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Dominican Republic winter training - road conditions

I'm heading over to Punta Cana for a week in february. I'm considering taking the cross bike out there with some big 28 700c tires on them. I have ridden the north side of the island around Cabarete. But I have never ridden around punta cana.

From what I remember in the north:
-the drivers are mad dogs, they'll pass you at high speeds but honk from far away and swing wide so that they don't brush up against you. ( they drive better than chicago suburbanites in SUV's)
-the highway along the coast had potholes, but for the most part was smooth roads.
-the roads into the mountains are SUPER steep and super potholed.

What's it like around Punta Cana ? Is it worth taking the bike or should I just chill with the family and smoke big ones on the beach ? Even a couple of days of riding in that warm sun would make a change for the freezing midwest hell that we are living here in chicago ?

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Do you speak spanish? If so i have a few friends that live there(DR) and you could ask them.
My wife speaks spanish. that would be a great referral. Riding in 2's is apparently recommended in case of emergency.

I also spoke to a buddy of mine who works in a bike shop in NYC that regularly collects and sends used bike parts to kids in the DR; he has done the DR Tour a bunch of times with other new yorkers. He said that I should definitely take a bike.

He suggested though that I build up a a frame-set with old parts and old wheels, and take old jerseys, old helmets, shoes, and pedals.

He said that once I was done to leave it down there, they would arrange for a local club to pick it up. I guess that would save on the return flight, and I would sleep better knowing some little guy down there would rip it up on my old stuff when I'm gone... I like that thought... recycle.
I've done the Vuelta a Valle(DR) once and raced in Puerto Rico a bunch of times. I bet I've raced with your buddy in New York as there are a lot of them that race there. That's a great idea about bike parts and clothes, especially shorts. Accept me as a friend and I'll send you those emails.


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