Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival 2011 - Part 1

Dec 11, 2011 at 23:31
by Ian Hylands  
ADVENTURES
2011 JAMAICA

FAT TYRE FESTIVAL
WORDS/PHOTOS Ian Hylands

I've been to a plethora of places in my life, and been on many adventures, traveling a lot of miles to go on great rides. Usually however I yearn to go somewhere new after I've been to the same place once or twice. I have this constant desire for a new experience. Not so with Jamaica. I've been to the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival 4 times now, and I'm excited about going again. Something about the place, and more importantly the people, keeps me coming back. Over the years I've had the pleasure of riding there with some good old friends, and some great new friends. Cam McCaul, Kyle Ebbett, Katrina Strand, Kathy Pruitt, Thomas Vanderham, Seb Kemp, Katy Holden, and those are just the names you might know. There are many others as well, Mike, Marty, Marshall, Jamie, Brad, Ben, Wayne, Andrew, and of course my friends in Jamaica, Andy, Jon, Grant, Martin, Norval, Everton, and many many more. They're as much a part of the reason I keep going back as anything else. I think it's the innate pleasure that I find in being with friends in a wonderful place, and watching new friends find out for the first time what it's all about.

The crew at the top of Murphy Hill getting ready for the descent back down into Ocho Rios.

Katie Holden and Seb Kemp on the trail down to Ocho Rios from Murphy Hill.

Katie Holden and Seb Kemp on the trail down to Ocho Rios from Murphy Hill.

Seb Kemp rides across a bridge on the way down to Ocho Rios from Murphy Hill.

Katie Holden and Marty Mayr ride across a bridge on the way down to Ocho Rios from Murphy Hill.

Katie Holden lunch at Scotchies in Jamaica...

This year we switched things up a bit and rode to Scotchies for some awesome Jerk lunch after our Murphy Hill ride on the first day, and as always a nice cold Red Stripe beer. I think my love of Jamaica also has a lot to do with the food. After lunch we headed to Hamilton Mountain for our afternoon ride, and as per usual I didn't bring a camera. It could be the long ride up that would really suck with in the heat with a camera bag, or the awesome ride down that's just too much fun to want to stop, but either way I didn't bring my camera. The day's riding ended at Norval's place on the beach for dinner, always a great time with awesome food cooked up fresh!

A quick stop at a roadside corner store on the way down from Hamilton Mountain.

An awesome dinner at Norval s place at Rio Nuevo Beach.

An awesome dinner at Norval s place at Rio Nuevo Beach.

Relaxing after an awesome dinner at Norval s place at Rio Nuevo Beach.

The view of Ocho Rios Beach from Rooms resort Hotel in Ocho Rios Jamaica.

Morning comes early on day 2 of the festival, it's time to head out towards Robin's Bay for a fun packed day full of adventure.

Martin looks after the bikes while the riders riders stock up on supplies at that 2011 Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival

Katie Holden rides her bike on trails near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden talks to some Jamaican children while riding her bike on trails near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden takes a young Jamaican girl for a bicycle ride on trails near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden talks to some Jamaican children while riding her bike on trails near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

After a few laps and some fun with the local kids we headed up to the very top of Pimento Hill, and one of my favorite trails in Jamaica. It starts with a bit of a push but the reward is more than worth it...

Marty and Jamie ride near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden rides her bike on trails near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Seb Kemp and Katie Holden ride their bikes on trails near Robin s Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden rides her bike on trails near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Seb Kemp and Katie Holden ride their bikes on trails near Robin s Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden and Seb Kemp ride their bikes on trails near Robin s Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.




The crew hangs out at the black sand beach near Robins Bay while waiting for lunch.

Katie Holden relaxes at the black sand beach near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden relaxes with some children at the black sand beach near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden relaxes with some children at the black sand beach near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.

Katie Holden relaxes with some children at the black sand beach near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.


Rastaman Natty Grant and his crew cook up a tasty lunch for us at the black sand beach near Robin s Bay

Seb Kemp and the other riders dig into some amazing mid ride food prepared on the beach by Rastaman Natty Grant and his crew.

Seb Kemp rides his bike on trails near Blue Mountain in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival. This was part of the memorial ride for trail builder Ken Klowak who was killed last year in Mexico.

Katie Holden poses with trail builder Natty Grant at the black sand beach near Robins Bay in Jamaica at the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival.



Days packed full of riding that end at a beach, fresh fish and chicken cooked by our Rasta friends, and usually enjoyed with a fair bit of Red Stripe and Appleton Rum. Nights spent sitting around talking and laughing before passing out into a deep sleep, charging the batteries for another day of the same. The second days riding ended with an amazing lunch prepared by Natty Grant and his crew at the black sand beach. Cold beer sipped while floating in the warm ocean, it's the kind of thing that just takes all the stress away. Then a relatively short ride down the road to River Lodge, showers and dinner...

You can check out Part 2 here.


95 Comments

  • 117 6
 Where is the weed?
  • 44 1
 Probably just about everywhere but the photos.
  • 16 3
 where is the POY?
  • 4 0
 In the pic of Natty serving himself some food he's got a little spliff. Do many of the tourists partake, or is that like snacking on communion wafers?
  • 13 0
 bottom two pictures, in their eyes!
  • 6 19
flag IanHylands (Dec 12, 2011 at 9:45) (Below Threshold)
 Doesn't really exist, it's illegal in Jamaica...
  • 4 1
 those guys at the bottom are deffo stoned hes got well bad red eye Big Grin and did and one else notice that kid planking haha
  • 9 0
 I guess they were born in a pile of weed so they dont need to smoke anymore, like Obelix was born in magic potion
  • 13 0
 Maybe, but most of the Jamaican's I've met actually don't smoke, the ones that do though smoke a lot.
  • 2 0
 -true. Its not all of jamaica feelin' Irie, is't the true rastas
  • 1 4
 Hey my mum wrode hur byk! go cK8y;
  • 8 3
 This article would be much better with more bikinis and less specialized bikes. Looked like a good time for sure
  • 20 0
 Sure, if you want to look at a bunch of dudes in bikinis I'm sure I could arrange it... And less Specialized Bikes? There are only two of them in the whole story, that hardly counts as a lot...
  • 2 0
 a main sponsor is Appleton's Rum.........and add Red Stripe to the post ride intake along with quality food, fresh veg, incredible fruit. Ganja is low key and not part of the fest.
  • 4 0
 ya we don't all smoke bud. actually most jamaicans as i was told from my family on my mom's side (the jamacian side) are super against it because most people assume that all jamaicans are rasta's (and even rastafarian isnt based off of smoking bud its majorly about the pan-african movement to etheopia) and bud all day which is not even close to the case. personally though, im not helping the stereotype Razz . just settin the record straight.
  • 3 0
 dont drink and drive, smoke weed and fly..... Jamaica's motto ive heard Wink
  • 1 0
 all this weed talk is making my eyes red. kinda like the second last picture. whoa. irie.
  • 1 0
 I like how the famous Ian Hyland even gets in those pointless arguments that only happen on pinkbike! 3
  • 4 0
 Hardly pointless, just trying to kill the myth that Jamaica is a country where everyone smokes weed. It simply isn't true. It's an illegal substance in Jamaica, you can go to jail for possession, and it's not something we see a lot of on this trip. I won't say it doesn't exist, but it's simply not what most people think...
  • 4 0
 One rastaman smoking something, what's your point?
  • 1 0
 Girls in bikinis gawwwwd. Really though, looked like a fun trip for sure. I like these articles.
  • 2 0
 I have some pictures of some Jamaican girls in bikinis, they're not something you want to see though, trust me. Although there are a lot of amazingly beautiful women in Jamaica!
  • 16 1
 stoned riding is like flying
cool trip!
enjoy
Smile
  • 10 0
 ahd when you crash is like WTF have happend Big Grin
  • 5 1
 don't huck high
  • 8 1
 When i smoke n ride i crash at every corner Razz
  • 1 0
 DragRider - for me when i crash its always WFT happened even without the weed
  • 1 0
 Flyin' High!
  • 8 0
 Great Article PB, I love the Jamaican people, so laid back and hospitable, not to mention Jamaica itself is beautiful. Maybe one day when I get older I can raise the funds to visit this place and bring a bike too Wink
  • 2 0
 Guys. Im planning such a trip for next year. We just dont have any experience in such a freeride trip. How did you find those guys? Is this location something we can book? Maybe you can get in contact with me that would be nice.
Cheers Phil
  • 1 0
 the rides are action packed but WE WAIT FOR EVERYONE AND ALL ARE WELCOME.
  • 1 0
 i'm loving the amount of redstripe content in the photos. that stuff is easier to find than water down there. id ont know how you guys were biking down there, i was there in feb 2011 and its so damn hot i barely wanted to move
  • 2 0
 thats great! the money from Selling one of those bikes could buy a new house and feed the whole family for weeks, but we jsut came to ride your &%$#.
god bless america....
  • 6 1
 I don't think it is that simple...

Firstly, you assume they want and/or need your charity.

Secondly, if they did want help from MTBers, which is better? To be given $100, or to earn $100? Which is better in the long term?

Thirdly, happiness is the absence of want. Just because someone doesn't have what you have, doesn't mean they want it.
  • 2 1
 Well said.
  • 1 1
 The organiser, SMORBA, is a non-profit organisation that pumps profit back into the local riding scene. Our current project involves building a ABA sanctioned BMX track to give local kids the chance to rip. And quite a number of Jamaican's benefit from the Fat Tyre Festival directly and indirectly.
  • 1 0
 right...
and money cant buy happiness...do you live in america? it can buy a wave runner! ever seen a sad person on a wave runner? just try and frown on one.... you smile as you hit the pier!
  • 2 0
 what a beautiful place! nice trip! i hope one day i can trip to jamaica its a really grat place! nice beach, nice blue sea and pacifical and lovely people! greetings from colombia!
  • 5 0
 Sellassie I !!
  • 3 0
 every year the photoset from this trip makes me more jealous than anything else posted on this site
  • 1 1
 my 17th X-Cellent Adventure in Jamaica begins Feb 8th..............my 14th Jamaican Fat Tyre festival journey takes place Feb 19-26
One spot is left on the 20 seat bus .....contact Andy Giles ASAP if you want to experience the finest trails in Jamaica and all it entails.
You can reach Andy on facebook or e-mail.....see mountainbike jamaica on facebook www.facebook.com/groups/5188695274
  • 1 1
 www.smorba.com St. Mary Offroad Bicycle Assn. St Ann, Jamaica
  • 1 0
 Been there riding and its an awesome experience , rode the bike up Blue Mountain to watch the sun come up then what an epic decent loved it,
  • 1 0
 I am doing that ride for the 5th time...can't wait as I was rained out 2 years in a row
  • 1 1
 Never ridden it, but I did hike Blue Mountain once back when I was in Scouts (what a distant memory). It would be fantastic and nostalgic to do that descent.
  • 1 0
 I counted 288 switchbacks
  • 2 1
 www.smorba.com doesnt exist anymore. How an i book a trip to there?! Theres already a date of event 2012-02-19 - 2012-02-26.... but no homepage ...
  • 4 0
 Sorry about that. Renewed the hosting and didn't realize I had to renew the domain name as well. Just dealt with that. Site will be back up and going as soon as go daddy puts the payment through. FYI: we're totally full for this year.
  • 2 1
 And I have no idea why the little flag next to my username shows Canada. Definitely in Jamaica!
  • 2 1
 www.smorba.com officially back up and running!
  • 1 0
 down by da beach
  • 2 0
 I had no idea you could ride like that in Jamaica... That has no been added to my list of places to ride! Wow!!
  • 3 1
 So, how many people attend this festival? I only see 5 people riding trails...doesn't really seem like a festival
  • 1 0
 It depends on the year, average is probably 8-15 people on the trip...
  • 1 0
 ah for some reason i used to think like hundreds came...i didn't realize it was like a smaller group thing
  • 1 0
 20 seats are sold on a fi bus. one seat is left I hear
  • 1 0
 We are probably going to have over 25 people next year. It is pretty difficult to go bigger without changing the format. But the Bicycle Bash, which is really the first day of the festival, involves hundreds of Jamaican riders..
  • 1 0
 lol in the pick right after the wave crashes on the tattoo guy everyone is dressed like it is super hot except the Jamaican. he's dressed like hes cold lol.
  • 1 0
 They are donning Ski hats and parkas if it drops below 70'F
  • 1 0
 Wen i ride ripped its like wwhhhyyy aamm iii ggoooiinnggg sooooo fffaassstttt!!!?????? Then boom! Face plant into a tree haha
  • 1 1
 I'm planing a trip in Jamaica whit my girlfriend in a all-inclusive and i was wondering if it's possible to pay someone as a guide...someone who can bring me to the trail... If you guys know someone, please let me know !
  • 1 1
 I would first check out www.smorba.com the official Jamaica mountain bike site
  • 1 1
 The jerk chicken and coco bread ja provide the i appreciate, big booty gal i mon gone liquidate, The i an i gon pass a sensi, thru di chalice woman get irie. When the sun up we bun up till babylon shut a down.
  • 3 1
 awesome pictures , place and people , but , where are the joints ?
  • 2 2
 Come on people, pinkbike can't promote smoking weed to young children, but when the camera not shootin' that's a different story. Not all Jamaican people smoke weed either.
  • 1 1
 Appletons Rum and Red Stripe are post ride doobies. Appletons is a spomsor
  • 1 0
 Awesome pictures. I recognized Marty (from the Waterloo Cycling Club) among your group. Looks like you guys had a blast.
  • 2 1
 If I was to ride my bike Anywhere in the world it would be there
  • 4 1
 uhhh....BC????
  • 2 0
 second airsoft.. whistler and kamloops would be the first place for me too
  • 2 0
 what he said /\ followed by switzerland and costa rica
  • 1 0
 Nice trip, nice country and red stripe, my favourite beer
  • 1 0
 wow the dude at the last pic looks somekinda stoned Razz
  • 1 0
 that is Mister Bond and Radio our crew
  • 1 0
 Amazing Trip, congratulations !!!
  • 1 0
 Yah Man..... miss that red stripe beer Big Grin nice place, food and the people
  • 1 0
 What part of the island is this? I miss that place...
  • 1 0
 The first few pics were taken in Murphy Hill which is just outside of Ocho Rios, St. Ann. Almost all the rest were in or near Robin's Bay, St. Mary.
  • 1 0
 Ocho Rios....Robin's Bay and a secret spot in the Blue Mountains that has 30 miles of Whistler style trails....all private.
  • 1 0
 realy positive vibration!!!
  • 1 0
 Don't you just lay in the sun on Jamaica?
  • 1 0
 Was there in 04 got second place in in the DH race Kyle Strait first.
  • 1 0
 are you the guy who broke his ankle?
  • 1 0
 ufff i love it from colombia
  • 1 0
 Must of been high the whole time!!!
  • 1 0
 seems like reunion island (landscape)
  • 1 0
 Beautiful place
  • 1 0
 Beautiul scenery
  • 1 0
 looks like a great time.
  • 1 0
 cool trip
  • 1 0
 and a lot of red eye
  • 2 0
 How come there seem to be a lot of references to ganga from Romanians? Do you all smoke so much that's all you can think about? Most people in Jamaica don't smoke ganga, and we really didn't see much of it on the trip...
  • 1 0
 cool!!!!!





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