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Resolve to ride in 2016

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The CFB Cycling Calendar is out and it proposes more races for its men, women and junior members. The Weekend Warriors have held their preliminary races before their first race series start at the end of January for the A, B and C class riders. For those who continue to sport spandex in their spare time and coast at a sub-20mph pace, there is hope; not for Cross Country but for yourself and your community. Every year there is at least 675 miles courtesy of several charity rides for the non-competitive bike rider.

Dates for two rides, hosted OCEANA and Ariel Rosado Foundation, have been confirmed thus far. The OCEANA Ride to the Reef will be held on Saturday, March 12. This ride is scheduled as part of the annual Reef Week in March and is intended to draw awareness to the organization’s conservation efforts. The course remains the same leaving from Independence Hill in Belmopan City and finishing at the BTL Park in Belize City for just over 50 miles.

The second confirmed ride is the Ariel Rosado Foundation Ride usually scheduled for the third Saturday after Holy Saturday annually. That would be April 16 this year. The foundation’s primary purpose is to provide funding for educational scholarships and promoting a sporting lifestyle. The ride is between 75-80 miles and leaves from Galen University at mile 62.5 on the Western Highway en route to Belize City. There is a small detour into Belmopan City before continuing on the Western Highway and diverting through the Boom Road Bypass to take the Northern Highway into Belize City.

Perhaps the most anticipated and certainly the most challenging event is the Belize Social Security Board’s “Ride Across Belize (RAB)”. The four day bike ride is part of the Board’s annual fundraising efforts to assist worthy/needy social organizations across the country. RAB leaves from the northern-most town of Corozal to Belize City on day 1. On day 2, it covers Belize City to San Ignacio with a pit stop at the Board’s headquarters in Belmopan City along the way. The following day features the Hummingbird Highway as the ride leaves San Ignacio and heads to Dangriga Town. The final day leaves Dangriga Town en route to the southern-most town of Punta Gorda. Pedalling all four days can net you just about 340 miles. RAB begins on a Wednesday and ends on a Saturday and is usually scheduled around the Board’s anniversary which is June 1. This year, June 1 is a Wednesday and though we have yet to receive confirmation, it is safe to assume that your practice miles should get you ready for the 1st-4th of June.

The smallest ride, ordinarily held in July or August, is the DARA “Ride for Hunger”. The ride is in support of Dara’s Feeding Program for Children in the Belize City. It’s a 45 mile loop from Belize City, up the Northern Highway, through the Boom Road Bypass and back to the city via Western Highway. In November, the Belize Diabetes Association hosts the other multi-day ride under the social calendar with its “Ride Out Diabetes” two day event. Day 1 is from Corozal to Belize City and day 2 is from San Ignacio to Belize City. This is usually the last of such rides for the calendar year. In 2015 the first ride was Belize Natural Energy’s ride, in support of the Dangriga Cancer Center and cancer awareness, held in January. That ride was 55 miles from Belmopan City through the Hummingbird Highway hills to Dangriga Town. We have confirmed that there will be no such effort this year, but the company hopes to regroup for next year. One additional opportunity would be the Challenge GOBI Foundation that has hosted charity rides as recent as 2014. They have pledge to keep us informed of their efforts in 2016 in this regard. Their previous rides covered Punta Gorda Town to Belmopan City.

As soon as confirmation is received from the relevant agencies we will update this piece with a full calendar. So dust off those tights, oil those chain rings (and knees) and serve notice to that couch, tough as that may be in the current weather. Get those preparatory miles in and stay tuned for cyclebiz.com social/charity ride challenge 2016 to be announced in the weeks ahead. Help yourself and others by resolving to ride in 2016.

About Isaac Rhys

Isaac Rhys is the Managing Editor at cyclebiz.com. Based in the Belize, he started Cyclebiz in 2015 intent on attracting more attention to local bike races and its participants.

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