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April 13, 2017

Cuba Libre!

Trip would not be complete unless I change my return ticket from Puerto Rico and goto Cuba for a few days. Love quick smooth flights. Where my bike brings me once again. Old 50’s cars everywhere. Emissions are not priority here. Buildings are seasoned with so much character and style. People are not on cell phones. No staring at little glowy things. Very simple. Taking with numerous people who someday wish to visit their families in Miami but the recent ban does not allow. They will try with paper work and hopefully in a few years they might be granted as visitor to USA. Visitors here might end up changing Cuba for the demand of tourism and the times. Revolucion. Threat of Starbucks and McDonalds is on the minds of big corporate and rumors among the people. Bikes are expensive so no one really has them. But everyone seems to be outside getting somewhere or enjoying the never ending flow of eye movement. Hundreds of watching eyes at each corner. The one bmx rider we found was given his bike by a USA pro a few years ago but when something goes wrong he can’t fix it. So it could be months or longer to fix his bike. Parts are almost impossible to get here. I gave everything I could like tubes, grips, and a headset. Hopefully this situation changes soon so bmx can happen in Cuba and even bikes in general. Think about that when you have a little problem on what endless choices you have for parts plus convenience of getting quick and easy. Once I posted a riding pic to my social media a few more riders left comments. Scene is very small but can grow.

Everyone eats all their food. From the farm to the table. Respect. Fresh. It’s been a problem since nice hurricane Katrina destroyed most trades. So many businessmen here to have meetings and get trade and goods into Cuba. Each day in the elevator I would hear similar reasons why people are in Cuba. Cigar factory tours, visit the capital, and make deals. Everyone wants to come here to visit but more want business….And I saw a guy walking a pig next to the highway which looked like a horse. That’s his business. Biggest pig I have seen ever. Swear.

Good by Cuba. Hundreds of pics. Tons of stories. And this video will be out in May. For now enjoy some of my favorite pics and this short video.

-Chad DeGroot

April 13, 2017