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‘Havana Bikes’ a Short Film About the Mechanics Rebuilding Cuba’s Bike Culture

Meet the cyclists and mechanics rebuilding Cuban bike culture. (Image:   Kauri Multimedia via  Screenshot/vimeo)
Meet the cyclists and mechanics rebuilding Cuban bike culture. (Image: Kauri Multimedia via Screenshot/vimeo)

Havana Bikes is a short film by Diego Vivanco and Ian Clark from Kauri Multimedia. It’s a beautiful little short that takes us on a tour of the streets of Havana, and into the world of Cuba’s bicycle culture, meeting both the riders and mechanics.

In the 1990s in Cuba — during the five year “Special Period” — oil was scarce and the economy was low, so bicycles were introduced as an alternative mode of transport.

Choosing to cycle in Cuba requires dedication and innovation. (Image: Kauri Multimedia via Screenshot/Vimeo)

Choosing to cycle in Cuba requires dedication and innovation. (Image: Kauri Multimedia via Screenshot/Vimeo)

With no money or oil for cars — Cuba’s ‘Bicycle Revolution’ was born.

As the crisis with transport ended, motorized vehicles returned — years later — and this left a dent in the country’s bicycle culture. At present, new bikes are hard to come by, and parts aren’t easily available.

Regardless of this, you find Cubans still rely on bicycles in their everyday lives, and work within these challenges of limited resources.

With no new bike parts coming into the country the roadside mechanics become resourceful and inventive. (Image: Kauri Multimedia via Screenshot/Vimeo)

With no new bike parts coming into the country, the roadside mechanics become resourceful and inventive. (Image: Kauri Multimedia via Screenshot/Vimeo)

Most bike mechanics in this profession don’t own repair shops, they have had to adjust their life to working in an alleyway, so a lot of businesses rely on street presence. It’s nice to meet the small number of mechanics rebuilding Cuban bike culture, against the odds.

Watch Havana Bikes by Kauri Multimedia:

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