The Fat Tyre Festival is Jamaica's longest running mountain bike event. Started in the mid-1990's as a development activity of Rusty's Xcellent Adventures in Negril, the Singletrack crew has been running things since 2007.
The 2017 Fat Tyre Festival dates were February 19-25, AND WE HAD A BLAST!!. If you'd like to get on our mailing list for the 2018 event, fill out the form below. (We don't sell our list and we only send out two emails in September of each year alerting you to the upcoming event).
You can see the just-completed 2017 Fat Tyre Festival itinerary below.
Our 2017 itinerary looks like this (subject to change based on weather, trail availability, etc):
Feb. 19 (Day 1) - “Conscious Vibes”
Shuttle to Murphy Hill - the highest point above Ocho Rios for a four mile descent. The first two miles are down “Coke Bottles” an old road turned single track which is not extremely technical but is VERY slippery in places with tight rocky sections towards the end. The second half of the descent is a double track passing by world famous Dunn’s River Falls (recently voted “The #1 Tourist Trap in the World”). We’ll fly through the parking lot and pick up our transport for the next shuttle.
From the parking lot of Dunn’s River Falls we shuttle to Orange Hall for the “Rivers of Babylon” ride. Making its first appearance on the Fat Tyre schedule, this short downhill follows the White River through a number of amazing swim holes and waterfalls. After a break for lunch we shuttle to the Mango Valley play field for a blast down “Murray Mint”. This a fast, fun double track which leads into “Jamaican Panther” a shortish single track that is sneaky technical.
The day ends at Conscious Corner Bar at Rio Nuevo Beach with food, adult beverages and music by mixmasters Jamie and Martin.
Feb. 20 (Day 2) - “Shaken, Not Stirred”
The day starts with a short shuttle to Days Mtn in the Parish of St. Mary. The riding starts with a short steep climb to an even steeper technical descent called “Irie Fm”. This links with “Jellied Eel” a sweet flowing single track that takes us to Eden Park. After a quick look at the BMX track in Jacks River, we take a short shuttle ride to Hamilton Mtn. This XC ride starts with an easy two mile climb up to the “Trench Town” loop. We then head onto “Melt Down” which leads us James Bond Beach in Oracabessa where we end the day with food and drinks.
Feb. 21 (Day 3) - “Pressure Drop”
This is the day we leave Ocho Rios behind and head deep into the hills of St. Mary with an initial shuttle to Pimento Hill. The riding starts with an old favorite - “Scotchies” - an easy, fun single track descent followed by a short climb back to the “John Crow Gully” trail head. John Crow Gully is a super fast, technical 1/2 mile descent which riders love to shuttle twice.
Next we tackle the short, steep “Stairway to Heaven” climb which is a 15 min hike-a-bike for mere mortals (but we have seen it ridden). From here we have a 1,000 foot descent down “Pressure Drop” and “Carlton Pass” which are steep, fast and great fun for all levels of riders. The trails end at Black Sand Beach where lunch awaits.
After lunch we head up “This Sucks Until it Doesn’t” which becomes a scenic XC ride back to our accommodations for the evening at River Lodge. The day ends with a bonfire party overlooking the sea until you say when.
Feb. 22 (Day 4) - “Roots Rocks, Reggae, Rum”
A day of options! For those that had fun on Pressure Drop and Carlton Pass, there will be shuttles available. For those that want to get in a lung-busting XC climb, they can tackle “Kill Hill”. Others may want to take a relaxing XC ride straight to Kwaaman Falls. It’ll be up to you. Most riders take an early night in preparation for the long day tomorrow.
Feb. 23 (Day 5) - “Mango Juice Rotors”
Today we leave the friendly confines of Robins Bay and take a substantial shuttle ride across the island to the Blue Mountains where we hit the best trails from our friends at Gravity Jamaica. Our first downhill - “Woodford” - leads from Holywell National Park and is a fast, rocky double track. After a short climb we hit “Happy Gate” for 2 miles of technical single track. An easy 30 minute climb up “Dustry Road” gets us to “Downpipe Gully” a downhill which is a Fat Tyre favorite because of its varied technical features and the way it winds through the local communities.
After lunch we tackle “Jus Skiddin” for more downhill action on a steep trail unlike anything we’ve been riding up to this point. We’ll end the day with a ridiculous shuttle ride up to Whitfield Hall which will be our staging point for the assault on Blue Mtn. Peak tomorrow morning.
Feb. 24 (Day 6) - “Kenduro”
Today is the most physically demanding day of the Festival. We’ll leave out at 6am for a 3 hour hike-a-bike up to Blue Mtn. Peak. At 7400 feet it is the highest peak in the English speaking Caribbean. The effort is definitely well worth it for the amazing single track descent back to Whitfield Hall during which you’ll experience almost every type of terrain imaginable.
After lunch we continue down “Farm Trail” and end the day at Scorpio Inn. All told it will be a 5,000 feet descent over 18km of nearly all single track. Our yearly trek to Blue Mtn. Peak is in memory of our good friend Ken Klowak who tragically lost his life in Mexico in 2010.
Feb. 25 (Day 7) - “Rasta Socks”
The last ride of the Festival takes us from Flamstead (at 4,000 feet) to the beach at Purple Rock in Bull Bay. Along the way we hit up “Triple Bypass” and “Money or Boots”. Both are downhill, technical single tracks which will leave you with a grin from ear to ear. The last few miles to the sea are an easy roll along country roads with a short climb to stoke your Red Strip appetite.
After more food, drinks and music we’ll shuttle back to Rooms Hotel in Ocho Rios and prepare for departure.