La Ruta de los Conquistadores starts on the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean, traverses the tropical mountainous hinterland of Costa Rica and finishes on the shores of the Caribbean Sea.
This "Coast to Coast" is billed as the toughest mountain bike race on the planet!
. . . Coast to Coast; 4 days, 360 kms and 11,000m vertical meters
. . . Gruelling Tropical Rainforests and Volcanic Mountains
. . . Mixture of Pavement, Gravel and Mud
. . . Annual rainfall 3,300 mm (130 inches)
La Ruta – 14-17 November 2007
Now in it’s 15th year this Race takes place in Costa Rica in November and is an Epic adventure that draws upon individuals inner strength and endurance. Past years have seen more bike carrying than riding due to wet conditions.
This combined with the altitude; humidity and temperature make this a “Team” event and personal fitness must be of a high standard if you hope to complete this coast to coast with your sanity intact.
Starting from the Pacific side the route leaves the beach town of Jaco and heads up in to the mountains. The 15-minute ride along the Coastal Highway was the easy bit. From hear you plunge into the Costa Rican hinterland tracing the route of the Spanish Conquistadors towards the Central Highlands.
Here the route passes two massive Volcanoes, Irazu (3,432m) and Turrialba before plunging down towards the eastern coastal plain and the Caribbean.
La Ruta individual Stage profiles
can be found on the official adventure race website.
Stage 1 November 14 - From the Pacific Coast (Jacó) to the Central Valley
Stage 2 November 15 - From the Central Valley to Tres Ríos
Stage 3 November 16 - From Tres Ríos to Aquiares, Turrialba
Stage 4 November 17 - From Turrialba to Moín, Limón
The Race offers five categories:
· Open, Female,
· Master A 30-39,
· Master B 40-49
· Veterans 50 & up.
Throughout the race personal belongings are transported forward to the next overnight stop. This is usually a 3 or 4 star hotel. In the more remote areas you may have to sacrifice hot water . . .
Why do we like this event? It’s a real test of character. If you are serious about challenging yourself and your mountain biking skills then La Ruta will put you through your paces.
The Race also captures the ethos of Epic Mountain Biking. It’s creator Roman Urbina designed the route to draw on individual’s reserves of Character;
"La Ruta de los Conquistadores is not for everyone. It possess a spirit of its own. Racers require several important qualities, such as a high level of fitness, mental toughness to fight through pain, an appreciation for being challenged, and the inner spirit to feed off the beauty surrounding them" Roman Urbina.