Fri | Apr 26, 2019

CDCR off to an impressive start

Published:Sunday | July 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMKareem Latouche
From left: Michael Smith, Nadine Smith (sitting), Lisa Bowman Lee and Tavar Mighty, the organisers of the event, were excited to get the show started.
As part of the organising team Nicholas Lee (left) and brother Matthew Lee made sure everyone way safe in his UTV.
Nicholas Moncrieffe and Taneisha Toques found the tour exhilarating.
Background, from left: Donavan Montague and Simone Witter are all smiles. (at front, from left) Tajei Henriques and driver Nicholas Lee were always ahead of the pack.
Christopher Yap was ready to go again.
Derrick Thompson was all thumbs up for the tour.
Half way through the tour there was a stopping point where patrons stretched their legs and of course took selfies.
Cin-sia Singh, emergency medical technician at Saving Lives Emergency Care and Transport Services, was present if anyone got injured.
This was the starting point where all the vehicles assembled.

With so many auto-related events taking place during the summer, a group of friends decided that they wanted to do something that was different from the norm, and the first thing they thought about was having a unique name. "We wanted a name that would pretty much capture the whole experience of the event, hence, Chill, Drink, Chat, Ride (CDCR)," stated co-coordinator Nadine Smith.

Their next action was to come up with a concept that would be fun and interesting for patron, while being attractive enough to solicit the support of sponsors. "The CDCR crew, as well as a circle of friends, usually come together on some weekends and chill, drink, chat, and ride. It was always an excellent experience and we figured it was too good an experience to not share with the rest of Jamaica," said Smith.

This led to the first staging of CDCR, which was held at Hayfield Village, Ewarton, last Sunday and served as a scenic and relaxing getaway for patrons. "Well, the area is actually our home town, born and raised, and we wanted to share the experience with the community, as well as provide job opportunities for locals along with building our brand. There is also a trail close by which is ideal for the great riding experience," disclosed Lisa Bowman-Lee, co-coordinator.

The party set-up was done on a field, where sponsors and vendors had various items on sale from as early as noon. An early favourite for patrons was the food vendor, who had persons running for second servings of his jerk chicken, chicken soup and seafood. "Based on the exciting feedback from the patrons, we would definitely consider it a success as our goal was to have others experience that thrill of the ride. Redbull and RumBar Rum assisted in creating that ambience for that bush-trail adventure, and patrons took full advantage of our free Wi-Fi provided by NexTech," said Bowman-Lee.


Let the driving begin


After patrons finished eating, they registered for the utility task vehicle (UTV) tour. Once this was done, safety instructions were given, and patrons were given a short tutorial on how to manoeuvre the UTV.

From the get go, it was obvious that the UTVs were the pulling cards for the event, these are much bigger in dimension than the popular All Terrain Vehicles (ATV)and have a similar silhouette to a car.

"A UTV tends to be beefier than an ATV and allows for side-by-side riding, so more than one person can experience the trail together. Nonetheless, we have both ATVs and UTVs, but we know UTVs are not very popular in Jamaica, so we wanted to be the first to create such an experience at an event," shared Bowman-Lee.

She continued to elaborate on the high performance of these vehicles and stated, "They are very powerful. Most of the ones we have are turbocharged and are built for performance. Some can take you from 0-60 [mph] in just 4.4 seconds. They have well-built suspension, rugged wheels and good ground clearance, making them ready for any terrain. They eat up bumps and hills like nothing!"

Once patrons were informed and properly strapped in, the 20-minute tour began at a huge semicircular Red Bull banner. The journey had persons going through a dusty terrain surrounded by trees and led to a rock-collection site where drivers stopped for a breather and took some selfies. "This trail is actually an abandoned road, and it has the perfect amount of hills, stretches and different terrain to have the patron fully experience the adrenaline and precision of the UTV ride," said Bowman-Lee.

With such a positive experience, the group is going back to the drawing board to ensure that the next event will outdo this one. "Well, we are in negotiations for other trails, but based on the demand of the patrons and sponsors, we might have to do another event at our current location very soon," Smith said.