Jaymie Mart - BARBADOS NATIONAL DOWNHILL TEAM - one of the most colourful and well loved athletes on the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup tour today.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tara. Don't stop believing.

Where do I start on this one. If you are reading this, then I would presume that you already read my site and are a fan of DH. If so, you would have heard about the horrific injury Tara Llanes sustained in September 2007. I first heard of the news a few hours after the accident and was on the way to work really early one Sunday morning. I pulled over for a good while, cried a bit and carried on as though I had been in a cold bath for a while, I was numb.Tara has had two lots of major surgery and has been in hospital in Denver for just over 3 months. What she hasn't gone through, physically, mentally and emotionally in those last three months is no bodies business. We popped by to see her pretty much as soon as we landed in Denver and gathered the troops. I was so excited to see her, but naturally a little scared, I just didn't know what to expect. T was AMAZIN, she was bubbly and had the same spark about her that I just adore! Her andf Polly told us all about the crazy stuff she has gone through T showed us the scars from surgery on her spine and some videos of her playing air guitar to 'Journey-Don't stop believing'. It was taken a few days after her surgery and she was pretty smashed on her combiconction of drugs...it was a pretty funny vid!! We stayed longer than I thought, time literally flew, I looked at my watch and it was 9.30pm, T was drooping. She works so hard all day everyday, she gets pretty tired early on. We all vacated and let her get on with her nightly routine.

I popped back on Monday to spend some QT with her and stay with her through a whole day of classes in the Craig rehab Hospital. It was an amazing hospital with one of thee best facilities for the treatment of spinal injuries in the US, if not the world. There were athletes and none athletes in there and the atmosphere was just so inspirational. All of the flags you see hanging up are from old patients, some with msgs on, some with names, others were just hanging.

Tara's schedule was NUTS, I swear, it was like a whole day of P.E. lessons. She started out early doors, first class at 9am, I joined her for some mat to floor work and watched her complete her first bench to floor manoeuvre, it was amazing, her determination was unreal. After that, she got to stand in a support structure that helps keep you upright. We had a wicked game of Jenga and just as it was hotting up, T took a turn, she suddenly got really cold and we all went back to her room so she could get some rest. After lunch, she had ROM testing, then a class where she learned to get in and out of a car and then a second class where she learned how to manoeuvre down steps in her chair BACKWARDS...after that, she had a demonstration of how to correct her chair if she happened to tip backwards. All that in one day, I was exhausted just watching!
I learned alot in one day and I am not going to wing out a whole load of meaningless cliches. Seeing one of your good mates struggling and fighting with a smile on her face, a world of pain on one shoulder and a bigger world of determination on the other really makes you think about what is important in life. Never be complaisant with anything or anyone and give everything in life 110% effort and committment. In the fine words of Journey 'Don't stop believing, hold on to that feeling.'

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So, in true Dum and Dummer style, M-Dawg and I cruised on into Golden (Denver) in hire car STRIKE 2 and landed 'clad for the hills' of Aspen in our somewhat ridiculous get up at the Yeti HQ, in search of the famous D-Dawg Donkey…Denvers hottest bit of bachelor…and we are not talking Bachelor of Science fellow readers. D-Dawg excels in many things, most notably, he has a fine tuned nose for take outs and any situation in which he can slyly unleash his pinkie??? To find out more, keep your eye on the Yeti website over 08.! We walked in on a full-scale on 2008 staff photo session, so naturally, we joined in! Would have been rude not to, seen as how we were dressed for the occasion! We had some Friday night beers with the guys and a wee tour round before hitting down town Denver in search of the smiley face of the one and only Tara Llanes. I’ll tell you all about T in a different chapter. After lunch meal and a heavy night in a club in Denver, we descended on D-Dawgs apartment for a good nights sleep!!

Damion babysat us both for 3 days, chauffeuring us around and showing us the sights and sounds of Denver; he took us to some cool places to eat (breakfast, dinner and T!!) and shop (fancy dress up....and proper shopping).

One afternoon D and I ventured up to Winterpark to try and hire Ski-doos, unfortunately after a lot of digressing over a VERY LARGE breakfast, we got there too late. To make up for it, D taught me how to 'drive in the snow', we were in our rental car (which was more like an overly mumMY-ISH Chealsea tractor complete with 'buff' interior), and it was an automatic, but we had a great laugh anyway!!
I think D was pretty much forced to get down with his feminine side for three days!! Using his laptop as a makeup desk, blaring girly choons from his ipod speakers, singing and dancing and finally, hanging towels to dry on his pristine bikes probably took things a little too far (sorry, x). Aside from two corners of his apartment overflowing with girls bits, clothes, pants, shoes, coats, scarves....I think he really enjoyed having us.

We met up with Neven, and her cool Boulder friends. Neven never fails to make me smile, her amazing face just lights up like a Christmas tree and her wicked laugh just makes me laugh in return, we have like we have infectious laughing diarrhea!!
Denver is a cool city, there is a great vibe about the place, we didn’t spend much time there, but driving around it was evident that live music still had a firm footing in the social side of the city. It dumped when we got there so the city was under a thick blanket of snow which made the place seem even more magical. The roads were nothing but HELLISH tho, but thankfully, D took care of the driving, a seasoned pro shall we say, we were in safe hands. The city had a wonderfully western feel about the place, some of the buildings although pretty new were very in keeping for a western city with as I would imagine it to be, there was a hint of the wild west of you looked carefully enough.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Phoenix to Denver, 2 hire cars and a splash of coffee...

Inspired by two major American classics, Dumb and Dummer and Thelma and Louise, Melissa and I found ourselves battering every last beat out of our eyelids and scoring a snazzy Nissan Roadster 350z for the equivalent of a lavish Sunday lunch at the chippy!! We sped off into the distance, first stop Flagstaff for a meal and catch up with Motty Mott Mott! After that we headed under a blanket of stars to Grand Canyon Village where we lay our weary heads for the night. We woke up at the crack of dawn and made our way up to the Grand Canyon to watch the sun rise....and GRAND it was!! It is not one of the 7 wonders of the world for nothing, it was nothing short of breathtaking, we seemed to stop at every conceivable vantage point; Maricopa, Mather and Pima, to name but a few. There was no big blazing solace due to the wisps of cloud over head, but it was certainly an amazing experience.On the way out of the Grand Canyon we stumbled upon some beautifully tame wildlife......mmm, not every day you get so close to these beasties!!

So......onwards through the vast Indian reservations and prairie lands of the Wild wild west, through the Monument Valley, out of Arizona and into Utah, through San Juan, Moab (the MTB Mecca of the US) at 125mph (momentarily) in the 350ZZZZZZZZZZ. We pulled into Top Fuels Uncle and Aunts house just as the snow flakes started falling out of the sky. We had some awesome home cooked nosh and sank a few glasses under the stars in the hot tub. Bliss!!
In the morning, we rose just after 4am to finish the rest of the voyage from Grand Junction to Denver. There was a slick blanket of snow outside. With news of no road closures and a good versing into the perils of driving in the snow, we took the bull by the horns and hit the road. 2 yuppies, 1 sports car, 1 coffee to go, ipod blaring, heaters on, city boots, scarves, make up...you name it, we had it. We lasted 10 minutes before careering off the road into a ditch!! I guess city tyres aren't so good in the snow?!

Thankfully, Uncle Tom is a dab hand with motors!! He and his buff son Brock pulled us out a few hours later, it was an effort, but only one that the real Men of this world could have accomplished....and they did in style. Para nosotros nada!! Off to Hertz to deposit the city mobile, pick up the 4x4 and it was 'Bon voyage' to Grand Junction...we headed to the mountains for the last part of the expedition. The second hire car was functional, a new white Toyota. In comparison to the 350Z it was a mere skid-mark in the pants of rentable sports mobiles, but it was spacious and warm! So off we went, surfing the glistening white tarmac one more time.

MX in the Desert

So, on the last day in Phoenix, Buhl, Dave and I opened up the gas in the Desert. We had a fruit salad mix of bikes, a 450, a 250 and a lil 125...Me being the rookie...I got the 125, it rocked the hooose dooon!
Buhly gave me a 5 min plug into the Matrix of all things MX, one down, two up, clutch in and out (just like a car)...bla bla bla....off I went, turned nicely and came back down. As I approached, I suddenly realised I didn't really have a scooby doo how to brake. One quick plug into the Matrix of all things brakes at 150 decibels and 173mph from TopFuel and I ground to a controlled halt, no worries!

After experiencing a desert toilet, picture something out of trainspotting +20 odd degrees, I freaking out, peed in the sand and we set off, eagarly in search of a typical desert scene. After a few miles, we resigned ourselves to the fact that maybe we won't see a coyote perched ass end up on a cactus. Disappointed and shattered from the chase, Melissa and I convened to wait for Dave who was struggling in the 'wash' (deep sand). After a few moments, an obscure bellowing came from around an arid desert bush....Had Dave captured the infamous cactus butt plugged coyote??!! Not quite...the bellowing clarified upon his wobbly approach and it became clear that he had not found the infamous cactus butt plugged coyote. On the contary, his exact words were...'Melissa, this MX stuff sucks, I'd rather stick a cactus up my ass...SLOWLY!! All of us bent over double, I think we can safely say, Dave was not enjoying the loose sand!! We headed back to base camp, Dave chilled out and Top fuel and I went off on another BLAST.

We got back to a slightly sultery Dave who was lying, parched and shrivelled up in the back of the truck. Melissa had taken the keys by accident. Dave took it tight that day....but I am sure she made it upto him with a good ole erm....beer. ;). On that note, I will leave you with an image of the sunset in Phoenix, taken from Camelback mountain.....it was a treat first hand let me tell ya!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Hawes Trail, Senoran Desert, Arizona.

Today we hit the Hawes trail. A two hour XC loop in the Senora desert. Sounds hot and it was in comparison to the nippy climate of Bonny Scotland, it was nothing short of scorchio.
As far as an average day in the desert goes, it was cool. It has been raining here the last few days which has hydrated the terrain and made it niiiiiice and grippy.

There was a great bunch of us, loads of fun banter. One of the couples owned the local bike shop, Global Bikes. Nichole the owners wife was so cool, she rides the trails all the time, there is a mecca out there and really easy to get lost. As a cartographer, she took matters into her own hands and decided with the help of her trusty Garmin to map the trails. So, if you are ever in Phoenix and fancy a spin out, all you have to do is nip along to Global, see Mark and Nichole and grab a map! Happy days.

Riding in the desert was cool, it is very much alive with vegetation, cacti are 10 a penny and there are loads of other random shrubs of blooming greenery! It is rocky as hell, like something from a Flintstones film set and dry as bone. There are few big mountains, so the trails are fast and lightly undulating. An awesome stomping ground for winter training. Melissa kindly learnt me her 4X rig which was just perfect, the one chain ring enabled me to sprint down the trails and excuse myself from blasting up the uphills!! My uphill allergy didn't break out all day!! The pedals caused me problems tho, Melissa rides them super tight and I have a weak ankle, so struggle to unclip if they are not slack. I got my feet stuck in em a few times and ended up keeling over like a full scale weekend warrior...it was hilarious!! I also had my first encounter with a flippin cactus....I 'brushed' past one on the trail with my hand, it was pretty sore, like a being subjected to a session with an untrained acupuncture therapist, random, sharp and very unsatisfying!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

When you feel like life is an ongoing wheel of work and no play and a friend needs a hug, it is time to down tools, pack your party pants and move closer to those who you smile with. I packed my bag late at night on Wednesday and sank into bed for a brief 4 hours of ZEDS before being rudely awoken by my alarm clock.

I flew Glasgow-Hamsterjam-Minneapolis-Phoenix, Arizona. Top fuel met me at the airport and the fun began! First stop, the biggest organic supermarket I have ever had the pleasure of getting excited over....we bought up all the goodies possible and headed back to Chez Buhl for a mad night on the beer, wine and kamikazes! After a constant 30 hours, I crashed, drunk, clothes on and safely tucked in on US soil!
There is so much to do in a short 2 weeks, we were forced to sit down and create a methodical planned itinerary! Yesterday, Melissa and I went to her gym. It was amazing, simple and effective, it is a gym for athletes (NBA and NFL guys, tennis players, volleyball champs, you name it...) none of this nancy pantsy machine packed ponse we have in the UK, this place is hardcore and every one in it is 110% focused. I went for a run outside in the heat then joined Buhl for a few sets and some laps pushing this crazy weighted sled up and down an astro pitch, total burner let me tell ya!! After a blast in the mall, we hit the SUNS vs ORLANDO MAGIC NBA game. It was so much fun, amazing atmos!! We had an all American day!

Day two kicked off with a hike in the desert checking out the local fauna and flora! It has been raining the last few days, so it was tres cool. We took the dawgs with us and for lil things, they both did SO well! Melissa and I looped round to Mama and Papa Buhls residence for the biggest home cooked feast since time began!! BELLY FILLER!! On the way we stopped to pick up some ingredients from the super market and Melissa ended up throwing a yogurt pot at this random!! Comedy moment.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rated #23 Hardcore Dude in the World by MBUK

I got the heads up from a few people that MBUK put in a cool wee artical in this months mag under the grand count down to see who is the #1 Hardcore dude in the world. They rated lil ole me # 23. Yea!!

It reads;

You don't have to be the most talented rider in the world to be hardcore. Those who aren't and keep on because they love it are arguable the real thing.
Jaymie was pushed into downhill by an ex boyfriend and has never quit. She doesn't disgrace herself, neither is she the best at world level, but she is so keen to ride at top leve that she persuaded Barbados it needed a DH team and that she is it!
Her Mum is a black Barbadian and her Dad's a ginger Mancunian and she's the most irripressible and amusing advertisement for MTBing on the planet!

Get yourself a copy and check the photos!!


Monday, November 05, 2007

The off season.

My party trick...the cartwheel, how novel, Not. Watch yer drinks...incoming!!

I guess everyone is pretty similar in the off season...we hibernate, migrate towards friends and fun before starting to train!! I'm no different, it has been an awesome start to the winter. With Trudys hen night then the wedding, Luxys 30th, loads of dinner parties, old friends, new friends and a diary that is busting at the seams, it has been a little hard to sit still, not that I do that usually. The A.D.D sees to that big style!!
I've been flying my new kite a little, it's a wee 1.85m Flexifoil rage in pink...pink to make the boys wink ;)!! It's just enough for me to handle, thanks to Paul for getting me a whopper of a discount and Hakim for supervising me on its maiden flight and making sure I didn't take off around the world!! We had loads of fun!! XX
K, so, what else....I hung out in a tornado the other week, all part of a days work!! I spent a lil time in London of late and managed to squeeze in a night with my Bro and his fiance Liz. They are both big up muso types and landed us on a +A guest list to a Led Zepplin DVD launch after party...we hung out, took advantage of the free stuff and then moved on for big drunken eats in SOHO! OH...........I'M GOING TO BE A BRIDESMAID AT MY BROS WEDDING!!

Speaking of weddings, Wayne and Trudy got married this weekend. Congrats, good luck and enjoy! It was a mammoth doooo, very traditional, too many drunk northern MTBers under one roof! Good to catch up, I passed out a little early, lost my shoes and it snowed! Snow balls were defo out the window, far too hungover to care enough to sacrifice the warm fingers!
Here is a lesson for the day.......Never drop 'lovehearts' into champagne.