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Mountain Biking

Life in the Saddle

There's more than one way to see the Dominican countryside. So for those who find hiking a little too slow, motorbikes a little too fast, and horses a little too uncomfortable, mountain biking is the way to go.

Although they can be rocky, muddy and awfully steep, Dominican trails are certainly exciting. They crisscross the country in their hundreds, ranging from well-trodden routes used by adventure companies to numerous, obscure and sometimes beautiful tracks which cut across private land and wind up into the mountains. Due to the heat - a factor which must be taken into account when mountain biking in the Dominican Republic - many guided tours will include a pick-up truck to drive you and your bike up any steep climbs. This can be a godsend to recreational bikers whose priority is to enjoy the countryside with the wind in their hair; serious riders, however, will relish the sweaty climbs as much as the cool descents.

Quite apart from the actual riding - which can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it - mountain biking in the Dominican Republic is one of the best ways of meeting the local people. On a two-hour trip in the hills around Jarabacoa, I had the feeling that I was riding through the heart and soul of this country. I saw farmers milking cows, kids playing baseball in fields, girls kissing boys, boys kissing girls, fights, tears, reconciliations, and enough smiling faces to last me a lifetime. The good thing about mountain biking - as opposed to other, motorized forms of transport - is that you can take in the scenery at a reasonable pace without going too fast to stop when you see something interesting. In this respect, biking is an excellent way to discover the country.

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Intro
Fact File

Iguana Mama





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