|Volume No. 1 Issue No. 71 - Thursday September 29, 2005
|Reknown Cyclist and Washington Post Writer Completes Bycicle Tour of Dominica |
John Moorhouse - Team Twentyfour
A three-day bicycle tour of Dominica was completed on Saturday, September 24 by cyclists John Moorhouse, Bill Donahue, and Peter McBride. The group arrived in Dominica on Tuesday, September 20 from the USA.
The start time of the biking expedition was postponed one day due to a delay in the arrival of one member of the groups’ equipment.
The bike tour began at the Roseau Valley Hotel in Copthall on the morning of Thursday, September 22 at approximately 10am. The three riders did a brief jaunt through downtown Roseau before they proceeded on to the historic Bois Cotlette estate in the Soufriere area, where they were met by estate owner Mr. Michael Didier.
Mr. Didier gave the cyclists a lesson on the history and former operation of the estate in addition to a tour of the property and some insight into its restoration.
From Bois Cotlette, the cyclists proceeded further south to Scott’s Head, where a number of photographs were taken of the area. After spending some time in the Scott’s Head area, the cyclists turned around in a northward direction and headed back to the GrandBay road junction at Loubiere, where they turned and proceeded up the climb to Bellvue Chopin.
The cyclists encountered nightfall in this area but were equipped with high-power lighting equipment, which was used from this point on.
They continued southward through the Geneva area and then turned east through the areas of Stowe and Fond St. Jean.
Due to several stops earlier in the day, the riders were about three hours behind their projected time of arrival at Jungle Bay Resort at Pte. Mulatre. Due to concern of the rider’s whereabouts, Sam Raphael of Jungle Bay Resort set out to look for the cyclists, where he caught up with them in Bagatelle.
The cyclists lightened their load at this point by leaving some of their gear in the vehicle driven by Mr. Raphael and then proceeded on through Bagatelle and Petite Savanne.
There were two very challenging climbs in this area, the second one at Morne Paix Bouche being the greater of the two. Partway up Morne Paix Bouche, photographer and cyclist Peter McBride began experiencing difficulty and decided to complete that day’s leg of the tour in the vehicle driven by Mr. Raphael. John Moorhouse & Bill Donahue continued on from that point on their bicycles and arrived at Jungle Bay Resort at around 8pm.
The cyclists were given a tour of Jungle Bay and Mr. Raphael was interviewed by Bill Donahue.
After a few photographs taken of the area the next morning, the riders set out from Pte Mulatre at approximately 11am, heading north along Dominica’s east coast. Areas traveled through were Boetica, Delices, LaPlaine, Morne Jaune, Riviere Cirique, and Rosalie.
The riders stopped for a moment at the Castle Bruce Road Junction after a 5.4 mile climb from Rosalie which took 49 minutes. After the stop, they proceeded downhill towards Castle Bruce.
A maximum speed of 45.6mph was recorded by John Moorhouse partway between the Castle Bruce Road Junction and the Castle Bruce Village.
Once again, Peter McBride was unfortunately beginning to experience some difficulty from muscle cramps and was able to secure a ride with a driver in Castle Bruce to that day’s destination in the Carib Territory. John Moorhouse & Bill Donahue continued on into the Carib Territory and arrived at the Carib Territory Guest House at about 6:20 in the evening.
The three cyclists were welcomed by Carib Chief Charles Williams and had the privilege of witnessing a series of live boxing matches between the Dominica National Boxing Team and the Carib Territory Boxing Club, coached by Francis Augustine. Mr. Augustine is the first Dominican to qualify to participate in the Pan Am Games. Bill Donahue interviewed Chief Williams about the Carib history, culture, and people.
The cyclists set out at about 8:30am on Saturday, September 24 from the Carib Territory Guest House, completing the trek through the Carib Territory.
They then turned southward at the Hatton Garden junction and cycled through Concorde, the Central Forest Reserve, and Belles.
A stop was made in Belles for refreshments before the cyclists rode on to Pond Casse. While at Pond Casse, camera and video equipment were installed on John Moorhouse’s and Peter McBride’s bicycles for documentation of the ride down through the Layou Valley.
A stop was made in Layou for lunch, and then the riders were then met with a crew from Marpin Television News at the Layou River Bridge for a brief interview about the expedition.
The cyclists completed the tour with a return ride to Roseau through Mahaut, Massacre, and Canefield. Some photos to document the end of the trip were taken just before dusk at the Roseau Bayfront, The cyclists then returned to the Roseau Valley hotel, arriving there at about 7 in the evening.
Photos taken by Peter McBride will be used in an article that is being written about the expedition by Bill Donahue for an upcoming travel edition of the Washington Post Magazine.
Some statistics about the trip:
Total miles ridden: 110
Total hours spent on bicycles: 11.5 hours per rider
Average speed: 9.7mph
Maximum speed: 45.6mph
For more information please contact John Moorhouse at [email protected] or tel. 767.449.8176