January 30, 2006 (Belize) – Well Day 1 and 2 are behind us. Day 1 went well as everyone left the start in a blaze of glory, but as the day wore on they got reeled back in. A native Belize rider and Walker from the USA were leading and a Quebec rider was right behind them. Nothing too exciting happened on the first day, but the scenery was beautiful as the kilometers rolled by, and it just got better and better.
With about 40K to go we headed into more remote territory with no phone access, so we all hoped everything would be ok until the finish, as you’d have to wait until you were picked up if you had any problems. With about 10K to the finish I got a flat, but was able to change it quickly and did not get too far behind. When the riding was over it was time to set up our tents. We had a 1K hike to the campground and once there, had to find the driest spots available as it’s been raining here for a week. It rained a little on Day 1 as well, but it was quite refreshing. As the day came to a close everyone settled in early to get a much needed rest and to be ready for Day 2 – the longest stage at 150K.
Day 2 did not start very well for me as I noticed just before the start that I had a punctured tire and had to scurry around to find a new one. It was a road stage and luckily I was able to find someone who loaned me a tire and I made the switch in time for the start. Everyone headed out around 7:55 am and while some riders took their time, a group formed at the front. About a quarter of the way through the stage more groups started to form and I found myself in the lead group – I have no idea how that happened but we all worked together like we’ve been doing this for a while.
We finally made it to the lunch break at 80K and as everyone rested and grabbed a bite to eat and drink a Belize rider took off and got huge lead. We left the rest stop rejuvenated but during the second leg of the stage we started to feel the kilometers, and with 25K to go everyone started to feel really fatigued. We stopped again for a short break, to drink some water and put on protection from the sun. Then it was time to start again and we worked together and made sure no one got left behind as the temperature soared into the 40’s (with humidity)S riding on pavement made it even hotter.
As we neared the finish, after riding 140K, we were dealt a bit more punishment as the final stretch was on a washboard road. With everything in our bodies shaking as well as our bikes, we’d had enough as we crossed the finish line exhausted but happy. We welcomed the rest but soon after began preparing for Day 3 – a 110K route with hills. Stay tuned…
Temple to Temple 2006
Day 1 – Start at the temples of Lubaantun and finish in Blue Creek – 85K.
Day 2 – Start at Blue Creek and end at Hopkins
Village on the Caribbean Sea – 150K.
Day 3 – Start at the Beach in Hopkins and cycle
along the Western Highway to Jaguar Paw 0 – 110K.
Day 4 – Start at Jaguar Paw and finish at the
temples of Caracol in Pine Ridge – 125 K.
Day 5 – Start at the Mayan ruins of Caracol and finish in San Ignacio – 85K.
Day 6 – Start in San Ignacio and finish at Caves
Branch along the Southern Highway – 75K Followed
by an inner tube race through the caves.
Day 7 – Start at Caves Branch and finish at the
The Placencia hotel on the Placencia Peninsula –
Total distance 750K