Cyclists for Cultural Exchange
Is this trip right for you?
Read this insider's view
by Craig Calfee
Our local hosts Ana-Beatriz and her friends led us on a lovely and memorable ride from Gibara to Guardalavaca. Roberto joined us back to Holguin with several of his riding buddies. Some of the daily rides were paved and some were dirt. The terrain is not very hilly. The typical rains do not usually last long, and people are accustomed to providing shelter to travelers to wait out a downpour.
The bamboo rental bikes were non-suspended and ran 27.5″ x 2.5″ tires that were perfect for the terrain. Local riders get by with much less.
Bamboo bikes were featured at the Festival of Ibero-American Culture, which was going on the day we arrived. We stayed in Holguin, participating in the Festival until Sunday, when we started our ride to Gibara. I gave a talk at the "Congress of Thought" on Friday afternoon, discussing the potential for bamboo bikes in Cuba as an attraction for tourists and as a solution for transport. Bamboo bike makers from Cuba and El Salvador were also at the festival conducting demonstrations of the technique and building some new bikes.
Watch this video of the Solar Powered Bamboo BiciTaxi that was built during the CCE Cuba Program 2018.