Fin and MechanicO: Last Boat To Cuba

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by FinTec, Feb 27, 2021.

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  1. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Long timer

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    I find with long trips that the biggest "culture shock" comes when we return home. Like you said, no one understands what you went through and typically people don't truly care. We tend to ease ourselves into the actual travel but the return home is always so sudden and harsh
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  2. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    We are putting the band back together!

    If you are following Jamie Z's thread

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/rtw-the-jamie-z-way-colorado-rockies.1478110/

    you know he is now back in the USA after 6 months in Mexico/Cuba. So sure enough he came a knocking on Tuesday to my shop in Silverthorne, CO.

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    Great to see my old compadre from Cuba. But it was not all social, his poor Honda, I now dub "Prom Date", had a laundry list of fixes. So we dragged her into my shop and got to work.

    First thing right away was to remove a nice nail from the back tire he picked up. Lucky, went in sideways of a knobby and no air loss. He really needs to watch where he is riding.

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    The biggest of the projects was to fix the floppy rear section Prom Date has. While we were in Cuba the rear case mount failed and bent downward almost 45 degrees. He was able to get a quick fix done in Mexico, but it needed something long term. I suggested we add two "struts" from the bottom of the mount down to the rear section of his side racks. No question this will fix the "bouncing" of the rear case that I believe leads to eventual failure.

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    Test fitting the first strut

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    I don't have any final pics of the new struts (check Jamie's thread soon) but came out great and now the rear end of Prom Date is solid as a rock.

    With a full day of fixes done we just had time to go hit one of the local passes in town. Took him up past the town of Montezuma and up Deer Creek Rd. Little smokey from some near by fires but good riding.

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    And of course, tradition is you can't end a ride without a beer at the local pub. In this case the Cala Inn just outside of Keystone in Dillon.

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    It was great to see Jamie and hear about his plans for riding around the world. Damn jealous my friend. And good luck!
    River Rat, scudo, DaleE and 38 others like this.
  3. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

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    Good to see the band gettin' back together again. And good to see you without that dressing on your wrist.
  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Just plain awesome and incredible @FinTec! Good on ya for helping Jaime get his steed sorted for the next leg of his adventure man, this is what true camaraderie is all about and I think it's a testament to the friendships formed in the crazy shit we do.

    You have a killer shop BTW - damn sweet setup.

    Perfect way to end that update. I thoroughly enjoyed your RR and it was fantastic to go back and forth between yours and Jamie's. Wonderful contribution to this site...and being a good human too.

    If you find yourself heading west to explore the amazing riding we have out in the PNW, my house is open to you. And my shop, though nothing to the extent of what you have at your disposal.

    Ride safe in all your future endeavors Fin.
    ozmoses, borderlinebob and Jamie Z like this.
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I need some of your custom rear struts for my GS, if possible? The rear rack is too leveraged off the rear and I want to connect the rack to my side rack rear cross bar bolt points.
  6. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    eakins, PM sent.
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  7. Dusty_Bottoms

    Dusty_Bottoms Part Time Adventurer

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    It was a pleasure to meet you in Rustic yesterday Fin. Quite a surprise. Mecánico looks even better in the flesh.

    Attached Files:

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  8. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    You clearly enjoyed your wander along Mexico’s east coast. I however much prefer the west coast. Baja, well even more. Just saying that I feel you will enjoy Mexico very much.
    This is an extraordinary RR. So very well done. I enjoyed a great deal.


    I’ll be in Baja for the winter and I shall keep an eye open for you and O. Gracias Petepilot
    ScotsFire likes this.
  9. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Dusty_Bottoms,

    Great to meet you guys as well. That Mishawka Amphitheater is fantastic. Had a great time and found some great riding in your backyard. Picture back at ya! (location: Rustic, CO)

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  10. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Could agree more Pete Pilot. I have done Baja (west side) and I have done the Gulf (east side), for adventure motoing, Baja wins hands down. Just so many more opportunities for riding off-road. The Gulf did have its beauty but a little more "built up" as far as roads and towns/cities.

    I'll look for you as well on the west. There is talk of joining JamieZ for his return to MX and Copper Canyon.......
  11. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Been to Copper Canyon twice, first time on the old road into Bato. Rather serious riding. New paved road is much safer but lovely and twisty and much fun. Make sure you guys spend at least 2 nights at BATO a very special town. Caroline’s is great place to eat.
    As I’m sure you know the area bordering BATO to the south grows much marijuana. Cartel lads sometimes hang out during the evening in park area at Center of town. Good opportunity to practice your Spanish.
    Copper canyon must be one of the most beautiful places in the world.
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  12. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    Hey @FinTec care to comment on the latest in Cuba considering you were just there? Respectfully, I'm not asking the same of @Jamie Z in his report only because his is ongoing and I don't know if he wants it messed up with current events. I could be wrong, but maybe Jamie will comment too.
    I'm curious if you felt like this was building while you were there? Are you surprised? Not in the sense that it was going to happen eventually, more that it happened now just after your trip.

    And, of course if you just don't want to go there, you can avoid this entirely.

    Cheers
    Sunday Rider likes this.
  13. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    levain,

    I was actually thinking of making a comment, so thanks for the extra push.

    Please note: the below is from my observation from my three weeks riding around Cuba and interacting with as many as possible. I might throw in an opinion here and there, but I will do my best to keep it to what I observed.

    I can honestly say I did not see this current revolt coming while there. But now as I look back it does make more sense to see what is happening now. I would say I was able to have three solid conversations with local Cubans on their situation and what they thought. It was hard to have more due to the language barrier. The overall vibe I got from them was they are VERY disappointed in their government and they believe it is failing. Their own government keeps holding them back from growing their business and making it near impossible to succeed at the levels they desire. So from a prosperity standpoint, they can't win. As one put it, they want you to rely on the government.

    Yes, the lame-assed, cold war era embargo we have on Cuba does not help, but the people I spoke with said they know it goes deeper than that and they have internal issues that have led to their current situation. Note: the embargo apparently does not cover food. That can be traded. Also, they can trade with their buddies like Venezuela, China, Russia, etc. But get this, they are broke! So even with no embargo, they have no cash to work with.

    Also, since the government allowed some internet just a few years ago, they are seeing that Cuba is WAY behind the rest of the world and frankly it pisses them off. All the promises, all the banners, and all the roadside billboards telling them to "stay the course, our socialism is the best!" are lies and has failed them. They said (most) everyone knows the billboards are a joke but to say anything against them is dangerous. Keep in mind, as they speak, you could tell they sort of looked over their shoulder now and then to make sure we were alone. I am not kiddy here.

    So take what I heard above and add the visual of my trip: huge lines/crowds at the government dispersion centers. Not able to get certain foods/drinks/medicine at many stops as just not available. And an infrastructure that was created in the 50's and now looks like it will all fall down at any moment. Throw in Covid as the last straw.

    So yea, it all makes sense now. Sure, we get upset at our government here as well, but at the end of the day, we can have elections and get rid of the chumps as we see fit (mostly). But Cuba is a one party, no options, if you don't like it, keep your mouth shut, country. A human can only take so much and if they don't have an option, you get Cuba right now.

    My opinion: damn yes, go Cuban people, demand change! They are a fantastic group of people on that island and deserve better. It has been 60 years with the current system! It aint working! My only fear is it looks like the government is responding with a heavy hand and will squash this uprising down. I guess it pays to disarm the people if you want 100% control. OK, not going there.

    I look forward to the day I can go back to Cuba and visit the friends I made and see them with all the freedom they deserve. Viva Cuba!

    (Cienfuegos, Cuba - March 2021 "Give us Freedom!")
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  14. MusicRider

    MusicRider Adventurer

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    Hi there Fin. Thanks for the comments on the Cuban issue. I was wandering about your view and if you had heard from anyone on Cuba. It will be great to get to see the Island in time.
  15. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    Thanks for that update. Appreciate it!
  16. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer Supporter

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    Appreciate your sharing your direct, personal, first-hand observations in Cuba, FinTec!

    Wondering: Why is our southern border effectively, "open," allowing any and all immigrants from many countries entry into the US, but: No Cubans allowed entry through Florida (or anywhere else, AFAIK).

    Any idea?
  17. Carl_Mega

    Carl_Mega Been here awhile

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  18. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    XDragRacer,

    Yes, pretty much what Carl_Mega posted. Looks like policy differences.

    Some might say that Cuban immigrants will probably vote one party while Mexican immigrants will vote the other. The motivation is in there somewhere. But not for this forum.
    GringoRider likes this.
  19. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    Most people are better at walking than swimming?
  20. XDragRacer

    XDragRacer Long timer Supporter

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    Perhaps. However, non-Cuban immigrants may enter the US by swimming the Rio Grande, according to TV news broadcasts.