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Eroica Cuba: a full report…..

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Eroica Cuba: a full report…..

Old 02-12-24, 12:58 PM
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Eroica Cuba: a full report…..

Ok
i must begin this report with amazing gratitude and respect for the leaders of Eroica and Ricardo of the Cuban vacation/event planning.

this event must not have been easy to plan, and boy did they pull it off in a manner that equaled some of my favorite participant based events (Ducati world week- Las Vegas, Lambretta Jamboree - Miami, Mini takes the States, East coast to Keystone Park, CO).

from the moment I arrived to my saying good-bye, I would not have changed a thing.

I’ll admit, it saddens me that Eroica CA isn’t like this.


My Story:

Felix owns a 55 Chevy. I asked him to pick me up at 6 for the one hour drive out of town to Caimito where the ride begins.

He saw my light come on at 5 when my alarm went off. So without my morning ritual, breakfast, shower, shave, etc, off we went on pot-holed roads, poor head lights and played “dodge hole, horse, pedestrians and occasional bikes”



This is the morning light as we arrived. Not quite Camito, but a vacation camp in between small towns. Picture an old school rustic Club Med. A camp with a bar, meals and mini store.

each room has 4 bunk beds.

bathrooms and showers around the corner.

L’Eroica wisely divided participants into 2 different categories.

The Americans, some Italians and maybe just those who didn’t want the rustic camp experience had the ability to stay in a choice of foreign owned/operated fancy-pants hotels.

These hotels are not “owned” by the Cuban Military and are not illegal to stay at.

Whole other conversation on that. The same $$ also pays for health care, schools, roads, etc. Strange stance for the US to take, but whatever.

Felix drops me off and Ricardo (Cuban vacation/events planner extroidinaire) greets me. Quickly finds my name and hands me my packet. In it, jersey number and bike tag, a malty malt beverage for later, some chocolates, packs of dried fruits, poster, Cuban vacation company branded beach ball, t-shirt and hat.


Since I was there before the lux busses from Lux hotels arrived, I was invited to join for breakfast of yogurt, fruit, toast and always, bananas.

Last edited by Robvolz; 02-14-24 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 02-12-24, 01:05 PM
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The various bikes









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Old 02-12-24, 01:12 PM
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Looks like a Great time !
Im envious.
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Old 02-12-24, 01:20 PM
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Che’s bike

Someone discovered Che’s actual bicycle. I was shocked it was there, him being the hero of the revolution Et al.

apparently his survivors and I heard his wife were able to authenticate it.




I’m sure the blue tire was not a part.
it is privately owned and we were asked at dinner to chip in so the current owner would sell and it can be donated to the Che museum.

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Old 02-12-24, 01:28 PM
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French Eddy Merckx I recall

This woman, so awesome. Flip hub. No socks. Hard to keep up with on a 10 speed.


Only DeRosa represented.





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Old 02-12-24, 01:35 PM
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Part of the American / Miami contingency stunning schwinns






Gino!!!

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Old 02-12-24, 01:43 PM
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Old 02-12-24, 01:50 PM
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This kid….
after the red dirt/mud ended and was concrete again, this kid shows up out of nowhere and blades next to me. For the next 2 miles, I can’t shake him. Either I’m beat or this kid is a future Olympian.

Sat next to him to watch the athletic dancers and band.

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Old 02-12-24, 01:57 PM
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That red clay will get’cha

There was food Roasted corn with mayo and spices Fried plantains, Popcorn, Water, fresh fruits, Guava nectar And of course bananas. But, the whole lil town came out to cheer us on with a band, some traditional dancers and some young athletic dancers, more energy than any of us. One kid did a flip from a sitting position.


The kids were in school across the street. They all came out to Cheer and watch the festivities.

at this point, it should be noted that I did the medium route (100km) vs the longer 115km route. At one point the ride diverges and I choose to go medium. (Knee issues due to slight bent pedal spindle. Eventually I rode the back side of the pedal but the pain had begun).

The longer route was treated to a large lunch of roasted pig on a fire, where the chef cuts off charred bits right there, plus beans and rice and bananas.

I don’t have those pics for obvious reasons. I saw them on the “gram”

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Old 02-12-24, 02:28 PM
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Fantastic, great report!
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Old 02-12-24, 02:57 PM
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Fabulous. Sorry that I missed it. Bob looks like he must have swum across that puddle.
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Old 02-12-24, 03:13 PM
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Great Pictures. It looks like you had a great time.
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Old 02-12-24, 05:10 PM
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I had the Eroica burn out but this just got renewed my interest again. Thanks for the nice report.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for the report, Rob! That looked like a very cool and interesting ride!
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Old 02-12-24, 07:45 PM
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Judging by the ride numbers, looks like it didn't get above 3 figures. I like it, my kind of ride. I don't like a big crowd.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:48 PM
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Full report

It's not the full report until you tell some of the human interest stuff, like xx giving up his jersey to a young guy or someone repairing one of the Cuban counterparts bike. I guess I would have felt a bit conspicuous in the face of Cuban austerity. Sometimes being from the rich country should not be too acceptable. I now step off of my soap box.
I might have been tempted to trade down and give someone deal.
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Old 02-12-24, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Peruano
It's not the full report until you tell some of the human interest stuff, like xx giving up his jersey to a young guy or someone repairing one of the Cuban counterparts bike. I guess I would have felt a bit conspicuous in the face of Cuban austerity. Sometimes being from the rich country should not be too acceptable. I now step off of my soap box.
I might have been tempted to trade down and give someone deal.
This is the 2nd (3rd?) thread, this one Eroica Cuba tells some of the story you are looking for.
Has anybody toured CUBA?
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Old 02-12-24, 08:34 PM
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I like that Rob's earlier post indicated that he would likely donate his bike and various parts, tools etc to some worthy Cuban bike folks/organizations. I'd like to know about that.
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Old 02-12-24, 08:41 PM
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Apologies

Sorry if I overreacted. I just finished reading How to hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr and it's a book that will expose a great deal of inequities perpetrated by the US of a over the last 200 years. I highly recommend it.
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Old 02-13-24, 07:58 AM
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I have more pics and words now that I’m back stateside

yes, I did donate my bike but in a way where it wasn’t about me. I gave it to Ricardo to make the transfer.

yesterday, while walking to the airport shuttle a guy was walking past with a wheel in his hand. I called to him and squeezed his tire.

flat

i reached into my bag and gave him a set of those plastic tire irons.

he was so incredible thankful

then a crowd started to form.

I thought about the few crappy harbor freight tools I had and gave them out too.

now people are yelling at me.

gimme gimme gimme

i walked away but now I was being followed

i I had planned to use my last pesos to ride the shuttle. Pesos are not convertible back to US.

I had nothing but now I’m being harassed.

I never felt in danger, but I just wanted to left alone.
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Old 02-13-24, 11:06 AM
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After the ride, a local dance troupe showed up for a show

we were all beat, wanting showers, beer etc, but we watched a show of children that lasted a lil long in our tired state.

the kids obviously worked hard to entertain us, so we clapped with appreciation.


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Old 02-13-24, 11:14 AM
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Cool pictures, a rich experience indeed! Thank you for the nice images and comments!

Guy
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Old 02-13-24, 11:19 AM
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Looks like a good time, except for the red clay mud hole, thanks for the pics. Proud of myself for recognizing Bob’s bike before he showed up in a later pic.
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Old 02-13-24, 11:30 AM
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The next day was an organized ride/tour of Havana

after some speeches by the mayor, the coach of a local sports team and the boss man of Eroica, the police escorted us on a spirited ride throughout the city.

anyone was welcome to join with the safety of a police escort leading the way.

kids on roller blades (really had no idea that was still a thing. Plus they have evolved)

my Cuban riding buddy Eriel and his gang of biking friends made it.

the Cuban national cycling team was there

behind us rode a moped club, followed by a sidecar club, the Peugeot club and finally assorted 50s GM cars.

it all ended at a spot near the sea wall where food and bar booths were set up.

A really nice way to get the community involved




Um, is that seat tube supposed to look like that?






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Old 02-13-24, 11:34 AM
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