Getting to the Dominican Republic was slick. Hop a couple planes from Victoria-Toronto-Miami-Santo Domingo, arrive 2 am, walk outside get a shuttle into town, check into hostel, sleep for 8 hours. It couldn’t of gone much smoother. My rippin Kona Road bike, King Zing, and I were both safely in the Caribbean and ready to kick off the season! Or so I thought.
Day 1 in the Dominican turned into being the unofficial Stage 0 of the Dominican Republic Tour, “Le Tour De Santo Domingo’s Slums”. After having a chill morning in the touristy Colonial Zone, I started to build my bike so I could head over to find my teammates (I’m guest riding for the Quebec team 1% For the Planet) at the Fiesta hotel. This is where it all started to go sideways as the USA airline security had gone through my bike box and taken my bag of C02′s which also happened to contain my headset bearings. My bike was pretty f’d up without the bearings, un-raceable, but rideable after I jimmy rigged it with some headset spacers.
Lesson learned: if flying with C02′s, don’t pack them with anything valuable..
So I imprinted a google maps image into my head and took off on my jiggidy bike to find a bike shop in the city of 2 900 000 people. After 45 minutes of sketchy riding through slums I got to where the bike shop was suppose to be, but it wasn’t there. Danm. Next up was Spanish 101 as I practiced my spanish trying to find where a decent bike shop was. 2 developing bike shops later, I got directions to a more modern shop which could help me. Back through the slums, down the freeway, through a tunnel, a couple backroads and there was the shop. Aro Y Pedal. They were great. New headset bearings a new Maxxiss Courchevel tire, and off to the races I go! Almost.