Ahearne Cycles

Thailand

Bikes In Thailand, part II

News, TravelJulie1 Comment

Cargo Vehicles

Here are a few more pictures of bikes I saw in Thailand. These photos are of cargo trikes, both the pedal kind and motorized. There are a lot of different types of vehicles with two and three wheels that are used for hauling stuff. Some of the most burly are the motorized cargo trikes, which are seen all over the place.

Just down the road from one guesthouse where we stayed in Bangkok was an ice factory. There was a fleet of motorized cargo trikes that hauled giant bags of crushed ice to the street vendors. The bags were fifty kilos each (about 110 pounds) , and I saw these cargo trikes loaded with at least 8 to 10 bags, possibly more, as they left the factory. They ran ice around the city all throughout the day.

If you've ever been to Bangkok you know how many markets there are, and how many food vendors, fruit sellers, beverage makers, etc. are out there. Most of them have no electricity for refrigeration, so they need ice to keep their stuff cold. It must be a big business for the ice factory. Bangkok is hot as hell. Without ice people would be pretty miserable. 

I wish I could say that I saw a lot of pedal powered cargo trikes, but I fear its a dying breed in the city. Everybody wants a motor to push them around. I saw a few cargo trikes, but not many. It makes me wonder what it was like thirty, or even fifty years ago. How did people get around the city? How did they move their stuff around to the markets?  

The last group of photos in this session are of vintage Indian tuk-tuks. They are such elegant rides. These are pictures of a type that is no longer in use. I hope you enjoy them.

 

 

Bikes in Thailand, part I

News, TravelJulie2 Comments

Bicycle Throne People CarrierEmbossed GripsWhile in Thailand I took a lot of photos of bikes that I came across. Well, not only bikes, but also interesting motorized two and three wheeled vehicles, especially cargo vehicles. I'm sure that other southeast Asian countries are more dependent upon cargo bikes than Thailand -- the economy is such that many people can afford cars and trucks.

But still, there are a lot of people who choose both motorized and non-motorized cargo bikes to transport their stuff, or to transport people. Food vendors and tuk-tuk drivers, ice delivery to the vendors, mobile fruit sales, hauling the kids, and so on.

The traffic, especially in Bangkok, is bad enough to warrant smaller vehicles to get around, something that could more easily maneuver through. As you head into southern Thailand, to the coastal towns and islands, you find retro-fitted sidecars attached to scooters and small motorcycles. Many of these have some sort of covered top to keep the driver and passangers out of the intense sun. I'm sure the covered top also comes in handy during the rainy season. Typically the roads on the islands and in coastal towns are small, narrow and often bumpy. Most people need only to travel short distances, and it's always warm, so there's no need -- nor want -- for an enclosed vehicle. 

Here are a few photos of a couple of different bicycles I came across while in Bangkok. This is the first of what I hope to be several posts about bikes in Thailand. Some are more interesting than others, but there is usually at least one element that is worth noting from each. You can see descriptions for the photos on the Ahearne Cycles flickr site. I hope you enjoy them. 

Interesting Carriers

  

Antique Folder

 

Home From Thailand

NewsJulie

I just got back from Thailand a couple of days ago. Wow, that's a long way to travel. Throw in a flight delay, a ten hour layover in Seoul, South Korea, and a train ride down from Seattle, and it all makes for a severe case of jet lag. 

And talk about jumping right back into things: Tomorrow, Monday, the 28th of March I begin teaching the next brazing class at UBI. This will keep me busy for the next couple of weeks. I'm back, so there's no reason I shouldn't get started. 

In Thailand I took lots of photos of bikes and food, markets and street scenes. The internet was spotty at best, and slow as molasses. I only tried uploading photos once -- it took hours to get about 18 photos onto Flickr. After that I decided to wait until I returned home to try again. I've been sorting through them, so you can expect to start seeing some of them soon. 

It was a great trip, and I'm glad to be home. 

 

Time To Travel

NewsJulie3 Comments

Time To Travel

This coming Tuesday the 22nd of February will be the first day of a month-long closure of Ahearne Cycles.

I'll be packing my gear and headed off to Thailand. The quick summary on what you can expect is this:

The shop doors will be closed, so if you were thinking of dropping by for a visit, it'll have to wait until my return.

All online orders (flask holsters & handlebars, etc.) will continue to be shipped