havana bikes short film documentary

I know that this isn’t exactly hot off the press but somehow I missed it back in the spring.

It’s very easy to take what we have for granted, for example back in the UK I had access to a never ending supply of salt ‘n’ vinegar crisps whereas here in Finland it’s a very different story. Pretty much everyone reading this will live within a few miles of a fully stocked bike shop but for the people of Havana, Cuba that’s simply not the case.

“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.”

Seeing the ingenuity and resourcefulness of these guys is so great, trying to bash a chain back together after my tool broke a few years ago nearly gave me a heart attack but the dude in this film just gets the job done without any fuss.

More info can be found here.

DIY or die!