Mountain Biking Cuba's Tallest Peak
Hans Rey Adventure Team is First to Bike Mountain
April 2002 Cuba
It's April and we are on a beach somewhere near the Sierra Maestra Mountains in the southern part of Cuba. Along with me on this Hans Rey Adventure Team trip is German Pro/Freerider Tarek Rasouli and Stefan Eisend, our photographer and cameraman in one.
We have just returned from a brutal three-day trip across the Sierra Maestra Mountain Range, climbing Cuba's highest peak, the 2005-meter Pico Turquino.
We were the first to attempt this cruel hike/bike on mountain bikes. This was the first time I opted for hard core freeride bikes on one of my Adventure Team trips (GT i-drive Ruckus and a Rocky Mountain RM7). The 11-hour hike up the mountain was brutal and the trail was so technical that the descent couldn't have been done on any other kind of bikes.
Our first stop was the Comandancia de la Plata, the old revolutionary headquarters of Fidel Castro, which was hidden in the jungle. It was amazing to see this infrastructure they had set up in the middle of nowhere to plan the Cuban revolution. Old black and white photographs of Castro and Che Guevara reminded us of those days.
Not much has changed in Cuba since; the people here live very controlled lives and often it feels like you are still in the '50s.
People are unspoiled, friendly but not highly motivated. Weird laws and regulations make the simplest of things nearly impossible; it took us more than two days to find fish somewhere along the coast and we finally had to bribe the mayor of a village to let us buy some Red Snapper.
Our main trip started in Santo Domingo...
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