After our South American adventures, we boarded a sensibly cheap yet stupidly long flight to Puerto Rico. We could almost see our destination through the plane's window as we flew first to Dallas then Tampa and finally to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was a considerable 30 hours before we arrived at our accommodations but the sound of the crashing waves and the balmy tropical climate helped to blunt the pain. Adding to our dismay, we were locked out of our prearranged accommodation, and the owner of the bungalows was nowhere to be found.
Now totally exhausted, and unable to come up with a better plan, we crashed out on the front deck, utilizing the insides of our bike travel cases for a mattress, towels for blankets, and a healthy lathering of bug spray . It was not ideal, but a flat space to lie down after all that travel was all we needed! The red marks on my hips the next morning were proof enough that I slept, at least for some time.
We had come to Puerto Rico for The Ultimate Dirt Challenge, a unique Category 1 UCI race / dirt jump expo that is that is held in Rincon each year. It was our second year competing here, so we knew what we were getting into, and it was nice to return to a familiar venue; especially one with such fantastic promoters. We were looking forward to our time in Rincon not only because of its warm tropical climate but also because it has status as a world class surf destination. Mike showed incredible resolve and held back from the surf until AFTER he fulfilled his goal of getting on the podium here.
Race day came before we even had the chance to hit the beach. Instead, we had put our attentions towards some serious training time on the steep, winding roads found in the interior of the island. Unfortunately each afternoon was accompanied by incredible lightening-filled downpours that severely limited our beach time.
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