If you're a citizen of Lithuania, France, Botswana, Iceland, Poland, China, Tonga, Argentina, Canada... you name it... you can bike cuba. You're free to pack your bicycle, get on a plane, fly to Havana and, just as we did, cycle across the island.
You're a citizen of the United States? Whoa. You're special. For you, visiting Cuba is a challenge. Americans who want to bike Cuba must be brave enough to lift a middle finger toward their nation's immigration officials and creative enough to do it without being noticed.
After five decades of mutual hostility, relations between the U.S. and Cuba have warmed slightly under the influence of President Barrack Obama.
Obama has eased the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against the communist island and initiated talks on migration and postal service. But he's predicated further progress on Cuba releasing political prisoners and improving human rights.
President Raul Castro, brother of former President Fidel Castro, has said Cuba is open to better relations with the U.S. but will make no unilateral concessions.
So the U.S. and Cuba continue glaring at each other in an absurd staredown. And the U.S. still officially forbids its citizens from traveling to Cuba.
To be precise, it's legal for Americans to visit and bike Cuba. What's illegal, under the Trading with the Enemy Act, is spending money in Cuba. The result, however, is the same: a travel ban.
The U.S. grants only a few exceptions. Among them are established journalists, university students and faculty on exchange programs, and anyone who's jumped through the flaming hoops necessary to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, an arm of the U.S. Treasury Department.
Still, thousands of Americans visit Cuba every year and many of them bike Cuba: illegally, yes, but without repercussion.
If you're keen to bike Cuba, simply travel to another country first (Mexico or Canada, for example) then proceed to Cuba. It's essential you leave no paper trail, but that's easy because Cuba does not stamp passports.
For details about how to bike Cuba, go to http://www.hikingcamping.com/free-cycling-cuba.php, where you can read an insightful travel article by Kathy & Craig Copeland, first published in the Calgary Herald.
For a visual bike Cuba primer, go to http://www.hikingcamping.com/photos-cuba.php, where you can see photos from Kathy & Craig's five-week journey on the island.