Talamanca racers share road with long-weekend tourists

Bikers set off for their trip from the beach into the Talamanca mountains. A.M. Costa Rica/Connie Foss

Residents on humble bikes rusty from sea breezes shared the road Sunday with better equipped racers and numerous buses and vehicles carrying tourists visiting Puerto Viejo for the long weekend.

The 100th race in the nine years of the Mountain Biking Association began at 9 a.m. at Mercantile El Chino, the oldest building in Puerto Viejo, located right on the waterfront. Participants traveled either the full 74 kilometers or a short 35-kilometer race.
Bikers left El Chino and traveled through Cocles to Margarita Road and from there to Bribrí, Bambú, Suretka, Bratsi, Uatsi, Volio and Hone Creek, returning to the starting line. Puerto Viejo and area beaches were packed with tourists for the long weekend.

William Camancho took first place for the 35-kilometer short race. Camancho, a resident of Cartago, said this is his 11th year of mountain bike racing. He sometimes wins, he said. The Talamanca race was good, because the road was level, but the section through mountainous terrain in Bribri was “a little hard,” he said.

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