Conquer Cancer rider
Join Date: Sep 2004
Bikes: Fun bike, city bike, Bike Friday bike (also fun bike)
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First of all, please don't turn this one into a flame war about supporting Castro. I spent a week on a bike in rural Cuba. I hope the gifts I left and the money I spent will trickle down to some of the people, but want this to be about the biking and not the politics. I'm not American, I broke no laws by going there. I had a lot of fun.
Bottom line, it's a beautiful country, with amazingly friendly people, and beautifully empty roads, even if many of the vehicles there are belch out foul smelling black smoke as they thunder past (leaving a very comfortable distance between car/truck and bike). Road surface varied from good to atrocious, rail lines are obstacle courses and I'm glad I had a borrowed bike rather than shaking one of mine apart. The coastal area is flat, but our tour included one killer hill, one of those nasty deceptive ones that turn a corner and steepen just as you think they are coming to an end.
And bikes are a wonderful mode of transport, used by everyone to carry 1, 2 or even three people, or to carry farm equipment, harvests, vegetables, you name it. The locals ride beat up no-speed bikes, with no visible brakes and a lot of rust and battered patches. I saw pedals and child seats made of wood, and a bike seat of something that looked like zinc. Workers ride to the the spot where they are cutting the grass on the side of the road, and leave the bikes on the verge as they do their jobs.
I'll post pictures if anyone is interested, and once I have a bit more time. Anyone else out there been to that part of the world?
Zero gallons to the mile