Each year at Vermont Bicycle Shop we try to come up with at least one wild and wacky and outlandish adventure.
Our first year we invited everyone we could think of to join us for what would become a yearly tradition, a beginner friendly overnight bicycle and canoeing camping adventure to the remote camp sites at Osmore Pond.
Later that year our buddy and all around survival and outdoors expert Kevin led us on an all day hike up and over Mount Mansfield so we could ride our GT Snow Racers down the mountain. We had practiced some on Smuggler’s Notch Road before the trip. It was still the fastest most of us had ever gone on a sled, some of us hitting as much as 47 miles and hour!
The next year we rode our bikes through the mountain bike trails of Lyndonville and and then to the top of one of the tallest paved roads in Vermont. We camped overnight at an abandoned military installation outside of Lyndonville.
A place rumored with all kinds of wacky and spooky lore. So naturally we planned our trip for the weekend around Halloween. It turned out to be one of the hardest bicycle overnights any of us had ever done.
This year we continued our traditional all-comer’s welcome overnight trip, camping at Kettle Pond. It was one of the best trips we did this year. We also rode through the middle of the Bennington Triangle wilderness. We fat biked from Bolton Valley to the Richmond Monitor Barn. They were all amazing trips, yet not quite wacky, not out there enough. Ginger came to the rescue with a great idea:
Let’s go bike touring in Puerto Rico.
Vermont Bicycle Shop with the generous help from our VTBADV Team sponsors, Honey Stinger, Orbea Bicycles, Kali Protective, and Shimano will take ten men and women ages 30 through 70 to Puerto Rico where we’ll explore as much of the island by bicycle as possible.
When we first talked about the trip we knew we wanted to go somewhere warm with our bicycles in the middle of the cold season. Ginger loves the heat. I swear I’ve found her napping in the sun spot in front of the window with our cat in July.
We also wanted to travel where we would have the most positive impact possible. In both our presence, our dollars, and our lasting impressions in both the destination and here at home. We talked about a lot of locations, including Cuba. In the end with logistics playing a heavy factor we decided on Puerto Rico.
Isn’t Puerto Rico a mess from the hurricanes?
This is the biggest challenge currently for most of Puerto Rico, this persistent rumor that the island is some sort of torn landscape out of a post apocalyptic world.
It’s not true. While the island suffered terribly from the hurricanes and struggled greatly to find support in their efforts to rebuild, they’ve also persisted in getting back to their normal lives.
There are places in the rural sections of the island where the effects of that hurricane season still hamper life. However, the biggest issue to come from Hurricane Maria is the rumor that this once fruitful and amazing tourist destination is no more. Its kept tourists away. With tourism being significant part of the Puerto Rico economy it’s important to bring tourists to the island to help push what was a recovering economy prior to Hurricane Maria back out of recession. When we met as a team, we decided this is where we could have the most positive impact. We could help Americans who are ready and willing and have done the hard work to bring people back to their island.
It helped that Orbea also has a great presence.
Isn’t it expensive?
Not really, in fact, flying to Puerto Rico is half the price of flying to the Midwest. HALF. Lodging is also very affordable. We found an Air BnB that could house all of us for about $400 a person for 7 days. Food is surprisingly affordable considering that Puerto Rico has to import most of their goods.
Who’s going with us?
While not everyone on the team can join us on this trip a lot of us were able to work out ideal times and dates to maximize traveling together on this trip.
Even though it is the furthest the team has traveled, it will also be the most attended team trip to date as well!
Steven Maas – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Kris Hunt – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Tom Stuwe – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Barb Schwendtner – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Meredith Bell – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Mark Yorra – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Kit Gates – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Norma Grier – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Eric Nusbaum – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Ginger Cloud – Bio and Photo coming soon!
Darren Ohl – Bio and Photo coming soon!
We’ll be posting videos and photos leading up to our trip and we’ll be sharing as much as we can with everyone so that they can plan their own version of a trip like this. We want to take a moment to thank the brands who are working with us on this trip, Honey Stinger, Orbea Bicycles, Kali Protective, and Shimano. We hope you will take a moment and check out what they have to offer in our store and through our websites and theirs! Keep an eye on Vermont Bicycle Shop social media sites as well. We will posting up a few live videos and such and there may even be some product give aways leading up to the trip. We’re excited we get to share in our latest, and I hope to be wackiest and most-out-there adventure yet.