Saturday, January 2, 2010

Back Home ll

Before we left I really didn't feel like prior vacations going to PR to visit my parents family and friends. I never look forward to the traffic and the way people drive there. My wife and I have had many conversations about this and we always end up with the same answer, every country is different and you just have to adapt and drive defensively. My parents live on an extremely busy road and the noise is constant. What a difference from when we first moved there, maybe a hundred cars would go by the whole day. Now there's a few subdivisions and a main road built very close to the house. Other than that it is always good to get out of the cold and have the chance to ride for two weeks without 10-15 pounds of extra clothes on.
The first Saturday I went riding with my friend Angel for a couple of hrs. and we stayed on the road since a shower rolled by early in the morning and we didn't want to get muddy or dirty. This was the only day we rode since he got saddle sores and was in pain. On Sunday I headed out on my own to Pitahaya an out of the way single, double track that takes you to a small fishing village through the mangroves and salt flats. I stopped at the "Viandon" which is the meeting place for all rides in the area and I'm sorry to say I didn't take a picture of the place. This is a small little shack that sells energy drinks, water, beer, tubes, patches and many other things including shots of puertorican rum if you want one. It was 7:45 in the morning and some riders were getting ready for the days ride. They were headed the same way I was but with a few stops and a slower pace than I wanted to for the day. I decided to head out on my own and out and back it was 38 miles 3 hrs 6 minutes of non-stop riding. All the rides but one always ended with about 1 1/2 miles of climbing back to my parents house and I always rode the dirt since it is a very wide road. The rest of the week I rode basically around the same area for at least 2-3 hrs every time. The following Saturday I decided to head back to Pitahaya even though it had rained a couple of days before, big mistake. I rode to the trail head and after an hour of fighting the mud in a few spots decided to head back. The mud there is sticky gum like and it doesn't shed well. It was ok because I slowed down and it gave me a chance to take a few pictures.

This picture doesn't show well hundreds of little crabs scampering when i rode through the water hole.

This is a paved road that it is called the "UFO" road because of ufo sightings. I think that's one of them disguised as a horse below the sign.
Huge salt mound.

Termite colony built on a tree.
My longest ride was a 4 hr ride to the mountains with 2 solid hours of climbing. I thought it was going to be a bad day since i rode hard the day before but it turned out to be one of the best climbing days I've had in a long time. We assembled at a baseball park and took off when everybody was ready, 30-35 riders. the first 6-8 miles was a preview of what was to come with a few up and downs that spread the group all over the road.  I managed to stay with the top 10 in my group with another group ahead of us that had taken off before us. The first few miles I was trying to size everybody up but not knowing anybody I didn't know what to expect. I did identify a few guys that I thought were going to fade at the end. Anyways, the first few miles I was dangling off the back of the group until I decided the pace was to strong for me and I needed to slow down my breathing and heart rate. Once I was able to control that I was able to get into a rithym and climb at a very good pace. I started to pick up the straglers one at a time and finished the climb in the top five in my group. The road was great, very little traffic and the views were great, sorry didn't have time to take pictures until we got to the top. when you go to the mountains to climb you see many things that you don't see in the states, a bunch of little pigs running around the road, chickens, roosters, goats, horses and many other animals.

The view from the top.
We also visited a coffee plantation up in the mountains managed by the tourism department that grows and roast the coffee the old fashion way.
Wife and daughter posing by the water fall. Didn't take many pictures of the coffee plantation, should have.

And now let's talk about the Zen Man. As you know from the previous post he was kidnapped yesterday, but  before we go into that story lets just post a few pictures from his trip.

He was happy but quickly deteriorated. Here he is with his head stuck in the barf bag.

Was he happy or what?

On our way home.
And since he has my temper quickly got into a fight with Red.But they did make up and are friends again.

Now, he's being held captive by a band of geeks that haven't told me yet what the ransom is or what do they want. All I get is pictures of what they are doing to him. They freeze him and then they thaw him out

But like I said, my team of crack commandos is going to make them pay.
Just in, another picture of what they are doing to him. They say he's hanging in there.They still don't tell me what they want. Stop torturing the little man and let him free.

After learning of what Zen is going through the commando team has grown. Many of duty commandos have joined in to plan the rescue mission.

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