I have been promoting an adventure with Kathryn Bertine and her business partner in the company Bike CR, which caters to Latin American cycling camps/training trips. The camp we are hosting will be February 12-18th featuring an all-inclusive (we are THAT close to Mexico) seven day/six night (five days of training) tour of Belize and Guatemala on two wheels. You might be wondering: why, of all places, are they going there? I was also somewhat skeptical at first, my first concerns were whether those countries would be safe and hospitable to cycling. Have no fear! We will not be paving new ground in these countries as the cycling culture is alive and healthy. Cycling is big in both Belize and Guatemala.
First get out a map and look at where Belize is: crammed in between Mexico and Guatemala. Yes it is in right on the edge of the ocean. Beautiful reef and a long stretch of coastline perfect for lots of post ride beach bum opportunities. Belize is not just for watersports, it also has many cyclists using bikes for a variety of things. From transportation, to hauling, to handy businesses, to racing, the noble bicycle is a key player in Belize’s transport system.
The Belize Cycling Association does a great job developing aspiring athletes into competitive racers and has races ranging from the National Champs only open to citizens of Belize to the 140cm Cross Country Classic, a race so big with foreign athletes it essentially shuts down the country the day it takes place. They are not strangers to spandex clad tourism.
The roads are considered good to fair. So there is not a brand new paved section of tarmac but it isn’t mountain biking. Bring heavy, flat resistant 23-25 tires for this trip to be safe. You know, like you would bring to Tucson.
Guatemala is just a hop/skip/jump away and hosts some incredible historical places and cultural experiences. Seeing both of these countries on two wheels negates the unpleasantness that would arise from trying to navigate by car. Moving slower on a bike is enjoyable- in a car it is annoying.
So let’s go check these places out enjoying the warm seasonal afternoon 30C temperatures and get fit and cultured all at that same time. Last year the superstar Chrissie Wellington was the guest coach and every single camp participant left with an amazing aura of awesomeness thanks to her. This year I have the dubious task of trying to fill her extraordinarily accomplished shoes. Therefore, I plan to be if not as awesome at least as if not more enthusiastic about our adventure and will do some additional swim/run/core workouts while Kathryn whips us all into shape on the bike. It is going to be a killer time. Make it happen.
These are the details, see ya there: http://bikecr.com/bikecr_wp/?p=141
Questions? Ping Kathryn at espnolympian AT aol DOT com. Or me…. through the website.