How a country that has no new bike parts fixes its bicycles
What happens if you live in Cuba and your bike breaks down? It’s not
like you can hop on the Internet and get two day shipping for a new
bike. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible to score new bike parts. What
you have to do is find a guy who knows another guy who might have some
parts of the part you need.
It’s fascinating to see how the people of Cuba has dealt with and
adapted to the limitations of their country. Diego Vivanco captured the
reality of Cuba in a short for Kauri Multimedia called Havana Bikes. He
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 pedalling became the norm on the island.
Years later, the transportation crisis subsided and motorised 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.
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