Vehicle Envy

January 20, 2012

I came upon two boys in South Africa. The sun was getting low in the sky and I was concerned about finding a place to camp. But I had to stop and check out their vehicle. The older boy was pushing his friend along the road. They were both laughing.

The boys looked up and saw a foreigner on a mountain bike with front and rear panniers, a large back rack bag and a big plastic container of water lashed to it.

Their wooden cart was a marvel -- metal wheels, a frame of thick wood held with wooden pegs and thick wire. It looked sturdy, functional, and fun.

I brought my camera up to my eye. The boys looked at me. I focused in on them. And as the shutter clicked I realized we were all thinking the same thing:

"Wow. I sure wish I could ride that."

Photos by Willie Weir

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at


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