12 reasons for using a folding bike in Cuba

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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This guy actually pedaled us to the island – two bikes, two cyclists and all the luggage.

8. It fits on a back seat

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

  • tony

    Thanks Peter for sharing your travels, Cuba is one of my next destinations I hope is going to be like it is for a while !!! I’ve got a folding Dahon and a Pegasus 20″ ( a German good and cheap bike ) I also got 2 big suitcases for fliyng. And perhaps leaving them somewhere in La Havana in order to get them back when I’d leave. Happy and safe travels. tony

  • Sami

    This list is quite useless and dumb. At least 50% of the content is just repeating points wich has been allready told. Or why do you need eight notices for telling that folding bike fit’s to a smaller place? All the rest on the list is something what you can do with every bike. You have nice websites and potentially lot tell about cycling, but according entrys like this, you can not be taken seriously

    • At least you interacted :*

    • Jbooty

      You’re a monster Sami. Get back under the bridge.

  • Alex

    Hi Peter, I love your post. By the way, the pictures are missing? :)

    • Peter Eich

      Thanks Alex, a plugin was broken, photos are back now.

    • Thanks Alex, a plugin was broken, photos are back now.