On a Fixed-wheel Bike

Osmel Almaguer

HAVANA TIMES, Feb 24 — When I discovered that the term “revolution” was also applicable to other fields outside of politics, such as machinery, I was about nine years old.

Prior to that, I’d been indoctrinated by my parents to learn to see the world through notions such as dialectical materialism, atheism and “revolutionary principles.”

This was also when I believed that the word “fidelity” came from the name of our great leader.

I remember my uncle fixing his multi-speed bicycle, whose gears turned at what he called varying “revolutions.” Starting then, I kept hearing about “revolutions,” and not only in the “patriotic” sense. I came to hear the term used in every way possible and in all its applicable meanings.

Over time, this settled in my mind. My future ideas about what our revolution should be (at least in those moments when my optimism makes me believe it can be saved) had been born from my uncle’s bike.
Multiple-speed gears are constantly changing, always for the better, while depending on the conditions of the road ahead.

Over time, I also discovered that racing bicycles use what are called “fixed-gears,” which make them extremely difficult to stop. In fact, while the bike is in motion one cannot stop pedaling.

So finally I began to discover a certain harmony between the revolution that I first knew of and its mechanical analog. This is just that what’s happening here. There’s a resistance to change, equivalent to that imposed by fixed-gear bikes when racing on a track.

At first everything was going along fine, but as the need arose to make certain adjustments, no one was able to stop the bike.

Some people still talk about this issue, but the chances of the emergence of a new revolution within this one are nil.

All we can expect is for everything to come to a halt…by slamming into some huge rock.


One thought on “On a Fixed-wheel Bike

  • Osmel, the title of your article is misleading. A “fixed-wheel” bike is used for exercise and is stationary. That is very different from a “fixed-gear” racing bicycle! I thought your analogy was going to be that the revolutionary wheels are spinning but the bike is not going anywhere. Neither analogy is very hopeful.

    I think I am more of an optimist than you are. From what I have observed, changes are slowly taking place in Cuba – an evolutionary process. Maybe evolution is better than revolution at this point, even though it requires continued patience.

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