of family/community the culture has, and this video shows that so well!
I've been on the fence about whether I'd be doing a surf or bike trip going back there(I'd do both but too much gear to travel with), I gave up on the decision so I'm doing a month in Bali soon. After watching this I'm reminded that I do indeed need to get back there soon, and i do believe my bike will be making the trip so I can enjoy those trails as well as the great people!
  • + 1
 That sense of community and culture doesn't extend to gay people, apparently. In Jamaica, they'll literally murder gay people. Seriously, it's one of the most homophobic nations on Earth. Unchecked homophobic violence. A hellhole. I'd personally spend my money elsewhere.
  • + 1
 @sjflow: I guess you had a bad experience, and that does suck. And I do recall speaking about that with people from there, but since I'm not gay it doesn't affect me and my experience would differ.
To generalize an entire society/culture/country as a "hellhole" is extreme.
Truth is, there is plenty of homophobia in the U.S. as well and I could show you areas in my region that the same level of hatred would exist.
I tend to mix with all kinds with zero concern about sexuality, color, etc.--all comes down to quality of person.

This reminds me of a conversation I had just two nights ago with a S. African guy while in Costa Rica...he said Jamaica is a "f*cked up place", and I said, "yeah, but so is the U.S. if you want to find it"(or anywhere for that matter).
  • + 4
 Please more hunter edits *-*
  • + 1
 Jamaicans have the care free lifestyle figured out... because they're always high instead of bettering themselves. What a poverty stricken shit hole that is. Nice to see Spesh stick their stamp on that too. :/
  • + 1
 Great article, makes me want to head back to Jamaica but with my bike this time. But how about some more info on Sanchez and his program. Seems like he could use some donations for such a great cause!
  • + 0
 I hiked Blue Mountain when I was a kid in cub scouts eons ago. I didn't own a bicycle back in those days. My toys consisted of slingshots and bow and arrow, both home made. Look at these photos makes me yearn for a return visit to my homeland. It would be strange to go back, because I would essentially be a tourist, but it would be fantastic. Well done lads. This was a great article.
  • + 1
 Refreshing post as always. Brought everything great about biking, still amazed by Forgotten Dirt and now you brought this to us. Big props to you guys (Hunter and the crew). Biking save humanity and also our sanity.
  • + 3
 This was soo good. That last segment needs it's own full video and writeup.
  • + 1
 Looks like classic NZ trail solutions bench trail. We're those trails on private property?

Awesome dude teaching kids to ride. Think he's up for a session in the nets afterwards?
  • + 2
 Is Jamaica fairly sketchy? I've just heard a lot of negative things, but every time there's a segment about it on here it just seems welcoming.
  • + 1
 If you are with a guide you have no worries and no problems
  • + 1
 There are dangerous parts, sure, but a lot of the negative things you hear are from tourists who go and expect the whole island to look like a sandals resort. Keep in mind it is a third world country, but the scenery, people and food are great. If you do a bit of research and use common sense, you'll have a great time and I do recommend getting off the beaten path.
  • + 1
 easily my favorite video of the week. It really makes me feel good to listen to all the great quotes the people in Jamaica say, it just makes you feel happy and relaxed.
  • + 1
 This is the definition of epic! Just an amazing looking trip. So jealous right now and it has me thinking of my next trip with my riding buddies.
  • + 4
 2 wheels 1 love!
  • + 3
 Sanchez, you're a bloody legend mate!
  • + 3
 Once again, another awesome vid by Matt Hunter
  • + 1
 Most awesome video in weeks. I've been to Jamaica and they do have it figured out over there. No stress, happy and kind. The hospitality was unending. "Two wheels, one love".
  • + 1
 Yo man!! that was just beautiful so refreshing the music,sick riding the nature the people,big cudos to the man teaching kids how to ride bikes every day....awesome.
  • + 2
 WHAT A GREAT THING TO DO... and a great amount of photos for us to enjoy!!! This is life. Awesome beyond epic.

Beer
  • + 3
 Sanchez is a seriously good lad!
  • + 2
 Wow that's so cool. I'm sitting in a factory right now wondering where I went wrong.
  • + 1
 Great vids as always! ???? us Americans should take lessons from the Jamaicans to love life more and slow down love the end with the kids learning to ride ????
  • + 1
 Jamaica. No problems, only situations and possibly an opportunity. The place is magical and the people are the nicest I've ever met in all my travels.
#OneLove
  • + 1
 Beautiful video, love the vibe, the best part was the guy at the end 'Two wheels, one love' more than Matt and Specialized and all the rest. Kudos!
  • + 3
 The video, the music, the riding, the people and the article....Awesome!
  • + 1
 These are my favorite videos on pinkbike. Take a look at the trailhunter Alaska also.
  • + 1
 What bike was hunter on? What model year? I would guess stumpjumper but I don't see that color on their website.
  • + 1
 You can't tell me that Hunter and crew didn't smoke that fabulous Jamaican herb one time throughout that trip!
  • + 1
 He wants the weed from the guy who doesnt know where he got it
  • + 1
 Just booked a trip there for this coming April and can't wait to hit those trails.
  • + 1
 Awesome and sick vids..!! Hats off to Matt and crew for the people of One Love..!!
  • + 1
 out in the streets they call it pump track... But seriously BEAUTIFUL pics. Great write up..
  • + 3
 Jealous.
  • + 1
 I for sure thought he was gonna rip a large spliff out of that SWAT thing mon!!
  • + 2
 This was a great combo of video and stills.
  • + 1
 two wheels, one love. respect! everything bout this vid,photos and article are great! cheers!
  • + 0
 Somebody seriously needs to pay for me to do this. Bikes, Jerk Chicken and Red Stripe are pretty much the only things i live for and that is no joke!
  • + 2
 eh, who needs shoes anyway?
  • + 1
 So, is this a mountain bike destination where one can find a local rental? or bring you own?
  • + 1
 Better if you bring your own, especially if planning a longish trip but we do have a few rentals often used by riders who just want a day or two on the trails. www.singletrackjamaica.com
  • + 1
 Hunter has been around forever! Legend
  • + 1
 Beautiful forest .. Awesome bikes photography .. A ... Good Job !!!
  • + 1
 song : Capture Rasta - Capture
  • + 1
 That was inspiring to say the least???? Nicely done
  • + 2
 Mint
  • + 1
 This one of my favourites. Aside from the Trail Hunter: Japan
  • + 0
 When I will be billionnaire, I will travel around the world and offer what I Can to poor people.. :-
  • + 1
 Unreal aticle, all the shots tell the story. Props to the Tog.
  • + 1
 Amazing video, pics and story. The best trail hunter I've seen
  • + 1
 I really really really liked this.
  • + 1
 Anybody know the song name>?
  • + 2
 song : Capture Rasta - Culture
  • + 1
 @nicolasmarcou: thanks a bunch!
  • + 1
 Always excited to see another Trail Hunter vid pop up on the feed!!!!!
  • + 1
 This video is what biking is all about.
  • + 1
 Well, that was rather good
  • + 1
 www.2wheels1lovejamaica.com
  • + 2
 thanks dude but this is about www.singletrackJamaica.com
  • + 2
 @madmon: Yoyo! I thought it would perfectly fit your offer...I think many peeps are getting stoked on Jamrock.
  • + 0
 give them kids some shoes....my feet are hurting from simply looking at the pictures. hunter is da man
  • + 1
 They have 5-10s available but chose not to use them (info from another comment here)
  • + 1
 Amazing article. Thank you....
  • + 1
 How much heavier does a plus bike get when a plus bike rides through mud?
  • + 2
 This is AMAZING!
  • + 2
 The best.
  • + 0
 I swear I thought Curtis was going to pull a huge doobie out of his downtube... glad it was a sandwich.
  • + 1
 My first choice for a riding vacation
  • + 1
 Love what is being done with the kids!!!! epic riding too! Its on my list!
  • + 2
 Best article ever.
  • + 1
 Really beautiful video, amazing riding and food for some thought.
  • + 1
 Amazing pics and articles! Beer
  • + 1
 Such a nice mental escape from my cubicle. Thank you, looked amazing.
  • + 1
 SWAT - put your weed in it.
  • + 1
 Super video
  • + 0
 Another fantastic article, thanks!
  • + 1
 awesome edit!
  • - 2
 dis heure mon was dee shizzzle me nizzzzle
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