Trinidad – Cienfuegos

Heading to the city of ‘a hundred fires’, I had decided to make this the last day of cycling in Cuba, and hand over my faithful old steed to Sergio…..except that Sergio lived in Sta Clara, about 100km away. 

But he was so excited about the gift, he said he would borrow a camión and come and fetch it. A more deserving recipient I could not have found. When I first met him, there was an immediate meeting of minds….we found ourselves on the same wave length from the first moments, we shared a lot of conversations over a wide range of subjects….in short, we were very comfortable in each other’s company.

Staying at the casa of a friend of theirs here in Cienfuegos, he was able to find me quickly this morning, and we went out to a peso eating place (where only Cubans generally eat, at state subsidised prices) and had a couple of beers and a pizza. He was trying to thank me for the bike, but this 30 year old wonder was needing a new home, so I explained some of its peculiarities: it’s quick-release wheels and saddle, how the 21 gears worked, the Girvin flex stem…..all of this is old technology to us, but not to the average Cuban.

He had left his truck on the outskirts of the city, so he had to take courage and climb on the bike in front of me……and great to say I didn’t detect even the slightest wobble.

When I told him the history of the bike, the countries that it has visited and the number of kms ridden (probably 80-100,00kms), he adopted an immediate reverence towards it. I asked him if he might plan any trips, and he told me he likes to go lake fishing at weekends, so will already be doing regular 30km trips.

I waved him off knowing that ours will be a lasting friendship that will go beyond the bike. And his gift to me is that I now have one bike fewer to store and maintain……and I know it’s going to a good home……


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 19, 2018, in Cycling Cuba and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great stuff Frank !
    Sounds like you’ve made a good friend , what richness .
    I hope his bike is safe with him and not the envy of the Cuban bike thieves!

  2. how lovely. When cycling the NCSR in 2006 we met a Norwegian man and had the similar meeting of minds. We hope to be cycling with him again this summer. its great to meet people who show you the real goings on in a country

  3. What a wonderful way to thin the stable out. Great story Frank.

  4. I hear that quite a few people now take bikes to Cuba and leave them behind. They are a much prized asset for most Cubanos.

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