Navigating the track at Dirt Adventure
Alwyn Williams has fond memories of his childhood days growing up in Farm Town in Discovery Bay, St Ann, where he spent a lot of time running through the bushes and playing football with friends on open fields.
“As a teen, I used to play daCosta Cup for York Castle High School. I loved those days because my family would come out and support me, plus my community was also very proud of me,” shares Williams.
However, at the age of 16 his family was hit with a devastating blow when his father passed away from cancer. “It was very hard on me and my three siblings, as he was the breadwinner of the family. My mother had to take on the responsibility, so she started looking for opportunities. When I was 19, we migrated to Atlanta, United States, where she found a job that could take care of us,” reveals Williams.
While working as an adult in Atlanta, Williams would frequently travel to Jamaica for recreational purposes, as well as to meet up with family members. One of the activities they would do is ride their ATVs in the community. “My cousins and I started riding in the scheme, but we knew it was illegal because ATVs are supposed to ride off road and not on the street. So we usually had problems with the police now and then.”
The spark to an idea
Not wanting to become a nuisance to his neighbours or the law, Williams, in 2015, started looking at his family property, located in nearby Boscobel, St Mary, that was filled with trees and wild bushes. “My family had a piece of property that was sitting idle, so I decided to carve out a racetrack on it, which took us nine months of hard labour to accomplish, because the place was like a forest.”
Fortunately for Williams, some construction work was taking place close to his property and the workmen had many of the equipment he needed. “I asked them if they could do some work for me when their day job was through, and they said yes. This was great, because we needed the bulldozer to push down the large trees. After that, we used our machetes to clear up the rest of things.”
With all this investment taking place, Williams decided to permanently relocate to Jamaica and focus on his family property. His next objective was to ensure that the track was fun, yet challenging. “I would go around to persons who ride ATVs and ask them what they like in a track. Everyone told me to not do it in a circle, as that would make it boring,”
To avoid any monotony, Williams made a track that had a section built on a plain for beginners; and for the more advanced riders, or those who are not faint of heart, there is a hill ascent and descent challenge.
Getting the business off the ground
“At first, it was something I extended to my community, and we would only do it on a Sunday. A lot of persons would come and watch, and after a while it started to pick up, especially with locals.”
Williams has seen his dream slowly become a reality, as he is now open to the public for seven days of the week, with Saturdays being his busiest day. To add to the experience, there is also a boat ride along the coastline of Ocho Rios. “I have a vision for this thing and so I will always try to do something different. The next thing for us is paintball.”
William says he intends to do more investment in his business and does not regret coming back to Jamaica. “Everywhere in the world there are problems, it’s not something that’s just in Jamaica. Plus, this is the place I love, my roots are here,” he says.
Who is it for: Primarily locals, Adventurers and outdoor persons
Degree of difficulty: 3.5 out of 5
Tip: If you are uncomfortable with the ATV, go with the dune buggy.
What to carry: face mask and something to drink
Where is it: Paradise Edge, Boscobel, St. Mary