The First International Belizean
Harley Davidson Biker’s Rally
The first of what is expected to be an annual motorcycle rally was held in Belize over the weekend of February 7 – 9, with some of the riders having made a six-day, 3,200-mile open road sojourn to attend.
And by all appearances the “Meeting in the Middle”, or “Encuentro al Media Camino” to use the rally’s Spanish title, looked like a lot of fun – and not just for those astride some of the awesome rides. With Harleys as well as Ducatis, Yamahas, BMWs and even head-turning three wheel Cam Am Spyders in attendance, the Belize Bikers rally was a feast for aficionados of (usually) two wheel road machines.
And if you’re thinking of scenes from “The Wild Ones”, that Marlon Brando, Lee Marvin epic film about motorcycle mayhem in a small town besieged by bikers, forget it. This was a very civilised, even family friendly affair, showing that most open road enthusiasts are the sort of people a small, friendly country like Belize welcomes.
Take, for example, the husband and wife team of Rene and Fely Marquez, who made the open air trek from Los Angeles, California, and looked like they had a great time doing it.
Rene said, “We left Los Angeles on Saturday morning and it took us like 6 days. We came here yesterday and we made it through Belize, 3,200 miles or so, we cross the country of Mexico into Belize.”
And you didn’t need to travel thousands of miles to attend and enjoy the fun and camaraderie. Many of those astride the expected 400 bikes are local or came from places closer to home such as Merida and Guadalajara in Mexico, as well as Honduras and Panama.
Juan Carlos Apache, of Merida, confirmed that Belizeans welcomed the thundering influx of bikers, saying that he was, “Very happy, very happy, the people gave us a great reception, very good friends.”
One local enthusiast, Nigel Espat of Belize’s Black Pearl Cycle Club told 7 News Belize that his club has been promoting Belize and that ” It’s the first ever Belize Bike rally. From here it’s going to be an annual event but this is the first and so we are inviting everyone to come out. It is something unprecedented…
“Also we are trying to promote Belize to a regional neighbour. The benefit we have in Belize is that we are able to unite Mexico and Central America.”
Why would you travel over 3,000 miles in the open air to meet up with a group of fellow bikers in Belize?
Rene Marquez was quite succinct. “I cannot explain the feeling; it’s wonderful to be on the road all the time on a bike meeting a lot of friends, a lot of bikers. It’s totally a different experience.
All in all it sounded like a great weekend, with a rock concert and a ride through the city streets followed by a beach party.
We like the idea that Belize attracts and welcomes a wide variety of people with different interests and passions. At the beginning of the year we reported on a Spanish navigator’s New Year’s arrival in Belize aboard a jet ski and the welcome this intrepid traveller received.
So keep coming folks = however you get here, Belize welcomes you.
And all you Easy Riders see you next year!
(Photo courtesy of our friend Rebecca C. from the San Pedro Soop )