14ymedio, Regina Coyula, Havana, 14 February 2017 – This last weekend colorful festivities marked the 6th National Harley Davidson Meeting in Varadero in Cuba’s Matanzas province. Lovers of these powerful and visually attractive motorcycles attracted the curiosity of many tourists who were surprised by the peculiarity of the event.
Sponsored by the Cuban section of the Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA), the meeting was also attended by owners of other makes such as Indian, Triumph, Honda and Yamaha. Members have formed a strong community that helps in case of traffic accidents, or simply meets to talk and share their passion for motorcycles.
Numerous Harley-lovers from different parts of the world also met in Varadero to support their Cuban counterparts. Identifiable by their names and the flags of their country of origin on their vests, it was easy to distinguish members from Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, the USA, Germany and Croatia, who often were able to understand each other only through the passion that unites them.
One of the most exciting activities was the visit to Cheita in the city of Matanzas, to the home of a 107-year-old Harley enthusiast who had the strength to briefly peer out his door and enjoy seeing the street filled with motorcycles and the curious who came to see what all the commotion was about.
The attendees enjoyed the different competitions, such as one that tested the ability to ride most slowly without putting one’s feet on the ground, or another that tested riding through a serpentine course without touching the obstacles.
Others, more entertaining, involved a co-pilot, such as one biting a hotdog hanging from the bike in movement, or another called “straw in the bottle” which had to be accomplished without stopping or putting one’s feet down. There were also prizes for the bike that came from farthest away, the best repaired bike, or the most personalized chopper.
In all the competitions it was notable that the oldest motorcycle, a 1936 Flathead model, ran through its paces on Cuba’s roads, and in the hands of its experienced owner won several skills tests, including those for slow riding and stability.
Saturday did not come to an end without the usual concert open to the public with the popular David Blanco. The artist, also a Harley aficionado, satisfied his followers with a thrilling three-hour concert, very in tune with the spirit of the meeting, where he presented everything from classics of international rock to an arrangement of the emblematic Yo Soy El Punto Cubano.
On Sunday at noon, the motorcycle brigade departed from the park where the event was held to a point near the Varadero Marina. Once there, the official photo of this year’s meeting was taken.
In this edition an increase in the number of participants was perceptible, although neither the event nor the association have the appropriate tools of dissemination, beyond their official web pages. A proper promotion could help to promote this exceptional annual meeting in Cuba, on whose roads circulate true objects of desire for any collector in the world.