When we went to Cuba, we decided we did not want to cycle every boring part of the huge country, but rather pick the most interesting spots. So we needed to do some distance hopping with local transportation.
And since Cuba (still) is the wold’s largest open air museum of transportation, we decided to do the tour with folding bikes.
We went for the most stable touring folding bikes we knew – the Tern Verge S27h.
If you ever consider cycling Cuba – take my advice and get a folding bike, too!
And here are 12 reasons for that decision:
1. It fits on a cargo bike
Since our bikes were already packed into boxes (for the flights), we used an old cargo bike to get to the train station. A friend later walked to the station and cycled the cargo bike back home.
2. It helps you climb stuff
Right after landing in Holguin / Cuba, we donated the boxes to the airport staff and started cycling to Holguin. Only a few minutes past the airport we saw this sign indicating the airport for national flights (“vuelos nacionales”). Since in many languages a velo is a bike, we quickly turned our Tern bikes into the national bikes of Cuba.
3. It fits in a trunk
At some point we decided to skip the very bad road between Mayari and Baracoa. Since there were no busses, we finally rented a Cuban 4 wheel drive and we were happy that the folding bikes fit well into the small car.
4. It fits in a small trunk
This Russian Lada gave us a long ride to a bus station, after we decided that the traffic got too bad to cycle.
5. It fits in a tiny trunk
We always picked taxis by age and beauty – and not by trunk size. This one was our favorite, and the bikes kind of fit on the open rear door (while 9 people were in the heavily overloaded car).
6. It pleases the ferry man
When we saw this island, we wanted rent it for one night. It worked, and the only way to get there was to ask the ferry man to bring us over.
7. It fits on a pedal boat
This guy actually pedaled us to the island – two bikes, two cyclists and all the luggage.
8. It fits on a back seat
While one bike was in the trunk of this Russian Lada, the other one had to fit on the back seat.
9. It lets you sit on the other back seat
Imagine sitting in the back of this tiny taxi for hours with a non foldable bike next to you.
10. It keeps you (almost) dry
After we got lost between tobacco fields next to Vinales, a local farmer finally indicated us a way out. We had to cross this creek, and with enough speed the bikes kept us dry – almost.
11. It fits any lift
Our friendly hosts in Havanna were living on the sixth floor. Luckily they had some kind of cargo lift that helped us get the bikes up and down.
12. It does not require a box
Since we had an open jaw flight, we could not re-use our boxes. And it was impossible to find new boxes in Havanna, even after days of searching. So we bought some tarp and wrapped the bikes. Worked very well.
I am currently writing more blogposts about my bike tour in Cuba. Stay tuned!