Bikes of Havana

June 06, 2019

In mid-March 2019, my family and I had a wonderful time visiting Havana, Cuba. One of our days was with the very talented Cuban artist Alfredo Sarabia, who gave us a tour to highlights of the city. I have shared some of our adventures already in these three blog posts:

- Sephardic Synagogue and Malpaso Dance Company

- Cuban School of Boxing

- Street Scenes of Havana

With World Bicycle Day having just passed (see my Instagram post in honour of that day), a blog post sharing my favourite bike images of Havana feels like a natural next step. I've thrown in a few extra related images here too, just for good measure!

Let's begin!

After our time at the Sephardic Synagogue and Malpaso Dance Company, we walked along through local streets.

We came across this corner food vendor. There was a bike so naturally I took a photo. We then stopped by to say hello...

We received a warm greeting from Helena, who ran this clearly popular corner shop.

 

We then walked onwards to the Vedado neighbourhood, where we were going for lunch.

Classic cars and bikes go together well in Havana.

 

We had a great lunch in a paladar (privately owned restaurant, as opposed to one run by the government) called El Atelier. I didn't take many photos there, but here is one from inside the restaurant:

We then headed to the Cuban School of Boxing. Funny enough, one of the athlete's bikes appeared in several of my favourite images...

The above image is probably my favourite image from our time in Havana. It was exciting to have Nikon Canada feature the above image, and another of mine called "Grid City", as part of a 60 image exhibit in their Contact Festival Gallery Night at the Hot Docs Cinema on May 29th. Talented photographer Caitlin Cronenberg was the guest speaker and shared about her journey as a photographer and her fascinating work photographing celebrities.

But I digress. Back to bikes in Havana!

The bike taxi is extremely popular in Havana. Here is a series of images showing them at work...

This fellow (named Williams, I believe) talked me up for a bit. I got distracted, I confess, by the scene over his shoulder.

Calle Habana

 

Everyone needs a break once in a while...

 

Bikes are naturally important for transporting goods as well...

Sol

 

Later in the day we took a ferry across to the other side of the bay, to a place called Casablanca.

The ferry offered us a good view of the city and of the cruise ship that my family and I were travelling on.

 

On board the ferry there was a bike, well stacked with goods...

 

The architecture of old Havana is very beautiful. Even when in a state of repair and reconstruction, bikes just add to their beauty and atmosphere.

There's a great bike rental program in Havana called Habici which started in November 2018. Below are a few Habici bikes in action. (If you can read Spanish, here is a handy article about the program).

 

Long live bikes and long live Havana!

 

Many images featured on my blog are available as art prints. Just send me a note, if interested.

My next blog post will be about Cars of Havana. Stay tuned!


Culture Snap Photography features the work of Toronto-based photographer Henry VanderSpek. Henry specializes in documenting the work of local and international non-profit organizations, special events, live music, street and art photography. To hire Henry for an assignment, please click here to get in touch.
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