Friday, February 22, 2013

Challenge Gobie Bike Ride - A Weekend in Belmopan

The 5th Anual Challenge Gobie Foundation Bike Ride, a grueling 125 mile trek, began in Corozal late night Friday, February, 15, 2013 and ended for the exuberant participants mid-day Saturday at the Roaring Creek Golf Course in Camalote -- outside Belmopan.

The Challenge Gobie Foundation is a charity organization founded by Alan Gobie. Our mission is to assist Belizeans who are in need of medical care but cannot afford it. We are a relatively new organization so we only assist on a small scale.  However, we are involved in our first big project at the moment.  The Challenge Gobie Foundation's BIG GOAL is to raise One Million Dollars to assist with the construction of a brand new, state-of-the art Children's Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City!!!  This is a project being spearheaded by Kim Simplis' Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with Project Cure, KHMH, and the Ministry of Health.

Who is Alan Gobie?
Alan Gobie is the Production Manager at Belize Natural Energy Limited.  The idea for the foundation came about in 2007 when Gobie's wife started to lose her battle with cancer.  A frequent traveler of the Hummingbird Highway himself, Gobie as he prefers to be called, decided that it would be nice to complete the journey to Big Creek on a Mountain Bike. He would raise funds by asking people to bet on whether he would be able to complete the 130 miles bike ride.  Through friends, acquaintances and business partners locally and abroad he was able to raise just under $70,000.  That was the start of Challenge Gobie Foundation.

Alan Gobie

The participants were cheered on by family, friends and supporters as they crossed the finish line this afternoon. Some bikers were in matching team gear-yellow, black, blue, green- while others donned their individuality. The party was set: music, food, beverages, and ample tent space for the crowd. Raffle tickets had been on sale for quite a while - the grand prizes were 2 Great Wall Wingle trucks. The lucky winners were announced on live radio! This event was well attended and we hope  many dollars were donated to help such a worthy cause! 
At The Finish Line

Here comes the peleton!

In the peleton

More of the peleton

Still more!

Family and Friends at the Finish

Cheering On the Riders!

Whew - Finished!


A Well Deserved Break

The Festivities Tent Area

Buying Raffle and Lunch Tickets

2 Trucks Won

More Festivities

Ride Tee's


Kudos Jennie, Paul and volunteers for all your effort helping this worthy cause!!!


  1. Babs,
    I am somewhat confused..... I was under the impression that medical care is at no cost if folks go to the public hospital. Is that not the case? Only private for pay? Just curious as we would have the ability to pay for care.

    The Cruisin Camper

    1. Laurie-Belize is a true mixed medical system. There are for fee physicans and the KHMH and BMA hospitals will expect payment when services are rendered-Belizean or not. Yes, no cost if you are Belizean and use the public hospitals. The hospitals are a socialized-esque healthcare delivery system.
      Our example is this: We were told by a private (for fee) physician to go to the public hospital, a Hep A booster injection would be free. We went to the hospital, made it through the mass of humanity to the check-in desk, received a numbered ticket and told to wait-and wait, and wait. Finally, we gave up. Drove to a local pharmacy and asked if the pharmacist could order and administer the injection-yes we were told. The pharmacist informed us that typically the hospital does not carry the medication(s); therefore the patient, or family, must find a pharmacy that either has the med or will order the med, then purchase the medication, return to the hospital--once the medication is in hand, it can be administered. AND because we are foreigners, that will most likely happen, as they prefer to save the in-house stock meds for the Belizeans. Another example is a 4-yr old suffering from pneumonia was admitted to KHMH-none of the life saving antibiotics were in stock, family had to scramble to find the meds-fortunately they were able to get them within 24 hours and the child is healthy and playing right now.
      If you know this in advance, the better prepared you will be for any medical/emergency issues. Just be prepared to wait AND pay---they all take VISA/MC!!!!! LOL!
      The Challenge Gobie Foundation is trying to establish and build a pediatric ICU that will serve the country's kids.

  2. Wow what an inspiration. Love this, will have to get the hubby to do this next time.

    1. That would be great--the more the merrier!

  3. I see some people have mountain bikes and some have road bikes. What is the course like? You said in an earlier post that your husband brought his road bike. Are the roads (and drivers) adequate for using the road bike? Are there cycling groups? Very interesting!

    1. Hi Christine! The Challenge Gobie course changes every year, this year's route was on paved roads except for the last couple of miles which was a rutty dirt road into Roaring Creek Golf Course. Most paved roads do not have berms or lines, so it can be dangerous riding. We have seen many road cyclists typically wear helmets but do not use illuminating lights on the bicycles. Many more roads are conducive to mountain bikes with a lot less traffic, Larry has not ridden his road bike at all in Belize. Cross over bikes might be a good choice.There are several cycling clubs scattered throughout the country.

  4. I understand Alan Gobie is behind this venture is he a man a family values

    1. I do not know Alan Gobie personally, so I have no first hand information for you. Sorry!

  5. I here this years ride is off any idea x

  6. This is copied from their facebook page:
    Please be advised that the Challenge Gobie Bike Ride scheduled for 17th and 18th of January 2014 will be postponed until further notice, sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
    The Challenge Gobie Foundation remains headstrong in its BIG GOAL for the children of Belize and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Due to certain circumstances beyond our control the ride will not be happening this weekend but will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
    Thanks to everyone who have registered and donated, we invite you to continue doing so and we will duly inform every one of the new Bike Ride date through every medium necessary, please look out for that!