Fourth of July mountain biking on Puerto Rico

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 4-10, 1998
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Fourth of July mountain biking on Puerto Rico
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Fourth of July mountain biking on Puerto Rico
Question: On the Fourth of July weekend I’m going to San Juan, Puerto Rico. As I love to mountain bike, I was wondering if you knew of any good places to go and maybe a local bike shop for tours or rentals. Thanks.

Boston, Massachusetts

Adventure Adviser: Start out at Adrenalina (787-727-1233), a bike shop on Isla Verde Avenue, the tourist strip lined by hotels between the airport and San Juan. Adrenalina rents rigid and front-suspension mountain bikes for $25 per day, and they’ll also give you the low-down on riding in Puerto Rico and provide you with a map to boot. On a weekday, if the shop’s not too busy, you may even be able to convince someone to go riding with you.

Though Puerto Rico’s lush Caribbean National Forest doesn’t allow bikers, you’ll find plenty other accommodating trails, not many of which are close to San Juan, however. The closest, and newest, trail is El Chupacabra, which translates to “the goatsucker” in English. Located near San Juan’s national horse track, the goatsucker is a 4.5-mile circuit where local bike races are held. Beyond that, you’ll have to travel at least an hour or two southwest to the town of Sabana Grande, which is quickly garnering a reputation as the mountain bike capital of Puerto Rico. Here you’ll find three different loops, varying in length and difficulty, but all of them still considered to be rocky, technical rides. When you go to Adrenalina, ask also about the riding near Salinas, which is supposed to be quite technical, and the riding in Camabalache National Forest an hour-and-a-half northwest of San Juan. Here the rangers not only allow mountain biking, they also check to make sure you’ve come properly prepared.

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