Felix Guirola, 52, rides a homemade bike with an advertising banner in Havana, Cuba, July 20, 2016. Cubans are adept at inventing ways to earn cash but Felix Guirola stands – or rather, cycles – head and shoulders above them. The handyman, who loves heights, provides advertising space for companies on homemade bikes that tower up to 7.5 meters (24.61 ft).
He rides them around Havana in an ingenious way of getting around strict marketing regulations in the Communist-ruled island. Guirola’s first gig was for Dutch energy drink Time Flies during the preparations for the Rolling Stones concert last March.
He earned $40, a princely sum in a country where the average state wage is $25 per month. Since then, he negotiated a deal with them whereby they pay him $100 per month. Guirola said his life’s ambition was to win the Guinness World Record for the tallest rideable bike, although he was unsure how to apply. According to the Guinness website, the latest record was set in 2013 by a U.S. bike standing just 6.15 meters tall.
“In 1987, I was already riding a bicycle that measured six meters, but no one knew”, said Guirola.
He said he was working on a 10-meter tall bike although it would be easier if the United States lifted its embargo on Cuba so Cubans could have access to better technology. Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in July 2015, but the embargo remains in place.