III Harley Davidson Rally (Encuentro Harlista!)

This past weekend, I was thrust into one of Cuba’s most prismatic and emblematic subcultures and scenes: I rode along on the country’s first Harley rally, when over 50 riders made their way to Varadero on pre-1960 bikes from as far as Pinar del Río and Camagüey for three days in hog heaven. As you may imagine, my muse was working overtime in this new and captivating environment, populated by cool people with their own language and subtext. Since everything I know about biker culture I learned from Easy Rider and Altamont, I was keen to experience the 1er Encuentro Nacional de Harlistas Cubanos firsthand.


  • Havana’s Harlistas get on the road

    Havana’s Harlistas get on the road  LH 5

    2nd Harley Davidson Havana to Varadero International Rally (Feb 8-11, 2013) Cuba’s second ‘international’ Harley Davidson Rally (Encuentro Harlista!) took place from Feb 8-11, 2013. This was bigger an …

    The Rotilla Festival in Jibacoa

    The Rotilla Festival in Jibacoa  LH 5

    Founded in 1998, the Rotilla Festival started as a rave between friends and grew over the years to become Cuba’s largest annual concert (attracting over 20,000 people in 2010). While it started out li …

    The Lucas Music Video Awards

    The Lucas Music Video Awards  LH 5

    Lucas, the Cuban TV show dedicated entirely to national music videos, will have been on the air for 16 years in 2013. Passionately championed by some and flatly rejected by others, almost no one remai …

    Carnaval de Santiago de Cuba

    Carnaval de Santiago de Cuba  LH 5

    The origins of the Santiago Carnival go back to the end of the seventeenth century when processions would wind their way through the city streets celebrating the day of the patron Saint Santiago. Duri …

    January 1, 1959: Triumph of the Cuban Revolution

    January 1, 1959: Triumph of the Cuban Revolution  LH 5

    New Year’s Day has a special meaning in Cuba since it was on this first day of 1959, Cuba was shaken by a much-awaited news—Fulgencio Batista, who had seized power through a military coup on March 10, …

    Cine Pobre: Cuba’s hippest & retro film festival is back

    Cine Pobre: Cuba’s hippest & retro film festival is back  LH 5

    After a two-year break, Cuba’s ‘poor man’s’ film festival is back. Founded by Cuban filmmaker Humberto Solas, the festival is traditionally held in the sleepy fishing village of Gibrara that wakes up …

    July 26, 1953: Attack on Moncada Barracks

    July 26, 1953: Attack on Moncada Barracks  LH 5

    On July 26, 1953 a group of young men and two women led by Fidel Castro attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba while another group attacked the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Barracks in the cit …

    International Workers’ Day

    International Workers’ Day  LH 5

    Hundreds of thousands of Cubans filed through Havana’s Revolution Square on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in a May Day parade that paid tribute to Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan leader…A sea of workers, many we …

    Paco De Lucía at the 2013 Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival

    Paco De Lucía at the 2013 Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival  LH 5

    We cannot thank Leo Brower enough for his contribution to Cuban culture. Not only for his work—possibly the most extensive and solid of all time of any Cuban composer—but also for the time he has devo …

    Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope

    Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope  LH 5

    The Terry Fox Marathon of Hope takes place in Havana and all across the country, starting at 9am. This has the greatest participation of any country in the world with up to 2.3 million people running, …

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