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Get to Know the Team & Their Travels: Ocean 

In our second segment in Getting to Know the Team highlight, we will introduce you to Ocean. While you can typically find Ocean working in the backshop at our 401 St. Laurent location or ripping down local trails, he can currently be found exploring trails in the Dominican Republic! Below, he has provided a summary of his travels and some handy tips to folks who are interested in flying with their bikes and exploring the Dominican Republic. 

Travelling with a Bike Tips & Tricks 

  • With the pandemic situation, you want to avoid the least amount of layovers. If you're planning on bringing your bike along, you want to make sure that you're being charged fairly.
  • Luckily for me, AirCanada met both these requirements to some degree:
    • AirCanada offers Toronto-to-PuntaCana and Montreal-to-PuntaCana flights.
    • AirCanada is used to handling bike hardcases (I used the Serfas hardcase that we offer for rental) and was charged the flat $50 bike fee (charges for your other checked items will apply as it is an international flight)

Advice for Traveling in the Dominican Republic 

  • The downside to flying in through Punta Cana is having to arrange for transportation into Santo Domingo, as all taxi transportation found on site is resort-centered. There are vehicle rental services available, and there is a cheaper way to travel into the city but it requires multiple stops and switching transportation services. I'm lucky to have family that lives here.
  • After resting for 2 days, enjoying some fresh tropical fruit (red-pulp dragonfruit, which is far superior to the white-pulp variety, and starfruit) to aide in recovering from such a straining trip (2hr drive to Montreal, arriving 3hr before departure time, 4h30m flight, 2hr drive from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, and finally about a 2hr pre-rush-hour traffic jam to arrive where I was staying, for reference look up the Holiday Inn within Santo Domingo, located on the Abraham Lincoln Avenue), I was locked and loaded to ride my bike. By the way, I consider assembling my bike as part of my resting.

Riding in the Dominican Republic 

  • The picture featuring the mural behind me is located on one of the local spots for outdoor sports. It is the called the "Mirador Sur" (Southern lookout), and it features an approximately 9km stretch of road, 2 lanes each way with no motorized vehicles allowed, and a park space along the road where an XC trail loop can be found.
  • Terrain wise, the loop is quite misleading if you start from Km #0 (that's what the landmark is known as), but the more technical sections have line choices to avoid them. The first ΒΌ of the loop is composed of red clay dirt, and some very short sections of tame fossiliferous limestone (a lot of traction when dry, so much that braking over it will take a heavy toll on your tires) but just before the ? mark of the loop, it starts featuring some more technical terrain up to about ? (those who like the XC loops in camp fortune will find some familiar riding-terrain-feel here), and the last section of the loop being a breakaway with an intermediate-level technical feature that marks it's end.
  • There's another loop located closer to where I'm staying that's more of a skill-park (so kind of All-Mountain I guess); the loop surrounds the beautiful  local Botanical Gardens.