Four Types of Cycling in Belize

I have spent most of June chilling (and cycling) around the country of Belize.  A lot of people have never heard of this place or know where it is, and those that have probably don’t think of cycling when they refer to the country.  Little does the world know that cycling is huge over here….like a staple in the countries’ diet.  Very cool.

That’s right, in Belize it’s definitely about more than just the bike.  Over here, a bike is so much more than just two wheels on a frame…..and such an important ingredient to the daily lives of the people.  The bike also means something different to everyone who lives here, and they each have their own reason for Loving the Bike.  The bike serves many purposes, with the following being the most popular.

1.  Transportation of People

The obvious purpose is transportation, but it becomes so much more than that.  Of course there are countless people who have a bike as their only vehicle and rely on it to take them everywhere.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a child, adult, policeman, or librarian….to many, the bike is all they’ve got.

But many of these people also have kids and they use that same bike to carry their children while they ride.  Oh, and the chariots and bike trailers many of us are used to?  That would be a total luxury ride over here.  The way the kids ride with their parents is almost like a special skill acquired by the locals.  As you can see in this photo, the kids straddle the cross tube as their Mom or Dad pedals the bike.  I’m telling you man, these road here in Belize are far from smooth and I can’t even imagine bouncing around as my butt sits on a skinny metal tube.  But they do it….and they do it for miles.

 

2.  Transportation of Goods

Now when you think about hauling stuff with your bike, you probably think of a bike like an Xtracycle or pulling a utility trailer behind as you ride.  Once again, those luxuries are not an option in Belize so the people have to get creative….and even downright crazy.

I’ve seen a few people cycling in Belize who have so many bags and things piled up on their bikes, that you can’t even see who’s riding.  Yeah, when there is no other option these people find all kinds of ways to just make it work.  Plants, garbage bags, racks, televisions…..yep, there’s nothing that a person won’t try to carry while riding their bikes in Belize.

3.  Business

I find it very cool that many people use a bike for the purpose of business.  They don’t have Petticabs like many of us have seen in North America, which is a very cool use of bikes to do business….but they do use them for a variety of money making opportunities.

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