After much internal debate, I have decided to go to Puerto Rico for my winter vacation. Naturally, I will be bringing Leonardo. The basic idea is to ride around the island including a visit to the Arecibo Observatory. Some snorkeling is also in the plans. While I had considered to trip to see Izzy in England, various factors dissuaded me from doing so, including the fact that -20 C weather has been very common during the last two months here.
I wrote a bit about this trip a while back, but I will elaborate further. The genesis of this trip started in November 2012, the day after Obama was re-elected. On that day, I read that the Puerto Ricans had voted to become a state, though the vote was non-binding. This caught my attention as there hasn't been a new American state in my lifetime. As well, the fact that Puerto Rico is largely Spanish-speaking made for an unusual potential addition to the American political landscape. Since then, I have been keeping a weather eye on Puerto Rico and have been pondering the notion of a trip. Rather depressingly, one source I read suggested that Puerto Rico would likely end up being a state dominated by the Democrats, partly because of the Republicans' notoriously anti-Latin American stance. As the Republicans dominate Congress these days, it seems that the Puerto Ricans will have an uphill battle to gain statehood.
This will be the first time I have been to the Caribbean so it should be interesting. I am a little nervous, but then I always am. On Sunday, I took Leonardo out of the box I had shipped him in from Kelowna and replaced his suspect rear tire with a new one. I then gave the chain a cleaning before putting him into another bike box, this one larger and reinforced with corroplast. I had used the box before. However, I was surprised to see that it still had wheels attached to it from my previous trip with it in 2013.