January 28, 2006 (Lubaantun, Belize) – The weather is not very desireable as it has rained here for about a week and with the lack of infrastructure the roads are getting washed out. It should lend itself to a very messy start to the inaugural Temple to Temple race, running from January 29 to February 4, 2006.
The Temple to Temple is the world’s first bike race linking the great temples of Lubaantun to Caracol, Belize spanning over 750K in seven days. The race will take competitors on and off pavement through rugged mountains, jungle, caves, local villages, and of course, Mayan ruins!
I arrived here today at 2:30 pm with everything intact. My bike had arrived earlier in the week to avoid what happens all too often – delay of the most important item, your bike. I was able to check in and get things in order after a long bumpy ride from the Placencia airport where the terminal is the size of a large home.
The Temple to Temple 2006 tour is hosting 24 riders from five countries including Canada, Germany, United States, Belize and the United Kingdom. There are riders with many different goals in mind – some are here to win and others are here just to take in the splendor of Belize.
As the Ontario Cycling Association’s Manager of High Performance Programs I am riding the Temple to Temple event to raise money for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto, a nonprofit organization focusing on providing mentors to children in need of additional positive adult support
Organizer Michael de Jong and Adam Ruppel from Chico Racing gave all riders an orientation to the event over a great meal, covering the itinerary and what to expect on the first leg of the race.
With a meagre 85K ahead of us on the first day it should get everyone moving and hearts pumping as the race kicks into full gear on Monday, Day 2, and the longest leg of the event at 150K.
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 – 120K
Total distance 750K