I was moving myself back to the western side of the country recently and I found a random roll of film in a desk drawer. Not being the kind of guy that is organized enough to label it, I had no idea what was on it. So I sent it off to get processed. It was a total crap shoot and I proceeded to forget all about it. Ten days later I get an email with the images attached. It was a bunch of photos from a trip I took to Cuba.
My better looking half and I spend all year fully consumed by bikes and bike travel. So once a year we try really hard to take at least one winter trip without bikes. We aren’t beach people and we really aren’t soakers. So these trips are quite challenging. We decided to head to Cuba on this occasion for various reasons. But mostly because it was the week of the last presidential inauguration (it was tremendous, didn’t you hear!) and we had a feeling everything was about to change. We had no plans, no agenda and no real sense of what to do. But we bought the ticket and took the ride. As we aimlessly walked around Havana and drank rum out of coconuts, we stumbled upon a cool little bike shop run by a couple of badass women. I’m the type of nerd that has to go into any bike shop I see when traveling and this time was no exception. We chatted up the boss and soon realized that we could rent bikes for our entire stay for basically the price of a new mountain bike tire. So much for no bikes on this vacation! We just couldn’t help ourselves.
We were only traveling with small backpacks so we acquired some straps and some lengths of rope to tie heavy shit to our handlebars, then set out on our way. Is this bikepacking? The freedom a bicycle brings while traveling never ceases to amaze me. Even with clapped out used bikes, it was such a relief to start pedaling. We only ventured about 50 miles from Havana but it was an incredibly memorable experience. Beautiful beaches and extremely nice people were the norm. I look forward to going back some day with a mountain bike and exploring even more. I know there are trails hidden in those hills!
Enjoy a few rough snap shots. These were all shot on one roll of black and white 35mm film with a little Yashica T4 point and shoot camera.
Sometimes those spontaneous trips are the best.
Your post raises a couple of question. “better looking half” what is that about, news to me. Moving out of Ashville, I totally get. Moving out west not so much. Air quality is seriously degraded. So what’s up with that?
Nice little essay! Sweet to see emulsion images too. Grand days out. Thanks for sharing. Phat Pat Oregon