Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Favorite Month

The second half of January is my favorite time for being out and about on Bonaire.

Here are some graphs from my recent bike rides in Washington Park. You can click on them to be able to see them in a larger form I think.

The top plot shows elevation vs. distance for my ride last Saturday. I took the roads marked as the "short route" in to Slagbaai and my own "medium route" that goes along a sandy stream bed on the way back to the park entrance.

The second plot is from a couple weeks ago and shows the elevation vs. distance along the marked "long route" into the park and the marked "short route" out. You can see that the long route into the park, which runs along the coast is much less hilly then the short route in, which goes by Brandaris.

This is my favorite time of the year here on Bonaire. The air is fresh, (some would even say cool) the sky is a bright blue in between the puffy clouds, and the vegetation is green and flowery from the frequent showers.

We see the most frequent green flashes at sunset during this time of the year too, and I recently mentioned the rainbows in another post.

Speaking of rainbows, I saw a nice one when I rode my bike from Hato to Washington Park and back last Saturday. It was sprinkling rain at our house, when I left, but I quickly rode out from under the raincloud and had dry roads the rest of the morning. There was a nice rainbow visible on my left as I climbed the dirt roads towards Rincon. The ride to, through, and back from Washington Park takes about three and a quarter to three and a half hours. It wasn't exactly cool in the park, but the air was fresh, instead of stifling, and I didn't have to worry about overheating on the hills. In other words, it was great.

I came across three different groups of pigs! in the Park, in addition to the usual creatures. One group of three big porkers was wallowing around in a big mud puddle, just like the stereotypes. The dirt roads in the park are mostly packed down really hard right now, like brown colored asphalt, and that makes for easy (but bumpy) pedaling. Many of the dirt roads on the island could be carefully ridden with a road bike right now. A lightweight but sturdy cyclocross bike would be ideal. I'd be seriously tempted, except that it would upset the carefully balanced bikes / dogs ratio that preserves marital harmony in the Swanson home.


Anonymous said...

Is elevation in "feet" and distance in "miles?"

Brad said...

Yes, that's right. Elevation in feet and distance in miles. The software can do metric as well, but my brain still thinks non-metric.

Anonymous said...

Pigs? When I lived there, legend had it that pirates started the feral goat and sheep population long ago. Never knew of pigs on the island.