Skip to content
12 October 2011 / leggypeggy

Motorcycle seats—bigger than you think

Picking up the shopping before heading home with some of the family.

The other day I wrote about the waves of motorcycles crossing the border between Vietnam and Laos in the very early morning.

Poor John and I lay in the tiled breezeway for the first hour that the bikes were zipping through, and we could tell in advance whether one was loaded with goods or people.

The breezeway was about 30 feet (10 metres) long and a bit narrow. In fact, the arches at each end were no more than 6 feet wide. Plus, there was a slight bump as bikes entered from the Vietnamese side and a bit bigger bump and a ramp as they exited toward Laos.

Bikes carrying people hardly slowed at all. If anything, they speeded up to enjoy the ride. No doubt, they knew to tuck in their knees and hang on.

But it was different for the goods ‘vehicles’. Loads were long and wide, and sometimes both. Some were so completely over packed that it looked as if the load had been ‘built’ around the driver. These bikes had to slow down. Some slowed to the point that the driver almost ‘walked’ the bike through the arches—especially the second one.

This packing of bikes is nothing new. Across Asia and Africa, we have seen bikes carrying a startling array of things such as pigs and other livestock, doors, plate glass windows, furniture and as many as five passengers (with at least two being children). I’ve never managed to capture a photo of five, and I’ve missed several opportunities to get pics of swaddled babies sleeping blissfully on the footrest of a moving motor scooter.

Frontrunner to overloaded motorbikes.

But I did get a pic of four the other night. It’s not a great picture, but it gives you the idea. They were stationary at the time, but they set out just after I snapped the pic.

Of course, Poor John says we shouldn’t be surprised by these mobile gymnastics. In one of the temples in Luang Prabang, Laos, he saw evidence that the practice has been around for centuries.


Leave a Comment
  1. Brian Lageose / Aug 6 2016 12:22 pm

    The “frontrunner” pic had me giggling. It’s the small things that tickle me…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: