August 5, 2005 – Adventurer, entrepreneur, Michael de Jong, founder of the world’s demanding bike race – the 7200 mile, 100 day Tour d’Afrique – will launch his newest adventure ride: Temple to Temple. Set in one of the world’s most pristine eco-systems, the race consists of a 450 mile race across Belize that takes challengers through rugged mountain terrain, steaming jungles, local villages, and unspoiled Mayan ruins. In association with The Placencia Hotel, the competition is Central America’s longest adventure bike race.
Following the path of the ancient Mayans, Temple to Temple links Belize’s two greatest ruins – Lubaantun and Caracol. Each night, riders and support staff camp at the foot of spectacular ruins or tropical jungle lodges. More than a race or competition, Temple to Temple is a mental and physical adventure set in one of the planet’s most beautiful corners.
Says de Jong: “When I first came up with the idea for the Tour d’Afrique, people said I was crazy, that it couldn’t be done. But having proved a great success, I am just as excited and confident that Temple to Temple will also become a must for event cyclists around the globe.”
Temple to Temple is open to anyone who is medically fit and over 16 years of age. The race will have no more than 100 competitors. The winner of the race is determined by the lowest accumulated time over the seven day course. First prize is a brand new Gary Fisher 29er (X-Caliber) mountain bike from Curbside Cycle in Toronto, Canada.
Cost and registration fee are US$1,495 and include all meals and services as well as an all-inclusive stay, before and after, at The Placencia Hotel. Support vehicles – including medical personnel, hospitality staff and bicycle mechanics – will ensure the safety of all participants.
Dutch-Canadian Michael de Jong is an internationally recognized adventurer, entrepreneur, art collector and philanthropist. Originally from Amersterdam, de Jong’s family were among some of the most influential art patrons in Europe, having been directly involved in the development and history of Amsterdam Impressionism since 1832.
After studying economics in Canada, where he now makes his home, de Jong’s fascination with adventure and bicycles led him to invent such widely used items as the Dryad Suspended Sleeping Shelter, the premier hammock tent for expeditions, and the Air Sound rechargeable bike horn, widely used throughout North America.
Michael de Jong has cycled in every continent – and even across India and, of course, Africa. In addition to founding the Tour d’Afrique, de Jong also established its namesake foundation, which raises funds to supply bicycles for health and aid workers dealing with the devastation of famine, poverty and AIDS in Africa.
The Placencia Hotel is a haven of modern comfort and natural beauty. With postcard-perfect ocean views, unrivaled diving and snorkeling, historic temples and spectacular eco-systems, the hotel is the ultimate destination for those who want to escape modern civilization without ever having to be uncivilized.
Temple to Temple Schedule
Day 1. Start at the temples of Lubaantun and finish in Blue Creek – 85 Km.
Day 2. Start at Blue Creek and end at Hopkins Village on the Caribbean Sea – 150Km.
Day 3. Start at the Beach in Hopkins and cycle along the Western Highway to Jaguar Paw – 110Km.
Day 4. Start at Jaguar Paw and finish at the temples of Caracol in Pine Ridge – 125 Km.
Day 5. Start at the Mayan ruins of Caracol and finish in San Ignacio — 85Km.
Day 6. Start in San Ignacio and finish at Caves Branch along the Southern Highway — 75Km. Followed by an inner tube race through the caves.
Day 7. Start at Caves Branch and finish at The Placencia hotel on the Placencia Peninsula –120Km.
Total distance 450 miles
Please note: Because the terrain encountered on the Temple to Temple varies from paved to unpaved, we recommend mountain bikes with a “town and country tire” that can effectively handle both paved and unpaved roads.