71 km / 44 miles, 397 ft / 121 m of climb (200 ft/division)
Carol doesn’t have a pump, just CO2 cartridges, so I loaned her my mini-pump that I keep in a pannier as a spare. Kristie, Ray and Art, who I normally ride with, had already left by the time Carol came downstairs, so I left with the main group. Eventually I caught up with them and peeled off to ride with them.
There were several steep climbs today – I used my granny gear for the first time and we walked a couple of them. Traffic ranged from extremely heavy in some of the towns and a hairy section of the PR2 freeway to almost-deserted stretches such as Calle Panoramica, which you have to enter past a couple of logs blocking the way for cars. It has a magnificent view over the ocean.
Our first rehydration stop was at the café at the Rafael Hernández airport, which I believe
is a converted US Air Force base. In all, we stopped 3 or 4 times, including for lunch.
We stopped for lunch at the Sonida del Mar restaurant. The deck looks over the ocean where you can see the pelicans diving for fish.
I borrowed Art’s cell phone to call Sr. Ángel Vásquez of the Arecibo Observatory to see if we could make our appointment earlier. He was busy with another phone call, but his assistant asked him and said OK but don’t come before 9:30. Since tomorrow’s ride is only 26 miles, the plan is to leave my bike at the hotel here tomorrow morning and Janet will drive us to the observatory. Then she will drive me back here and I can ride to the next night’s stop in Manatí.
I hope this hotel will let me do that. For the first time in my life, a hotel has refused to let me store the bike in the room, including luxury hotels (other than once in the Philippines when the bike was wet and muddy from the dirt roads). The receptionist was rather rude. He insisted that we put our bikes away before he would check us in and then proceeded to list all the things we can’t do and made us sign a form that affirms what food is in the fridge even though we hadn’t even been to the room yet. When Art asked if it is OK to take the bike into the room he said absolutely not. I am not happy about leaving my brand-new, custom-built, $6500 bike sitting on the patio by the pool. I did lock it to the fence. Hopefully there will be a different receptionist tomorrow morning who will be more friendly. This is at the Punta Maracayo Resort in Hatillo, PR.
Regarding the clunking of the left crank against the chainstay, I now remember that there was a mysterious spacer/washer left over when I assembled the bike. I bet it is supposed to go inboard of the left crank. I left the spacer back in San Juan. Whenever the clunking starts, if I push my feet to the left I can make it stop. Of course there is already an ugly scratch on the chainstay where it hits.
I wasn’t able to get the WiFi to work in my room and had to take the laptop down to the
lobby to check my email.
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