The Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston was abuzz last Saturday (February 6) as the first leg of Discover Jamaica by Bike headed off to Holywell Park in the hills of Blue Mountains.
Members of the Jamaica Cycling Association, led by Dennis Chung participated in the ride, which took them along: Trafalgar Road, pass Devon House, Bob Marley Museum, Hope Gardens, then to Papine, Strawberry Hill Gordon Town Road, Craighton Estate, Irish Town and up the trail to Holywell Park.
The foundation for this consumer cycling experience was set in 2020 when Director of Tourism, Donovan White and members of the Association participated in the pilot phase of the event. The experience is a new tourism initiative rooted in active travel and the development of outdoor programmes and is expected to be a staple on the menu of things to do across the island.
‘Discover Jamaica by Bike is now a reality and I am ecstatic,’ said Donovan White, Director of Tourism. ‘The experience is exhilarating and refreshing. It is amazing the things and places you see and discover when you cycle across the island. This ride is a much anticipated addition to our list of things to do and I encourage persons to do it for their health and wellbeing.’
The route to Holywell Park is lined with interesting and picturesque sights and scenes of the Jamaica landscape and rest stops included: Cotton Tree (entrance to Maryland) Café Blue, Redlight District and the Newcastle JDF Camp before arriving at Holywell Park.
Dennis Chung was thrilled, ‘I am very excited to kick off the 2021 Discover Jamaica by Bike cycling series with this ride up the cool Blue Mountains Hills to Holywell Park,’ he expressed. ‘This is certainly fulfilling the mission we have in conjunction with the Jamaica Tourist Board to show visitors and locals a better way to explore Jamaica while having fun and being healthy’. When we ride our bicycles we stop at the places which are mostly known by locals only, and thereby will expose our visitors to these lesser known gems. I look forward to the ride to Treasure Beach on February 19 and the epic four day ride around the island, though 13 parishes, between April 2 and 5.’
Discover Jamaica by Bike is an excellent fit in the growing health and wellness tourism segment. It will inspire the recreational cycling community, locally and abroad to go out and enjoy the island. Riders are encouraged to follow the trail, or even make their own path as they discover the wonder, culture, people and essence of Jamaica.
Jamaican influencer and recreational cyclist, ZJ Sparks was among the riders and said, ‘What a ride! Re-discover the beauty of Jamaica, enjoy the hospitality of the locals around the island and support community tourism when you bike around Jamaica.’
Sponsors of the event are the Jamaica Tourist Board, Toyota Jamaica, Spanish Court Hotel, Lifespan Spring Water, Monumental Partners, JABLUM and National Bakery.