Cuba Party Ride The Cycling With the exception of the day we ride up to Topes de Collantes on day 6 to do our walk, this tour is very east going. Topes is tough but you can always take the bus to the top and save your energy for the walk to […]
With the exception of the day we ride up to Topes de Collantes on day 6 to do our walk, this tour is very east going. Topes is tough but you can always take the bus to the top and save your energy for the walk to the waterfall. The road surface is not perfect but it is as good as any in the Niagara area of Canada or the USA. A hybrid bike would be a good choice for this ride.
This trip is a photographic dream.
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Saturday, January 6th. This is arrival day and people travel from many parts of the world to do this ride. It is, therefore impractical to do a group pick up at any airport. We will assist with directions to get you to Vedado, which is where Cafe Rueda is located (this is the ride HQ)
Sunday, January 7th. After breakfast we bus To a small picnic park close to the “Bay of Pigs”, have lunch in the park then ride the whole bay to “Playa Giron” at the mouth of the bay. This is a total of 75k on a very flat route. The hotel is an all inclusive, Russian designed resort, With Both a pool and a Beach Area. A great place to party, drinks are included
Monday, January 8th. Today we have the longest ride of the tour 95k on a flat route to the mouth of the bay of Cienfuegos and a ferry boat ride to the hotel on the other side. Great poolside bar here at Pasacaballos
Tuesday, January 9th. After breakfast, a beach ride away from the hotel up to the City for a city walk and lunch in Cienfuegos. After which we bus to the Botanical garden before our ride of 80k along the coast to Hotel Yaguanabo, a small place with a small beach area.
Wednesday, January 10th. Ride 23k into Trinidad set up in a group of casas in the city centre. We will have time to walk the old city and take in its magnificent buildings and shopping. You will be in a wonderland city steeped in history, this is a great party town. Let’s hit the Cafe de la Musica and have a great time
Thursday, January 11th. Hike day at the top of the mountain 7k to waterfall Salto del Caburni followed by lunch in the park. Should you wish to ride up to the top of the mountain? This is doable but be warned she it a tough 14 k ride to the top of Topes de Collantes. Tonight we sleep and have dinner in hotel Los Helechos, at the top of the mountain.
Friday, January 12th. This morning we ride down the other side of the mountain and on to Hanabanilla 50k of very easy riding with the last 9 k an uphill journey to a wonderful location right on a lakefront. There are some great sunsets here by the pool.
Saturday, January 13th. This is our departure day. Early breakfast and bus to Jose Marti for your return the USA. We have done our best to show some wonderful sights here in our home country and we hope you have become addicted to Cuba and that we see you back soon.
Dot Dickerson retired from the world of School Wellness to teach bike safety for the City’s Safe Routes to School Program. An avid cyclist since 1979, Dot went from racing to riding for the health of it and now teaches kids ages 5 – 18 all about bikes, bike safety and how fun biking is. Dot is a League of American Bicyclist certified instructor who has fallen in love with Cuba and the youth programs CanBiCuba supports. To reach Dot you can call her cell @ (970) 443-1592 in Fort Collins, Colorado or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe. Some U.S. carriers have or are beginning to make agreements with ETECSA (the Cuban national telecommunications company) to provide roaming services in Cuba. Sprint and Verizon, for example, currently offer roaming services in Cuba. If your carrier offers a roaming plan and your mobile phone is capable of roaming in Cuba, you should ask your carrier about any additional charges for voice calls, data, and outgoing text messages that you may incur during your trip. The telecommunications market in Cuba is changing rapidly, so before you travel, be sure to check with your wireless provider for the latest developments.
Another way you can use your U.S. mobile phone in Cuba is to rent a SIM card. If you have an unlocked GSM-capable mobile phone, you can rent a SIM card from Cubacel (ETECSA’s mobile phone arm) that will allow you to use your mobile phone in Cuba. Cubatel’s SIM cards come with pre-paid minutes in amounts of 10, 20, or 40 Cuban convertible pesos (CUC$) (US$10, $20, or $40), plus a daily rental fee for the SIM card of CUC$3 (US$3). The per-minute call charges and texting fees for renting a mobile phone (as listed below) also apply to renting a SIM card. Contact your wireless provider to check whether your mobile phone operates on the compatible standard and request that your carrier unlocks your mobile phone.
The CanBiCuba Cycling Club supports youth programs throughout Cuba. We are involved with both the national cycling federation and master racing in the Havana area.
There are no bike shops as we know them in the developed world and our youth groups depend on your much-needed support.
It is not mandatory but we do encourage all riders to bring a little something to help out.Your old 700c x 23 or 25c might be worn out to you but is like gold here. We need anything you can think of and have lying about, handlebars/stems/seats/gears/brakes and on and on. If sending clothing keep to small and medium sizes. Handlebar tape is an often forgotten and economic gift.
Quite often a rider will bring an old racing bike to leave with a club. If you’d like to bring a bike let me know because I may have one up in Canada awaiting transport.
On our last day, Peter Marshall, a Canadian-turned-Cuban and the owner of cycling tour group CanBiCuba, led the way as we biked out of Havana to meet the youth racing club in Punta Brava. We rode by fields of cows and waved back at drivers in classic cars. At a beach bar made of wood and palm fronds, we sipped a cold Tu Kola and watched perfect sets of waves go to waste without surfers. When we arrived at the club coach’s home, 10 beaming kids in their bike kits put heavy coconuts with colourful straws in our hands and showed us to a table filled with food: banana bread pudding, fried plantains, sandwiches with spicy tomato jam, and bowls of guava and papaya.
While cradling their new (our old) saddles, pedals, and shoes, the boys spoke of life on two wheels, how they train six days a week after school and aspire to become pro cyclists, regardless of the challenges they face. Listening to their stories as they held the recycled gear and grinned the widest grins, it occurred to me just how much this moment meant to the club. The donations and beat-up bicycles allowed them to escape everything else, if only for a little while. The kids hugged farewell and chased after our wheels, which kicked up mud on the fractured concrete alley. I was surprised by having to brush away tears, a salty mix of joy and guilt.
Back in Havana, I sat along the Malecón, washing down my Cuban sandwich from La Chucheria with a splash of Havana Club rum and pineapple and a whiff of exhaust from a pink ‘59 Buick Invicta. A fisherman in a makeshift Styrofoam boat floated through ripples of gold as the sun dipped below the sea. It was a perfect sendoff, but my mind had already left, drifting towards new plans to ship bike supplies to those kids with big dreams in Punta Brava.
Cuba is a tropical island in the Northern hemisphere. It is 1350km long and covered with a variety of mountains, forests, rich farmland and golden beaches. There are some desert-like areas in the Guantanamo area but this MTB event is far away from this, in Havana and Vinales. Cuba has a warm and dry season from November to April, with average daily temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees. This is the time of year we choose to conduct our tours. May to October is the rainy season, which is hotter and also prone to hurricanes.
This tour explores Cuban back roads. There is one day of city cycling but this is rather short. Surfaces are from OK to bad, the worst being a four km stretch on the morning of the first day. All is doable on a road bike and people generally use road touring to hybrid bikes. Those fast people can definitely get away with a road bike and many do so.
We use a combination of 3-star hotels with en-suite rooms and casas. All places provide good food. We visit many local cafes, restaurants and bars so you get a full flavour of local culture and cuisine. All breakfasts and dinners are included .For meals not included (lunches), there are many places to eat with prices ranging from $3 to $6 for an on the way lunch in a roadside café. All ride drinking water is supplied from the support bus. We advise that if you normally use ride gels and energy bars or electrolyte powder, you will need to bring from home because these items are not commonly for sale in Cuba
CanBiCuba has bike rentals at great prices. For this tour, you will need an either a hybrid (my choice) a sport touring or a road bike. All will work. Should you prefer to bring your own that is fine with us, you will get the same mechanical assistance as the renters.
Check you travel company for costs of shipping your bike. Depending on your country of embarkation you may be better to rent.
Renting has other positive aspects. Your bike will not get lost in transit. It is far easier to travel without a bike box and spare bikes are on the bus for renters. The negative side is that this is not your favourite ride.
This trip is timed to fit with the most popular flights to Cuba – on Virgin Airlines, KLM out of Europe. Air Canada, Air Transat and Cubana Airlines all fly directly into Havana from Toronto and Montreal.
American groups with OFAC licenses are now able to fly directly from Miami but the prices seem very high at the time of publishing and it may prove cheaper to come via a third country, such as Mexico or Canada.
Flying to Varadero is an option, but you will need to get to Havana, this is around $80 for a taxi. This option is popular with riders going on for a beach holiday after or before a tour.