Sunday, 16 December 2012

On the end of biking this year and ideas for the next

Well, it looks like biking is over for me this year. A week ago I rode into work, knowing that a snow storm was expected for the following night. When I got home, I hauled Floria up the stairs and into my long term bike storage area. December 9th is a fairly late date, and to tell the truth, it had begun to get quite nippy. Of course, I am already looking forward to getting back on the bike as the bus schedule is very annoying.

As far as next year's biking plans are concerned, my main one is to go back to Scotland and go deeper into the Highlands and Hebrides. I will thus get to see Scotland before it separates from the UK, or possibly not. Actually, I just wish to see more of Scotland.

I have a notion that it would be interesting to do a week of biking in Puerto Rico in February. This idea started when Puerto Rico voted to become a U.S. state back in November. If it goes through, it would be the first time a state has joined in my lifetime. It would also be very interesting to watch how the linguistic politics play out given that Spanish is the lingua franca of Puerto Rico and the Yanks are notoriously monolingual English-speakers.

My rough idea would be go along the North Coast of the Island and visit the Acreibo Observatory. This would also be my first visit to the Caribbean.

There are a number of problems with this idea. The first is that getting to Puerto Rico from Montreal is surprisingly difficult. Despite all the ads in the travel section for Caribbean vacations these days, Puerto Rico doesn't seem to be popular. Also, despite some vague promises, Air Canada doesn't fly usefully to Puerto Rico. Its website suggests there may be flights between Montreal and Puerto Rico, but going into detail, you find that your only option is to take the one weekly service between Toronto and Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, this flight occurs on Saturdays at time that really don't work for me.

Looking at the American airlines' offerings is comparatively depressing as they generally charge $100 to $200 each way for shipping bikes. What's more is that the more logical and efficient the flight plan is, the more they charge for bikes. One airline's suggest route home was Puerto Rico-Houston, Texas-Montreal. I don't expect American airlines to offer direct Puerto Rico to Montreal flights, but I would think that changing planes at an East coast hub makes much more sense than flying to Texas.

Hence, this trip probably isn't going to happen.

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