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Building DH Trails In Jamaica

Alpine Bike Parks of Whistler, BC was hired by AFD Petroleum to develop a gravity trail network in Black River, Jamaica. Geoff Gulevich, Jamie Goldman, Jacob Hyde, and crew went down to build and ride the trails as well as explore other cool stuff in rural western Jamaica.

55 Comments

  • + 36
 Two ways to look at this:

Teach a man to fish...

or

Have poor people who will never own a capable ride or safety equipment build trails for you for free and call it helping when its really just a form of colonization and forcing westernized cultures that aren't true to simple farmers in Jamaica on Jamaicans becuase we think that our way is the only right way.

Hopefully Jamaica isn't influenced too much by things that are actually bad (like scooters haha).
  • + 16
 You sure your name isn't protour?

Anyway , it's a nice thing they're doing and maybe they might not be able to afford great bikes yet but it opens up oppurtunities for the community and people around them.
  • + 19
 I'm mostly just disappointed that the video didn't include teaching people how to ride bikes, and it didn't show that one local ripper in every area that was probably able to hang (slightly behind) these guys on the trails. It would have added a bit of purpose to the video, because now you never know if there is enough riding culture to actually benefit from the new trails there, besides the potential for a World Cup race in the future potentially in which tourist's money would also convert the culture. Extra money isn't necessarily a good thing - unless Jamaica really needs it, because after all, that farming life is probably one of the simplest and happiest a person could have.
  • + 2
 Wow! Vtwin's firin' up the rhetoric! Yes, farming is a pure and simple life. It's also a completely impoverished life. I'm sure any revenue from this amazing form of recreational tourism would be greatly appreciated by the locals. Especially when they struggle just to purchase basic food and supplies, or can't afford to build a new school for their kids, eh?
  • + 8
 Economic growth isn't necessary unless there is poverty. There is no reason to be "rich." Its not a practice that the world can continue to support. If there is sufficient poverty, this is by all means a good idea. I know that Jamaica as a whole is pretty poor, but I am completely ignorant about the location of these trails - I mean I'm not there right now. I'm trying to make a pre-cautious observation. They were trying to show mountain biking as helping the world - which after seeing all these guy's other videos, is obviously what they believe in - but I feel this could bring skeptical ideas to those who don't already know what these guys are completely about. For some, this video leaves questions unanswered.

On a side note, what was that professionally made mountain bike video where the "local ripper" got to ride with (I think it was Wade Simmons?) Was it Follow Me?
  • + 4
 Oh , now I understand what your trying to say. I misunderstood the first time , sorry but I do agree with you.
  • + 2
 @VTwintips there was one in Anthill's film Strength In Numbers. Where the local Luic shredded with Wade.
  • + 2
 I have to agree. I don't want to make too strong of a comment because I don't know the situation there. But I am curious of who it is benefiting. It would have been cool to see some locals ride. Maybe they did a lot more than what we see. I just feel that if you want to expose more people to mountain biking then you need to build trails that are appropriate for people new to the sport as well as trails that all
  • + 3
 ... Allow for progression. (Accidentally hit done before I finished my comment).
  • + 5
 just wanted to point out that jamaica isn't all farmers and poor ppl theres actually rich ppl and cities and bars.... tourists...
  • - 3
 Lalena.... exactly. Guigui333... no shit.

By the way, check out that shot at 2:31!
  • + 2
 How about Filipe?(supermarketbike guy) he was shreddin really hard even tho his bike was completely crap, just because and area is poorer than BC doesnt mean it doesnt have potential. And mabye this will increase the amount of biking people do there. Just my thoughts ont he topic
  • + 1
 ...I'm with you on all that... VTwintips!!
  • + 1
 The trail isn't necessarily for the locals, it to bring tourism into the area through the form of mountain bikers. Soon there will be enough people going to make some small shops around the area, then more runs, then a small hotel for the mountain bikers to stay and before you know it you've got a small, relatively wealthy biking town
  • + 1
 Looks like a specific interest in racing from the owners/management of AFD. Probably a bit of a tax shelter also.

www.afdracing.ca/about
  • + 1
 From most comments I think I am agreeing with the majority, I just didnt see how building this trail helped the community, and MTB is not the answer that will save or connect different cultures because we all know mountain biking is rather small population of people, its cool to make a trail and it did look fun, but other than that I didn't see the point, and on my side not homeboy in the rasta headband looked like he had been in a knife fight, WOW he had some scars on him
  • + 1
 The whole point of it is to generate revenue for the community through tourism. By building these trails they are building a tourist attraction in creating unique trails that people want to, and pay to, ride.
  • + 1
 If you dont understand what VTwintips is talking about, then i suggest reading the book:
Spontaneous happiness
By, Andrew Weil
It will explain a little more on the subject.
  • + 1
 I'm a pretty content and happy guy that enjoys a bit of simplicity in my life so I get it. But I still think it's a rad trail, in an interesting country and it's somewhere I'd like to go and experience. Even while they were there filming they were supporting the local economy by paying for lodging and food. That's not to mention the guys that were there for a while building the trail. If you think the locals aren't going to be stoked to sell a bit more so there life can be just a bit better than I think you're mistaken. Anyone that's done a bit of traveling outside of the U.S. can tell you that much.
  • + 2
 U guys dont get it, it is mainly for tourists that's the group of people
  • + 1
 Just gotta say, the rider is the one with the "balls" not the bike. If you don't have the balls the bike won't go down shit, even a $10,000 dollar rig. Conversely, if you got balls the walmart bike will make it down fine, it will just need more repairs quicker. What's it all mean? You don't need an expensive rig to ride, just balls. However, skills help as well, but don't confuse that with balls. You're either capable or not. A man or a sissy. I know folks here in Colorado with skills and killer bikes, but they don't have balls so they walk their bike a bunch on the steep and techy stuff.
  • + 26
 That bright red roost looks amazing Eek
  • + 7
 I think the trail is great and I love building new trails to show the world our sport, and trailbuildings what its all about, but how many people there actually own a downhill bike. Or even own a bike capable of riding that? Not tryin to be all negative about it, but i dont really feel that the trail does anything for the community. I think its just a cool trail that was built by a handfull of guys who love the sport with the help of some locals and will only ever be ridden by that handfull of guys. Made for a cool video, but kind of a waste of energy, time, and money to me. Theres alot of places in the world that need trails built and people to show them how to build trails properly. (and before someone comments on it, I do know that "afd petroleum" or whoever the guy was hired them to build this, they didnt just come down and build it for no reason. Im just wondering why all the effort for somthing for somthing that will rarely get used?)
  • + 4
 Now that's some RED dirt!
  • + 1
 "Touché", santacruz-syndicate.
  • - 5
flag Shredder-boy (Dec 4, 2012 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah mon looks like it is a sick trail init! Smoke da ganga. Reggae reggae. Cool
  • + 1
 I get what they're trying to do like bring MTB to Jamaica and build a trail for all the locals to enjoy. However that trail looks very technical and hard and looks like it requires a decent bike. I guarente most of them haven't riden that kind of a trail ever so it would be very hard for them and not as fun. But anyways that trail looks really sick.
  • + 6
 I live in an island near by Jamaica...the red dirt is not a concern, but the temp..95 + In the shades...VT wintips....Dan Brown should be worry in the good sense...but get a trip and learn A bit more on the social structures in Jamaica. The major economic activity is tourism...just think the money that is behind this video, hotel, air and ground transportation people working at the airport,taxis,hotels,restaurants etc... not every one would like to do what we do...not every one is making a lot of $ but some one get paid for folding the tube we use and put in a box that another guy will distribute and other will sell to my friend ho have a bike shop (rincon mtb pro shop)....so...lets go to Jamaica and help people wile enjoy the country.
  • + 6
 Yours truly, a Jamican-born white bwoy here (I'd once been called porkboy when I lived there -- ha!), and it is so nice to see my homeland and to see how mountain biking has surfaced there. One of these days, I'm going to have to take Belladonna there to give her a good ass-slapping rip down Blue Mountain. One of these days.

Q: Is it safe for a porkbwoy to walk unchaperoned in Spanish Town? Probably not, which makes me sad.

"Out of Many One People"

"Sweet Jamaica."

That said, Canada kicks ass! I love it here. Yee-doggie!
  • + 1
 nice re-ceding this now. I am going to be working with those kids in December for a few days while I am down clearing the trails for this seasons tours. You have to come back to Jamaica ASAP. please contact me here www.2wheels1lovejamaica.com respect......love your post
  • + 1
 It’s interesting to read the comments 5 years later. Most people have a very poor understanding of the impact of things like this in Jamaica (and I imagine that applies to most ‘developing’ nations) but that is to be expected if you don’t live here. The people who actually had this trail built have had and continue to have a positive impact in Jamaica, but I doubt they built this trail with the sole intention of developing mountain biking in Jamaica. I suspect they built it because they love to bike and wanted a trail to ride when they and friends visit their property here. They certainly have, however, attempted to use the trail to grow biking and involve locals also. A small fleet of bikes was provided and a few of the locals have become skilled riders as a result. There have been some opportunities for people to be involved in maintaining the trail too. The trail has been ridden by a number of foreign riders too who specifically stayed in the area in order to ride the trail, so provided benefits for the larger community. For Jamaica as a whole the fact that this video came out and had been viewed by a decent number of people definitely has value. I’m not sure how that is calculated but I do know for a fact that the Jamaica Tourist Board gets excited whenever content is produced that shows a different side to the island, away from the usual stereotypes. It’s even more exciting for them if they don’t have to pay for this!

I have more to add including an update on the state of the trail and future plans but have to get back to my day job...
  • + 1
 most of you ppl are so ignorant it is amusing to people that know a lot better. Get your fact in order before you speak or type. Dont judge something or ppl you know nothing about. Sad sad sad. Spend some of that wealth that "Jamaicans do not have"....come down here....an educate yourself. These comments.....retards....everywhere

Anyways....great vid....an i hope that more trails can be made and done right like we are doing over here in Barbados....flat but not forgotten Smile
  • + 1
 It’s interesting to read the comments 5 years later. Most people have a very poor understanding of the impact of things like this in Jamaica (and I imagine that applies to most ‘developing’ nations) but that is to be expected if you don’t live here. The people who actually had this trail built have had and continue to have a positive impact in Jamaica, but I doubt they built this trail with the sole intention of developing mountain biking in Jamaica. I suspect they built it because they love to bike and wanted a trail to ride when they and friends visit their property here. They certainly have, however, attempted to use the trail to grow biking and involve locals also. A small fleet of bikes was provided and a few of the locals have become skilled riders as a result. There have been some opportunities for people to be involved in maintaining the trail too. The trail has been ridden by a number of foreign riders too who specifically stayed in the area in order to ride the trail, so provided benefits for the larger community. For Jamaica as a whole the fact that this video came out and had been viewed by a decent number of people definitely has value. I’m not sure how that is calculated but I do know for a fact that the Jamaica Tourist Board gets excited whenever content is produced that shows a different side to the island, away from the usual stereotypes. It’s even more exciting for them if they don’t have to pay for this!

I have more to add including an update on the state of the trail and future plans but have to get back to my day job...
  • + 2
 Such a rad story. And such a sick trail. I'm definitely going to Jamaica now and I will ride that track.
  • + 3
 so glad that trail turned out
  • - 1
 1st vid that I can remember that may me sad, not because someone was rip'n down a trail but because someone was build'n one up. I don't see how this will benefit the community theirs or ours. 1 cent of giving for 99 cents of taking does not a dollar make. Not hating, I just don't see the math.
  • + 2
 Red dirt, yellow grass and the leaves of the trees are... Green ! Rastafaride
  • + 3
 I know what I want for christmas, some Jamaican roost Smile ))
  • + 2
 Dude this is an amazing project that will go far. But im also loving the powdery red dirt that is crisp for sliding
  • + 1
 that red dirt is actually dried clay, and in certain parts where it rains at night, that stuff is like cement during day light
  • + 1
 man that trail makes me jelous... the red dirt flyin every witch way as they rip passed the camera... AWESOME!
  • + 1
 2:45 lol McDonalds is everywhere!
  • + 1
 Whats next? A Jamaican bobsledding team? oh wait......
  • + 1
 That is some POD worthy dirt. Such great color.
  • + 2
 that red dirt!
  • + 1
 hahahaha they look so high !
  • + 0
 Overly excessive skiding into corners is getting a little old now IMO.
  • + 1
 Jamaican me crazy
  • + 0
 That trail looks amazing and so does the red soil there, nice work!
  • + 1
 Irie
  • - 1
 yeah and its my friends trail
  • - 1
 Hey, hey, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!
  • - 1
 Nice place, nice riding, nice edit... but lame program???...
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