Overladen Hondas

Motorbike in motion down lane with thirteen crates of Coca-cola stacked on it. The sign at the right shows what the motorbike's load is. In such lanes dogs and infants run free - the thought of the ensuing, most shattering of, accidents...I have never seen any such Bike in traffic with furled banana trees. Two pots with ten foot (3 metre) banana trees in them This and the previous page are similar, both having photographs of the ubiquitous small motorbikes in Vietnam. That last page took curiosity as its theme, this page takes overloading - a separation that is not rigorous. Most photographs were taken on the streets of Hà Nội some years ago when crash helmets were for softies, today they are normal. Overloading has always really been frowned upon, but the police have more important fish to fry. Sometimes the loads seen are so excessive that there is no sign of the motorbike, let alone the driver. The problems of photographing such moving loads in traffic are compounded by not all drivers wishing to be caught on 'film' - my justification for some fuzzy shots. Man riding on open road with flat trays stacked behind him. These are boxes of sea food. I can count over 60 of them... Large white bundle on top of boxes above driver's head. Hopefully this large bundle is made of very light stuff ...And here they are again from behind Stacked flat boxes numbering over 70 seen from rear of moving bike. Boxes of instant noodles piled two above head of rider seen from front. Supplies of instant noodles
- maybe he is grinning
Moving traffic with very long rectangular box strapped to pillion seat and extending behind for the length of another bike. This balancing act must indicate a very light load; it seems to extend behind the bike for a full bike's length again Woman holding bundles - just on pillion seat! The woman in the above photo looks about to fall off, a hawker is visible in the top corner; these two shots... A number of yellow Halida boxes pilled up behind and between legs of driver. ...were taken from a window overlooking the street. Above, boxes of Halida beer speeding to thirsty throats View, from rear, of three large boxes at slight angle and well covering the driver. An apparent early 'self driving' Honda (with a tilt) Man pushed to the very front of his seat by high pile of ?wooden blocks, with his legs stretched out to the sides. This is probably a much heavier load - legs out to help his balance Pile of metal work above the head of driver. Hat and coat stands Two huge sacks, with a foot protruding from bottom corner. The foot shows that there is a driver - well at least a foot... From front driver with two huge sacks beind and above him. ...The existence of an attached body is confirmed Man driving red Honda with large panel behind him, held by two sets of fingers. Flat sheets, facing the direction of travel, are no fun for any driver - Vietnamese norms require that such strain is not evidenced on the face, but note the intent look Woman pillion holding bed, man looking across at her from next bike. The man on the pillion of the neighbouring bike thinks the bed is toppling... Woman pillion holding bed - closer. ...but a few seconds later, all is fine; happily - as we come along side Two traffic policemen talking together at road side. Uniformed man pointing sternly by woman and bike in shop entrance. Group of uniformed men around parked bikes. Vietnam has many forms of policing. Traffic police have smart beige uniforms (above left) and concentrate on wealthier car drivers. Important police do not wear uniforms and are extremely civil, if unambiguously authoritative. There are also local services such as seen above who tackle, as here, parking and other misdemeanours, the truck means they can take bikes away, as he is no doubt telling this woman. Photographing more 'authoritative' forms of policing does not go down well! Large cardboard packages rising above the driver. Maybe you can just see the driver's left elbow, he is holding onto his load. He demonstrates why 'Women's bikes', with no clutch, are almost universal for the purposes of delivery! A video clip taken at a major roundabout in central Ha Noi. At the start a large load comes past, various other smaller loads can be seen. Pedestrians and cyclists, looking at severe risk, pass the camera, however, considering the circumstances accidents to these two groups are relatively rare - accidents to motorbikes are frequent Motorbike laden to head height with boxes apparently trapped amongst a crowd of motorbikes. It is not only the delicate balancing acts that must be performed to get these often bizarre loads to their destination, it is also that this must be done through some of the world's densest motorcycle traffic - as the man above is demonstrating for us Rear view of man hugging bed on pillion seat. Another bed, but this time a man is holding it and
a woman is driving.
Side view of man holding bed and woman driving Conventionally men drive; and women carry Man with pile of cardboard which is higher than his head. Flattened cardboard at the back of the Đồng Xuân Market Bike with enormous pile of coloured packets. Packets strapped to the bike, as well as being slung below In traffic with woman near, man holding board centre and woman with suitcase beyond. The evening sun casting, what for Vietnam are, long shadows - Vietnam is entirely in the tropics so dusk is more like switching off lights; there is little twilight. Carrying the awkward board, and to the right a woman clasping a suitcase, contrast with the ease of the ride for the woman in pink Bike piled very high with coloured packets. And yet more instant noodles. You can tell, as magnification reveals the word 'tom', that is shrimps which are used to flavour the popular forms of dry noodles Man on country road with items hanging behind him. These last two shots are far out in the country. This looks as though he has a modest array behind him, however... Rear view of bike with display unit covered in household items. ...seen from the rear, his haberdasher's stall seems wonderfully comprehensive Trailers... Two cycles completely hidden by towering bundles of straw. The next page of this section has photographs of transport powered by people. Cameleon on box. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'I Ching'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 15th January 2022 Murphy on duty ...guide to this site

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