When the long hot summer offers a respite from the cold winter on our latitude, on the most famous island of the Greater Antilles we can strip off our leggings, windstopper and sleeves for three days pedaling to the rhythm of reggae. Less than a ten hour direct flight from Europe, you arrive at Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay, the departure point for this highly unique amateur course: the Jamaica Reggae’n Ride. These three days of pedaling were invented by the mind of Jennifer Hilton three years ago. Jennifer, organizer of Jamaica Reggae’n Ride along with the rest of the staff, discovered cycling in 2007 when osteoarthritis put an end to her running career.
The Jamaica Reggae’n Ride takes cyclists over 200km in three days along the roads of the north coast of Jamaica. The trail winds across breathtaking landscapes, along perfectly asphalted roads that twist and turn between coconut and banana plantations, between white sandy beaches and picturesque fishing villages.
The cycling groups are usually made up of Californians, Floridians, North Americans and a few Europeans, all living together with a strong sense of conviviality, which makes the whole race-holiday a great experience.
The “race” route is almost completely flat, and traces a path along the whole of the North coast. Long, slight inclines are balanced out by gentle downward slopes that take the cyclists down to sea level.
The three stages:
– Negril-Montego Bay 55 miles
– Montego Bay-Ocho Rios 55 miles
– Ocho Rios-Port Antonio 68 miles
Whilst it is true that the event has a very friendly and convivial spirit, the offer has also been thought out for those who don’t want to renounce athletic performance. Both elite and top level amateurs can put themselves to the test in a confrontation with the best cyclists on the island (who do not miss this annual appointment). If, on the other hand, you don’t want to make this jamaican holiday an exercise in high performance, just sit back and enjoy it in a spirit of total relaxation. The support service available along the whole of the course will be ready to give you a push when energy starts to flag, or to offer you exquisite sweet and savoury snacks made from local products, and lots of fantastic tropical fruit that will wow and delight your tastebuds.
You won’t, however, just take home the memory of a cycle ride in the Caribbean, the options for tourists are much broader and more stimulating than that.
You start with the opportunity to visit Green Grotto Caves, more than a kilometre of lakes, underground paths, stalactites and stalagmites. Pure adrenaline is available for those who choose to visit the Mystic Mountain forest adventure park, where you’ll be transported via chairlift into the tropical forest and find yourself face to face with highly colourful birds and all different types of caribbean wildlife. Once you’ve reached the peak, you’ll descend to the valley in an exhilarating bobsled ride, passing by the original bamboo rafts along the Rio Grande river. You’ll return home able to say that you’ve seen crocodiles and have entered the famous “bamboo avenue”, all completed with a tasting session in the historic Appleton distillery, famous for the production of rum.
How to get there: there are flights from all European capitals to Jamaica
When: the race is usually held around the second week of November
Where to stay and eat:
– at Montego Bay: www.the-gloucestershirehotel.com
– at Runaway Bay: www.thecardiffhotel.com
– at Porto Antonio: www.bayviewecoresort.com
– at Blue Mountains: www.forestpark.com
– at Negril: www.tbr.travel
Full info at: http://www.jamaicareggaeride.com