Friday, October 19, 2012

Cycling: A lesson for Jamaica’s development

LAST Saturday, I was among a group of men and women, who cycled from Kingston to Negril, as a part of an annual charity ride. Respect is due to these men and women who pay to ride, and support charity each year, enduring 158 miles and approximately 11 hours of pain.

We started the journey in two groups, at 4:30 am and 5:15 am, setting out on the route over Mount Rosser via Fern Gully to Montego Bay and on to Negril. There was an immense amount of planning before, as preparations had to be made for the riders with refreshment and one lunch stop, appropriate support vehicles, police escorts, and ambulance support.

Much like with cycling over long distances, economic development requires planning and preparation for challenges. (Photo: GeS)

This is one of the first areas Jamaica fell down in. We never really determined the route we were going to take to development, and therefore never really prepared and laid out milestones. The result is that we have taken many paths but never seeming to reach because we have never known our destination. We were certain we wanted political independence, but then what.

As we set out, the first real hill we tackled was Mount Rosser. A very important lesson was learned here. Those of us who have ridden that hill before know that you need to manage your energy going up the hill and approach it between seven and nine miles per hour (mph). There were overseas cyclists who went up the hill with a burst, and were soon seen walking with their bicycles up the hill. We completed the hill at our moderate pace.

In similar fashion, Jamaica has never really planned for challenges, and always seem to be reacting. Two examples come to mind. The first is that every year we seem to be caught off guard by nature — rains or hurricanes — simply because our system of parish governance never seems to truly keep the country in a state of readiness. We know that heavy rains come every year, but we do not keep drains cleaned or have heavy sanctions for people who litter. We continue to allow people to build in vulnerable areas after they have been flooded. Or we fail to apply proper town planning and allow businesses to invade residential areas, eventually turning them into slums.

Secondly, in 2008 when it was apparent that the world was going into recession, we never looked perturbed, and acted as if it was going to pass us by. When we started to prepare was when the worst had passed globally, and even today we still do not seem to have come to grips with it. In other words, we knew that the hill was coming but still continued to ride at 20 mph.

The next challenge was going down Fern Gully in the pouring rain, and even more, getting to the end of Fern Gully and meeting the everlasting road works. We were fully aware of the dangers of Fern Gully when it is dry, and when wet it is more dangerous, as you have little brakes. However, if you are aware of the danger, then you ride a certain way — slowly and what we cyclists say as in your drops (holding on to the lower part of the handlebar). Failure to do so will result in what happened to some persons — you fall and suffer serious pain.

What was most discomforting though was the man-made challenge of the road work at the end of fern gully, which is illustrative of the disregard we have for taxpayers in this country. How can we be doing that sort of work in a tourist town (forget about the insignificant citizens for a while) and have the road in that state, and even so for such a long period. We must show our people respect. But I guess they love it as I have heard no complaints.

After a few more hours of riding we made it to Montego Bay, where we stopped to have lunch. We were feeling the pressure of the ride, and wanted to finish, but knew that if we didn’t stop to eat lunch the probability was high that, even though we may finish, we could have done so with much more suffering.

This is a lesson for the world, not Jamaica alone. In perilous economic times, stimulus is necessary. You may be able to make it through but what is the sense of doing so if you are going to make your suffering worse in the process.

With 10 miles to go I was riding behind some cyclists who allowed a gap to open between the group in front. After 148 miles I had little energy to catch up with the group and hit a mental block. Two cyclists (Richie Bowen and Chris Foster) rode up at 25 mph — I was down to 19 mph — and gave me their wheel, which means ride behind them and be protected from the wind to build back my momentum. However, I was not ready to respond until a minute later when Chris Bicknell came at the same speed and gave me his wheel and I went with him. After a few minutes we were tiring and slowing to 21 mph, Billy Perkins went in front and carried us up back to 26 mph.

There are two lessons for Jamaica. We can only develop if we stop the tribalistic approach to politics and come together as a nation, and we can’t join organisations, and expect to benefit, without first being ready ourselves. The EPA, Caricom, and the CCJ come to mind. These are good for us, but only if we prepare ourselves to take advantage of them.

Even with all the pain of the ride, it was fun and for a good cause. The worst part was when I got to Ocho Rios, and after nine hours and 23 minutes in the saddle (total ride time), I, along with other guests, spent two hours trying to check in at Riu, even though we made reservations before. The other experiences at the hotel were very good, but to get to them was a problem.

What really irked me though was when I expressed my disgust and said I was going to write about it, at that time I was asked what could be done to make it better for me. There was no such gesture before to the other guests. I flatly refused the offer as it would have meant that I would have compromised my principles. How could I accept an offer selfishly, when all the other Jamaicans were suffering also? I was insulted that they would think I would have done such a thing, but maybe others have before, and could be the reason why we continue to receive such service in this country.


Ayanna Samuels said...

Very well said Dennis. Thanks for sharing. I believe in the second to last paragraph though, you meant " The worst part was when I got to *Negril*, and ...".

Anonymous said...

Keep on writing, great job!

Feel free to visit my web page - waist to height calculator

Anonymous said...

You made some decent points there. I looked on the net for more information about
the issue and found most people will go along with your views on
this web site.

Also visit my webpage ... flight simulator games

Anonymous said...

What's up colleagues, fastidious paragraph and fastidious urging commented at this place, I am truly enjoying by these.

Feel free to surf to my site: diet plans that work

Anonymous said...

We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You've done an impressive job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

my web blog: filing bankruptcy in florida

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually recognise what you're speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with my site =). We may have a link alternate contract between us

Also visit my blog post healthy diet plans

Anonymous said...

Hi colleagues, its wonderful article about teachingand fully explained, keep it
up all the time.

Look into my homepage: microsoft registry cleaner

Anonymous said...

Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard
against hackers? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on.

Any recommendations?

My website :: basal metabolic rate calculator

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
It is the little changes that will make the greatest changes.
Thanks a lot for sharing!

My website ... diet plans for women

Anonymous said...

Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog website?

The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of
this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

My page: diet plans that work Fast

Anonymous said...

I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This paragraph posted at this website is truly pleasant.

Check out my webpage: windows xp registry cleaner

Anonymous said...

It's perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I've learn this publish and if I may I wish
to counsel you few attention-grabbing things or tips.
Maybe you can write next articles regarding this
article. I want to read more things about it!

Also visit my web site ... healthy waist to height ratio

Anonymous said...

It's an awesome article for all the online viewers; they will take advantage from it I am sure.

Here is my web blog :: how much should i weigh for my age

Anonymous said...

Hi to every one, as I am in fact eager of reading this web site's post to be updated daily. It includes nice material.

Also visit my weblog :: the best diet plan

Anonymous said...

With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
My site has a lot of unique content I've either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any solutions to help protect against content from being stolen? I'd really appreciate

My blog post ... perfect waist to hip ratio

Anonymous said...

Very good post! We will be linking to this great post on our website.
Keep up the great writing.

Also visit my web blog; bankruptcy florida

Anonymous said...

I leave a response when I appreciate a post on a site or
I have something to contribute to the discussion.

Usually it's caused by the passion communicated in the post I looked at. And on this post "Cycling: A lesson for Jamaica's development". I was excited enough to drop a leave a responsea response :-P I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be only me or do a few of the responses appear like they are left by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing at additional places, I'd like to follow you. Could you make a list the complete urls of all your communal sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

My blog post - raspberry ketone Diet

Anonymous said...

My family members always say that I am wasting my time here at web, however I know I am getting know-how all the time by reading such nice articles.

Review my homepage :: diets that work for women

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering
if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?

I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having trouble finding one?
Thanks a lot!

Feel free to visit my web page healthy diet

Anonymous said...

I do not even know how I ended up here, but
I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you're going to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!

Take a look at my web blog; diets that work For Women

Anonymous said...

I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this
website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz respond as I'm looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. cheers

My web-site: bmi calculator men

Anonymous said...

Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my blog thus
i came to return the prefer?.I am trying to find issues
to improve my website!I assume its adequate to make
use of some of your ideas!!

Take a look at my web blog: calories burned walking

Anonymous said...

This is my first time visit at here and i am actually pleassant to read everthing at one place.

Here is my page :: what should i weigh

Anonymous said...

fantastic points altogether, you just won a emblem new reader.
What might you suggest in regards to your publish that you simply
made a few days ago? Any sure?

Here is my web page :: healthy diet plans

Anonymous said...

naturally like your website however you have to
check the spelling on quite a few of your posts.

A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to
tell the reality however I will surely come back again.

Here is my weblog ... diets that work for women

Anonymous said...

Somebody essentially lend a hand to make severely articles I might state.
That is the very first time I frequented your website page and to this
point? I amazed with the analysis you made to create this actual
publish extraordinary. Magnificent job!

Also visit my homepage - waist hip ratio calculator

Anonymous said...

Thanks , I have recently been looking for information about this topic for a long time and yours is
the greatest I have found out till now. However, what concerning the conclusion?

Are you positive about the source?

Here is my site :: how to lose weight fast for women

Anonymous said...

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I'm assuming having a
blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very internet savvy so I'm not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

Also visit my site: height to waist ratio

Anonymous said...

With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any
problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
My blog has a lot of unique content I've either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any ways to help stop content from being ripped off? I'd
truly appreciate it.

Also visit my blog post: Suggested Web page

Anonymous said...

It's going to be ending of mine day, except before ending I am reading this wonderful piece of writing to improve my know-how.

Here is my website; Xength X1 Reviews

Anonymous said...

Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting
anywhere, when i read this post i thought i could also make comment
due to this brilliant post.

Also visit my web site:

Anonymous said...

Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave
it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and
screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

Here is my weblog ... Saffron X Weight Loss

Anonymous said...

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

my web blog Best Diet Patch

Anonymous said...

I'm extremely impressed with your writing skills as neatly as with the layout in your weblog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it's uncommon to peer a nice blog like
this one today..

Also visit my webpage :: acai ultra lean diet

Anonymous said...

Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few
of the pictures aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure
why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.

Check out my homepage: Liposom

Anonymous said...

I simply couldn't go away your site before suggesting that I actually loved the usual info a person provide in your guests? Is gonna be again steadily to inspect new posts

Feel free to surf to my weblog ...

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Its genuinely amazing article, I have got much clear idea
regarding from this piece of writing.

Feel free to visit my web page diets that work

Anonymous said...

What's up, yeah this post is in fact pleasant and I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging. thanks.

my page - what should i weigh

Anonymous said...

Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favourite justification appeared to be on the internet the simplest factor to consider of.
I say to you, I certainly get irked even as folks think about concerns that they just don't realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect , other folks can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

My web site - how much should i weigh for my age and height

Anonymous said...

Build your courage while visualising how you want to do.
Flowers are another excellent gift idea for her. If you are desperate
to get a woman whom you like. A lot of women are turned off by this.

While I am sure you will find yourself without a clue on where and how to
fix it?

My website how do you get a girlfriend

Anonymous said...

Hopefully you now know all about Mortgage Forgiveness Bad Credit Loans Act is set to last usually a year.
Having a tight cash flow is really not the case? There are free applications
available on the federal and state governments to channel billions
of dollars into the US economy and further burden it. It means exactly what
it does - consolidate your payments and interest rate thieves!
Full disclosure on statements mean that consumers are feeling the burden of curiosity out of your debt with bad credit loans.

Here is my homepage :: bad credit finance

Anonymous said...

Hey There. I found your weblog the usage of msn. That is a very smartly written article.

I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of
your useful information. Thank you for the post. I'll certainly comeback.

Take a look at my webpage ... look what I found

Anonymous said...

Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous
to and you are just extremely excellent. I actually like what you have acquired here,
really like what you're stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can't wait to read far more from you.

This is really a tremendous web site.

Also visit my blog post ... How Can I lose weight

Anonymous said...

I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your content.
The article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

Review my site raspberry ketone ultra 500

Anonymous said...

It is a huge benefit for the credit acquired and also that the legitimate use of the credit card to consider that students need to
build a good credit history. Late payment fees may also
be applicable and may be collateralized with real property,
most commonly your house.

Here is my blog - consolidate debts

Anonymous said...

There are three major Relief from debt
programs available to them. If you decide to take it up.

Anonymous said...

Have you eveг сonѕidereԁ publiѕhing an е-book oг guest authοring οn other ωebsites?
I have a blog bаsed upon on the sаme ѕubϳectѕ you
discuss аnd would reallу liκе to haνe yοu shагe sоmе stoгіeѕ/іnformatiοn.
I know my vіѕitorѕ ωоuld appreciate your wοrk.
If yоu aге even remotely interesteԁ, fеel frеe to sеnd me an emaіl.

my ωeb pаge - pure green coffee and colon cleanse diet

Anonymous said...

Тhank you for thе auspicіouѕ writeup.
It іn fact usеd to bе a amusеmеnt аcсount іt.
Loοk сomρleх to more brought аgгeeable frοm yοu!
Ηowevеr, how сan we cοmmunісаtе?

Feel frее to surf tо mу pаge - Car Insurance quotes

Health Fitness Expert said...

Top medical experts in both the U.S.
and in England now believe it is the EXCLUSIVE cause of almost
all human Health and weight gain on earth. >> Click Here