In many parts of the world, the two-wheeler reigns supreme. It is the ultimate, everyman, all-purpose vehicle. And it makes absolute sense that it is: so much cheaper to buy and run than a car (plus smaller impact on the environment), easy to manoeuvrer through heavy traffic or narrow streets, can be parked just about anywhere (even in your lounge)…and can function as a taxi, delivery van, school bus, trailer-puller or family car. In fact, with a little creative modification and courageous loading, it seems that there’s not much the two-wheeler can’t do. As these photos I took on my travels in India, Vietnam and Cambodia show…
You can pile a lot on the back of a two-wheeler. This young guy in Jodhpur, Rajasthan is transporting striped turban fabrics, I think.
Obviously it’s important to tie things on well, though. This leaning tower of boxes is in Hanoi.
Need to transport a giant bonsai cherry-blossom tree for New Year in Hanoi? No problem! Whack that on the back of your bike too!
Here are handmade brooms being delivered in Jaipur…
…and baskets in Hanoi.
But what if the load you’re carrying just doesn’t fit on the back of your two-wheeler? Use the sides, of course! Just add some racks and voila! No vase is too big to be transported! (In Bat Trang ceramic village, near Hanoi).
At the Bac Ha Sunday market in North Vietnam, edible greens are carried in giant baskets strapped to the sides of this two-wheeler.
And in Bundi, Rajasthan, this motorbike is the local milk delivery vehicle, with beautiful brass containers attached on all sides. Here it was delivering milk to a sweet-maker’s stall, where piles of golden jalebi were being deep-fried.
But wait, you say. What if the back AND sides of your two-wheeler still aren’t cutting it? Then it’s time to get a trailer! No need for a tow-bar either (although I think the helmets are probably a good idea in this scenario!). Transporting lanterns in Hoi An, Vietnam.
Let’s not forget the original function of the two-wheeler though: people carrying. I caught this photo out the window as we were driving through small-town Central Rajasthan. Doing the local school run, I guess!
Here a Flower Hmong family head home from Bac Ha market.
And finally, grocery-shopping in Phnom Penh’s central food market. The moral of the story? Never underestimate the capacity of a humble two-wheeler!
Happy driving and stay safe! : )