Varadero: The Race Cafe of Cuban Hog Riders
EVERY SECOND WEEKEND OF FEBRUARY OVER THE PAST NINE YEARS, VARADERO BOASTS A PECULIAR ALLURE AS A TRAVEL DESTINATION AS IT REVS UP INTO CUBA'S RACER CAFE OF HARLEY DAVIDSON RIDERS, BOTH LOCALS AND FOREIGNERS
Owner or not of a classic or modern Harley-Davidson (HD); rider or not of any other brand; hippie, rocker, geek .... If you are in Varadero during the second weekend of February, you will not be able to ignore the revving sound of up to 5,000 rpm that is heard often on the First Avenue, nor the related music that fills up the park on 44th Street or the Nonna Tina mom-andpop bistro, nor the visual of the large and distinctive bodies of these American bikes that huddle in the place, after coming from several provinces of the country with families that wear the characteristic outfits.
For nine years now, Varadero has been the headquarters of the Cuban hog riders to meet and share with foreign friends who are repeating or arriving for the first time. It looks like the Café Racer of Cuba - like those hangouts where English rockers swap places - where HD culture is shown to be authentic and enduring.
From Camagüey to Pinar del Río, as well as from Canada, Mexico, the United States and Puerto Rico, the registrations on this occasion are from members of the Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA).
Robert Henry, a Canadian who is in his sophomore attendance, is surprised that the Cubans arrive on their bikes from so far away, since he recognizes that given the exclusivity and value of HD, "I would carry it in a trailer to take better care of it, that's how we do it in my country."
Perhaps there is a similarity with the original story of the English rockers, as there was also a pastor and a mass to bless the motorcycles, as well as socializing the Motorcycle Bible among themselves.
Another novelty was the drawing contest called "The Motorcycle of My Dreams", launched by the Organizing Committee (OC) for the children of the Martin Klein Schiyer Elementary School, which shows the approach of the HD riders to the community, with the support of the municipal government. The contest hinges collaborators in the hosting of the event, among which Be Live Hotels also stands out.
For Bernardo Martinez, a Cuban resident in the United States who comes every February to Matanzas no matter what, this appointment of the hog riders has been growing and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for spend valuable time with friends who share the same feeling of freedom.
Like the practices of the Café Racer rockers, there were also races, but not competitive ones; just in the traditional caravan to wrap up the event.
From 44th Street Park to La Marina, there was a roundtrip on wheels all over the Hicacos peninsula.
On the website, www.harlistascubanosrally.com, the call for the 10th meeting is already open, about which the organizing committee is planning a big-time event with a view to add more bikes, as well as new friends from all around the world.