The Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival is a week-long mountain biking extravaganza that highlights Jamaica’s unique, vibrant culture and awesome trails! The St. Mary Off-Road Bicycling Association (SMORBA) has been running the event for the past 5 years and the 2010 version of the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival was the best yet!
The 2011 installment will kick off with a welcome and registration party on the evening of February 19 at John Crow’s Tavern (the Festival HQ) located in the heart of Ocho Rios and considered the vibes capital of Jamaica’s beautiful North Coast. Bicycling begins on February 20 with a day for Jamaicans to show off their own riding skills. Dubbed “A celebration of Jamaican Bicycling Culture,” the Jamaica Bicycle Bash is designed to provide a unique, fun-filled atmosphere centered around all things bicycle. Highlights included a 5 mile race looping through Oracabessa, Skills Course race, the ever-popular Rambolympics and many other games and contests that provided great entertainment.
On February 21st you’ll be shuttled up to Murphy Hill, perched high above Ocho Rios for the day called “Murphy O-Hamilton Gets Conscious”. After taking in the view your brakes will overheat on the blistering descent to world renown Dunn’s River Falls. After regrouping at John Crow’s, the crew will head out to the friendly communities of Oracabessa, Hamilton Mtn, and Jacks River. Checking out SMORBA’s trails in western St. Mary will prepare you for the after-ride relaxation and the evening’s festivities at “Conscious Corner” bar in Rio Nuevo.
On Tuesday the 22nd you will trek to Pimento Hill in St Mary for the day called “The John Crow Has Landed”. A more relaxed day of single track, downhills, and waterfalls is in store – all ending at Black Sand Beach where a meal of roast breadfruit and other local dishes prepared by local SMORBA dude, Natty Grant will await.
February 23rd (“Roots, Rocks, Reggae, Rum”) will see you going deep into rural Jamaica near Robin’s Bay, St. Mary. These amazing, technical singletracks (including the famed Carlton Pass) are the trails that led Katrina Strand to proclaim “This is the best day of my life… and it isn’t even over yet!”
Later in the day on the 23rd you will make your move to the “Top-Secret” location in the Blue Mountains for the 2 day Ken Klowak Memorial Ride. On Saturday, February 26th you’ll make your way down from the Blue Mountains and head back to Ocho Rios. On the way you will tackle the Red Light trail which will take you from Newcastle all the way to the edge of Kingston. After a quick stop to eat and replenish the fluids we’ll head back over the mountains to John Crow’s Tavern for whatever ridiculousness the last night of the event has in store. Do you have what it takes to conquer this amazing mountain biking event? Visit the SMORBA website to see how you can be apart of the adventure!