First men to traverse the width of our country on a bicycle, Cyril Simmons and Leopold Neal, 1928
The path to Belize City, from San Ignacio, was a Horse Trail used when there was no River Transportation by river.
Both my Maternal and Paternal Grand parents made their livelihood transporting chicle to Belize City & bringing merchandize to the West with their packs of mules. ( many others also did this.)
The WESTERN TRAIL followed, almost in line with the present day George Price Western Highway. Except by Roaring Creek it veered towards the river, passing by Melhado's Little Orange Walk, - Ben Stuart's Never Delay, Rock Donda, Castille- Meditation and More Tomorrow - then entering into the Pine Ridge and heading towards Rock Ville and passing towards the Sibun River and crossing over by the "HAMMOCK BRIDGE", over the Burden Canal and then passing by Schnarr Beach, into Yaborough Area by the Old SJC Loyola Park. (destroyed by 1931 Hurricane) .
NOW , WHO WERE THOSE TWO BRAVE PIONEERS WHO INDICATED THE TRAIL FOR THE CROSS COUNTRY BYCICLE RACE?
They were Cyril Simmons and Leopold "Hardware" Neal, who on the 1st of January 1928,at 3.00 AM, rode this trail and arrived in Belize City, by Edward's Park, (now Rogers Stadium) on April 1st 1928, at 11.15 AM. (They slept the night somewhere halfway the journey.)
SO IN APRIL 1928, from the 5th to the 9th, Mr Monrad Metzken and his committee Started the, " HOLY SATURDAY CROSS COUNTRY BICYCLE RACES " to this day ( This is for History's sake )
Mr. Edwards, like Mr Eddie Usher, Mr Neal and other Belizeans were owners of small Parcels of land outside City Limits. Government bought from some of these persons and built either homes or sporting fields. - On this Rogers Stadium, the Soft Ball Committee agreed to name it so. - Lindy Rogers was a sports enthusiast and sports announcer.
Ptrick Barrow's aunt was Mrs Ethel Simmons. -Their son Junior Simmons is active in San Ignacio. He has a very nice Guest Hoyse Named "THE HYAT."
Photograph courtesy Hector Silva
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