We all know bicycles are a great way to explore. From the other side of town to the other side of the world, they can take you places you never dreamed of. But not every journey needs to include sleeping on the ground and eating dehydrated food. Each bicycle ride is a chance for exploration through the wider world and within yourself. In this issue we celebrate some of the world’s best destinations for cycling, both very near and very far.
Since the United States began to relax the hurdles a traveler was required to clear before visiting Cuba, cyclists have been flocking to the Caribbean island in search of new frontiers. For contributor Colt Fetters it was a chance to explore the bond between himself and his partner as well as the hills and valleys of a new place.
If you’re interested in visiting Cuba yourself you’re going to want to read the piece by Ashley Lance and Daniel Carter that walks you through the process of visiting this summer’s hottest destination.
Cuba isn’t the only spot south of the border that is attracting waves of bicycle travelers. Nearly 100 of them gathered for the first group start along the new Baja Divide route along the Baja California peninsula. Meandering 1,700 miles southward along dirt roads and taco stops, it is captured beautifully by the photographs of Gabriel Amadeus Tiller.
Bicycle tourism isn’t just for the folks on the road, it can have a significant impact on the communities they visit. Unlike a driver who zips through town, a cyclist is far more likely to stop and spend money, especially on food! See some examples of towns that are thriving by welcoming bike travelers.
In our product reviews section we rounded up some of the best gear for hauling yourself and your gear on journeys short and long. Find some cool bikes designed for travel as well as some of the latest racks and bags.
I hope this issue inspires you to explore a little more yourself. It doesn’t have to be an exotic destination halfway around the globe, just a different part of town or maybe aboard a different kind of bike. Cruise through the docks down by the waterfront. See how high you can ride on that nearby mountain. Bring your bike with you on vacation. You might discover something totally new or you might discover something in yourself that’s been there all along.
Finally, I must announce the end of one adventure and the beginning of another. As you read this, I have moved on to a new job and must deliver the sad news that this will be the final print issue of Bicycle Times for a while. But the spirit of the community that has coalesced around it is going strong, and Bicycle Times will continue both online and in our hearts.
I hope you keep reading and keep enjoying your Bicycle Times.Tweet Print
Cuba underwent a bicycle revolution in the 1990s during its five year ‘Special Period’. Oil was scarce as a result of tough economic constraints, and throughout those years of austerity, bicycles where introduced as an alternative mode of transport. Thousands of Cubans used bicycles on a regular basis, as pedaling became the norm on the island.
Years later, the transportation crisis subsided and motorized vehicles returned, and the country’s bicycle culture took a hit. Now, new bikes are difficult to come by and parts are not readily available, yet many Cubans still use bicycles daily and, despite the limited resources, a handful of mechanics provide a service to those who rely on their bikes in their everyday lives.
Plenty of cyclists roam the streets of Havana and the rest of Cuba. Ángel, a typical bike riding Habanero, provides a brief insight into Cuban bicycle culture and the importance of bike mechanics in the capital as we come across both riders and repairmen.Tweet Print