Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic in Belize

It’s amazing what one can learn when he moves to another country. Today, I learned that the facilities manager at CAHSU is a fan of cycling. He doesn’t seem like the active type, but we talked about everything from a way to ship my bike from the US within a week to the Contador/Schleck rivalry in the Tour de France to Lance Armstrong’s doping controversy. He also told me about Belize’s oldest and most popular cycling event, the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, which is gaining international recognition.

The race is held on Holy Saturday, which is on Easter weekend. It is also known as ‘Cayo and Back,’ ‘Ride for the Roses,’ and ‘The Holy Day.’ The ride has been going on since 1928 and the 2014 race will be the 86th annual, only 25 years younger than the Tour de France. The distance of the race is an impressive 142. 4 miles and starts at Mile 2 on Belize’s Western Highway, a popular road for cycling. From there, according to Wikipedia, “Cyclists race to the western town of San Ignacio, in the Cayo District, turn there and return to Belize City, finishing at the Marion Jones Sports Complex (formerly the National Stadium) with two laps on the asphalt track (more recently on flat straight portions of Princess Margaret Drive and Marine Parade while the Complex is under renovation).” The race attracts thousands of spectators from all over Belize.

Below is a video of the event. I haven’t watched it yet, due to the slow connection here, but I hope it’s a good one.

Below are pictures from the Belize Cycling Association‘s Facebook page from the 85th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. I certainly plan on taking my own photos of this event in the future! Or if I get my bike down here, may just whoop up on some Belizeans directly!

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