RUTA MAYA Ruta Maya is a thirty seven day epic mt. bike journey from San Jose Cosa Rica to Caye Caulker Belize. We rode 1677 miles (2700 km) and climbed a total elevation of 136,529 feet. The elevation was the equivalent of 4.7 Mt. Everests or 9.5 Mt. Rainiers. This tour was, by far, the hardest cycling I have ever done.
We climbed thousands of feet each day. An easy day was approximately 4000 ft. One day we climbed a total of 9400 feet. The day before we had climbed 7700 ft. Our five day stage through Nicaragua and Honduras was a total elevation of 27,900 ft of climbing over 336 miles.
The roads were a mix of pavement, cobblestone, rock, and dirt. Of course, as a mountain biker, my favorite sections were on the dirt. The more climbing and descending we did on dirt, the more I enjoyed the ride. I brought my mt. bike which made the dirt roads were easier and more fun to ride. The Pan American highway was easier then the secondary roads because the highway shoulders most of the time.
The other aspect that made this ride so epic were my fellow riders. TDA Global is a Canadian company but it’s clients are from all over the world. We had an international team of enthusiastic cyclists. Seven from Canada, Andreas, Jody, Rob, Rob, Merrick, Paul, and Samira. Two from Belgium, Juan and Reinholt. Michel from the Netherlands. Oliver from the U.K. Luiz from Brazil. Peter from Jersey (the country not the state) and my husband and I from the U.S.
This was an exceptional group of people to ride with. Lots of experienced. seasoned cyclists who met every challenge with a great attitude and a mission. Whether the mission was to ride E.F.I. (Every eFen inch), or to explore the countryside, or just make it through the tough days everyone met their own challenges and goals on the ride.
Samira, a twenty year old woman (she kept reminding me that she turned twenty on the trip), from inner city Toronto who was awarded a scholarship to come on this trip. This was her first cycling tour, her first time climbing real mountains, and her first time to the third world.
We cycled through remote mountain villages, through coffee plantations, jungles with the sound of Howler monkeys for company, We crossed rivers with our bikes hiked over our shoulders, and we flew down steep descents on the Pan American Highway. We dodged stray dogs, On a 90 degree day we bought ice cream from an vendor on the roadside at one of our lunch stops. We watched a lava river flow through at night on a volcano in Nicaragua. We swam in the oceans in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Belize. Each country had it's similarities and each one was different in it's own unique way. Everyday was different.