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Bicycling Cuba [Paperback]

Wally Smith , Barbara Smith
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 26 2002 Bicycling
Discover all Cuba has to offer in this complete cycling guide.

Wally and Barbara Smith spent 6 months cycling 8,000 miles in Cuba to provide detailed directions for 50 days of cycling. The rides vary in length, many combining to create multi-day loops. Detailed directions describe rides leaving Havana to the west and east. Subsequent rides are clustered in the three best regions of Cuba for cycling: Pinar del Rio, Central Cuba, and the Oriente. A final section contains advice on connecting the regions for a long tour of the entire island. In addition, the authors provide information on getting to Cuba, equipment and accessories, food and water, safety considerations, overnight accommodations, and more.

Exploring this fascinating country on two wheels may just be the best way to fully appreciate its history, people, and culture. 50 black and white photographs, 12-page color insert, 15 maps, index.

• Most detailed routes of any Cuba guidebook
• Well written narrative gives travelers a feel for the island

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From Library Journal

Tired of the same old vacation? Eager to forgo guided motor coaches, all-inclusive resorts, and RVing? If bicycling through Cuba is the first thing you think of as an alternative to Europe in August, then the authors, experienced bike guides from Vermont, can take all the guesswork out of it for you. In this delightful and very practical guide, they outline, kilometer by kilometer-for all the Canadians and Europeans whose governments actually let them vacation in Cuba legally the best places to eat, sleep, sightsee, and even avoid. The text is divided into five parts: "In and Out of Havana," "Pinar del Rio," "Central Cuba," "The Oriente," and "Connecting the Regions of Cuba." The authors sum it up best in their introduction: "If you come to Cuba looking for evidence of a police state, inefficient bureaucracy, and dissatisfied people, you can find it. If you look for evidence of a uniquely idealistic society in which people have a strong sense of community, respect their government, and are trying to solve problems without sacrificing the achievements of their revolution, you can find that too. Let's ride!" Recommended for large public libraries.
Lee Arnold, Historical Soc. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


In this delightful and very practical guide, they outline, kilometer by kilometer for all the Canadians and Europeans whose governments actually let them vacation in Cuba legally the best places to eat, sleep, sightsee, and even avoid. "

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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book Jan. 30 2004
By A Customer
If you are visiting Cuba in the near future, BUY THIS BOOK. If you think you might tour Cuba,BUY THIS BOOK. If you don't plan to visit Cuba but enjoy reading travel narratives by those who have traveled to exotic places, BUY THIS BOOK. I have just returned from a two week bicycle trip with two friends and can report from experience that Bicycling Cuba is spot-on about everything. The Smiths have many years experience leading bike tours for a large bicycle touring company, so their guide book and route directions are presented as cyclists need and use them. Their routes cover the entire country, and the routes we follwed along the South Coast out of Santiago were accurate to a fault. Everything the Smiths wrote about the terrain, historical sites, social mores, laws,lodgings, and Cuban culture and society proved enormously helpful because everything is written clearly and, most importantly for cyclists, accurately. Anyone planning to tour Cuba by car, train, or bus will also find the book useful. I can't think of anything the Smiths left out, except maybe Fidel's personal telephone number! Europeans and other nationals should not pass up this book because it's in English. Even though written in English they will find the book invaluable. Now that I have been home for a couple of weeks I find myself picking the book up and reading about the places I have been and enjoying them all over again. Bicycling Cuba is about as close to Plato's Ideal Travel Guide as we are likely to see. Congratulations to the Smiths, and if you are thinking about a trip to Cuba, buy Bicycling Cuba. I'll bet you go.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bicycling Cuba Feb. 3 2011
Good descriptions and maps. Looks very easy to use, although we have not gone cycling in Cuba yet. Compared to the other cycling guide, it is much more user frinedly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars cycling cuba with a 2002 guide Oct. 23 2009
great read, good anecdotal comments, used it in conjunction with the lonely planet (same year edition) and both need some updating. wally and barbara didn't do any camping in their bike travels so not super useful for the frugal/self sufficient touring cyclists out there. they only drink bottled water which means they obsess about "dollar stores" for finding them. We blended our approach by bottled water and treating water (found along the way) which is more realistic when you are drinking ~10 Liters/day. we only saw two other foreign cyclists in three weeks/1200 kms this october 2009.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cycling in Cuba made Easy and Enjoyable April 8 2003
Having never done any cycle touring, speaking very little Spanish and being a middle aged women travelling alone, I thought a few tips and hints and route advice would make my trip a little easier. I found it all and more in "Bicycling Cuba" by Wally and Barbara Smith. Their advice on what to take, where to go, where to stay, and gems to see was unsurpassed.
I had spent three weeks in Cuba previously and had used two guide books. The Smiths' advice, while not replacing a guide book, was the best: succinct, accurate and introduced me to friendly and helpful people. Their three main cycle tours, west, central and eastern Cuba cover the most scenic areas as well as the historic gems of this wonderful country. The route descriptions were accurate, easy to follow and contained good advice about difficulty, water availability, traffic problems and special sites.
The Smiths obviously love Cuba and this comes out in their writing. They include inserts about various social issues, economics and politics -- each fascinating.
I thoroughly recommend "Bicycling Cuba" with no reservations. My only wish is that the Smiths would produce some more books for other countries.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful guide Feb. 9 2003
Bicycling Cuba turned out to be invaluable during our three-week trip to the western part of Cuba. The authors really know what they are writing about. Some of the most interesting and rewarding routes suggested in the book were not on the best maps available. The authors' way of describing the routes kilometer by kilometer was of great help because very often roads were unmarked. At the intersections we had no problems in choosing the right road. The book also contains a lot of other useful information, for example, on accomodation.
We warmly recommend Bicycling Cuba for independent cyclists planning a trip to Cuba.
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