- On August 16, 2019
- In Rachel's and Iszy's adventures
Cuba by bike
Cuba by bike - a cultural cycling adventure
Cuba is a paradise for people who like to slow down, get off the beaten path and explore by bike. If you are interested in having a very comfortable ride and get in quality cycling training for your race season, go to Majorca. If you are looking for a safe cultural cycling adventure of a lifetime, Cuba is for you. Cuba forces you to slow down by the unpredictable road surfaces and this gives you the perfect opportunity to take in the diverse breath taking scenery, mingle with the locals and really immerse yourself in the local communities to get an in depth insight into their lifestyle and vision of the world from a communist eye.
We used the bike as our mode of transport to get under the skin of Cuba to discover places that are certainly not in guide books and are only ever explored by the extremely culturally curious. We cycled 1700km and spent a total of 5 weeks on this beautiful island.
You don’t need to be an experienced cyclist to explore Cuba on two wheels but you will sometimes need a lot of patience and even more resilience, it’s always an adventure-just as we like it!
Myself and Iszy’s cycling experience is dramatically the opposite. I did my first solo cycling traveling adventure about 12 years ago, where I took my bike to La Rochelle in France and cycled down to Biarritz and flew back home, that was the first of many adventures I’ve done without a map or phone and just went south. Since then I’ve cycled the 2100km of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way self-supported in under 7 days and completed lots of ultra-distance cycling and expedition events. Six months before we went to Cuba, Iszy came for a trip to Ireland and for the first time she sat on a road bike, wore cycling shoes, clipped in and we cycled 35km. She kind of enjoyed it although her ass hurt. However it didn’t take her too much convincing to realise that we should go on a cycling trip together. We both love exploring islands, being close to the coast and when that’s mixed in with dramatic mountains and rolling hills, it’s the perfect playground. We are both big fans of diving, discovering cultures that are rich in heritage and integrating into local communities that send you on a new trail of self-discovery and this is exactly what Cuba offered us.
Iszy is a night owl and enjoys waking up slowly and easing into the day. I’m a morning woman, I wake up wired and ready to attack the day. We compromised and got up most days just before sunrise at 5am. I got the bikes ready, prepared a little snack as Iszy rolled onto the bike with one eye open. After the first few days, we found our rhythm and Iszy just kept getting fitter and I think secretly really enjoyed all the rolling hills. She did amazing and it was so nice to share this Cuban experience while having endless conversations about the mindset and lifestyle of people in a communist world versus a capitalist world.
We both highly recommend Cuba as a cycling destination and we have prepared the following blog to give you some insights and tips for your exotic Cuba cycling adventure.