My family and I recently went on a Caribbean cruise, and I wanted to try and get out on the bike as many places as I could. Cycling for Beginners readers may recall that I previously discussed mountain biking in Cozumel, and I’ve also been mountain biking in Antigua, and whenever I can I always like to look for new places to mountain bike on vacation.
When trying to search for places to mountain bike in Saint Croix, I did not find that many options. Also, one of the frustrating things about trying to mountain bike in the Caribbean is that it seems that many of the businesses there do not communicate regularly through email. So for our day in Saint Croix I actually found a mountain biking excursion through our cruise ship line, which was Royal Caribbean, however I would assume there are mountain biking cruise excursions available from other cruise lines as well.
St. Croix Mountain Biking Tour
On the day we arrived in Saint Croix, we met our St. Croix mountain biking tour leaders on the pier around 8:30 a.m., and from there from there we walked a short distance to Freedom City Cycles and were fitted for our bicycles there. After that we set off tracing the coast of Saint Croix mostly on the paved roads followed along the coastline, seeing some sugar plantations and other highlights on our way. After that we will we took a dirt path down to a rocky beach, where we had a short amount of time to take photographs or or walk along the beach area.
On the way back to our starting point we basically went on the same route in reverse. On this part of the ride we could stretch our legs and ride at our own pace, with one tour guide in front and the other tour guide riding in the back to make sure noone was left behind. All in all it was a very pleasant ride on a pretty island, and although no real “mountain biking” was involved it was still a pleasant experience, as it is always nice to be able to do some mountain biking on a cruise ship excursion. The excursion lasted about three hours, and after that my family and I got to enjoy the beach for the rest of the day.
It’s been a while since we posted our preliminary Bontrager Flare 3 review. Honestly, at the time I bought the Flare 3 I thought the Flare 3 would have a hard time being a better taillight than the Planet Bike Superflash it was replacing. However, the Flare 3 bike taillight has proven to be just as good, and possibly better, than the Superflash.
Bontrager Flare 3 Bike Taillight
The Flare 3 appears just as bright as the Superflash, and in fact, the thing I like best about the Flare versus the Superflash is that the Flare 3 really has good side visibility — in my opinion, a good bit better side visibility than the Superflash.
Like the Superflash, the Flare 3 light it will run for a long, long time on a set of batteries. My Superflash fell off when the mounting clip failed, and I’m happy to report that the mounting for the Flare 3 seems much more sturdy and has held up very well.
I really don’t have any negative things to say about the Bontrager Flare 3 — it’s been a great, bright taillight that sips batteries slowly, gives great visibility to the rear and sides, and has very sturdy mounting hardware. I recommend it highly.
Topeak Mini DXG MasterBlaster – click for more reviews or to buy.
The Topeak Mini DXG Master Blaster is a compact bicycle pump designed to be mounted on your bikes frame. This Topeak bike pump has dual-action pumping which pumps in both directions of motion and therefore can make it faster for users to pump air. The in-line gauge of the Topeak mini pump displays the current air pressure in the tire. The pump has a thumb-lock lever that locks the pump on the valve stem while inflating.
The Topeak Masterblaster bike pump has an aluminum barrel and plastic grip and is relatively light and easy to mount. The mounting bracket uses the same two bolts that hold your water bottle cage. The mount holds the pump slightly off to the side, so you can still attach a water bottle cage with no problem.
One fairly unique aspect of the Topeak DXG MasterBlaster is that it has a unique pump head that automatically works on both presta and schrader bicycle valve stems — without having to switch out any parts. The dust cap is integrated into the mounting bracket for the bike pump, and keeps the head portion clean. Click here for more Topeak mini MasterBlaster reviews or to buy.
ODI Cross Trainer Grips – click for more reviews or to buy
ODI Cross Trainer grips are replacement bicycle handlebar grips. While many bicycle grips merely slide onto the handlebars, and therefore can slide around, these ODI lock-on grips bolt on to the bars with small lock rings on each side of the grip that keep the grip on tight with no slipping.
ODI Cross Trainer grips have a rubber cross-ribbed design. They are slimmer than some other popular grips, and the alternating rib pattern provides both a soft feel and some gripping traction. These grips come in standard 130 mm length, which may be slightly longer then some stock bike handlebar grips, but should be the right size for most adult-sized bikes.
When ordering online, be sure to read the description closely to see if you are buying just the grips or the grips with lock-rings and end plugs – some sellers sell only the grips and assume you’ll buy the other stuff separately (you can buy different color lock-rings to customize your look). Often, you’ll see a “bonus pack” that comes with the clamps and snap-in end caps. These ODI grips come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Click here for more ODI Cross Trainer Grips reviews or to buy.