CYCLING is a male dominated sport, but among the throng of bikers who took part in Saturday's annual Jamaica by Bike Charity Ride, were a bevy of beauties who risked the scorching sun to make the approximately 12-hour journey from Kingston to Negril.
The aim of the event was to raise close to $1 million to purchase a fibreoptic bronchoscope for the University of the West Indies (UHWI) Intensive Care Unit. The instrument is used for the diagnosis of trauma patients who have spinal injury in the neck region.
Among the female riders who took time out to manoeuvre their bikes along the north coast for a worthy cause, was Judy Chin, who was making her third such trip. She admits that cycling is a hard sport, especially when you are a beginner, but seeing that a number of her relatives are already professionals in the sport, she was able to fit right in.
"Once you put in the time and the training and the work that comes with it, you will be fine," she said.
Plus, she added, "The riders that we usually ride with are men and they usually take care of us. If you should have a mechanical problem or something, they will take care of you."
For fitness trainer Rachel Hernould, the bike rides allow her to get in a good work-out while enjoying Jamaica's natural beauty.
"You are out there with nature, you are out there with friends, you could not ask for a more beautiful country to ride around. You get to see the rivers, the seas, the mountains," she gushed.
Having been a member of Jamaica by Bike for the past 14 years, she is no newcomer to the sport. In fact, she has made the trek to Negril with the group on at least 12 occasions.
"Anything to do with sports and cycling I love, and if it's going to help somebody by me participating, you have caught me," she said.
Jamaica by Bike initially started as a challenge for amateur cyclists to test themselves after a full year of training. The Heroes' weekend ride marked the 20th year and is a significant milestone for the group.
Since its inception, the group has made donations to the Jamaica Cancer Society, Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre and the UHWI Intensive Care Unit.