Putting the Multi-modal in World Travel by Bicycle

Zippy Entering Cambodia on the Mekong

Long bicycle tours can sometimes lead to what looks like a dead end, like ending up in a Mekong River border crossing between Vietnam and Cambodia; the road forward was a path. In this case it was more practical, and more fun, to travel in a multi-modal manner. The four-hour river boat ride into Cambodia cost us $10 and was filled with images of life on the Mekong we would have missed from the shore.

We’ve traveled, with our tandem, by taxi inĀ AzerbaijanĀ , bus in China, train in China and Vietnam, ferry everywhere, airplane between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan (for political reasons), rental car back to the airport in Iceland, and the slow local water taxi on the Mekong. Hefting a loaded tandem on to a bus, train or water taxi, can be taxing, but ultimately worthwhile.

Zippy gets a Lada ride in Azerbaijan

China Train Ride Aftermath: Coal Dust

Helper at Almaty Airport

Passing a freight train on the way to Saigon

We play the mult-modal card whenever it is appropriate to our schedule and goals. It’s more difficult with a tandem, but the special connection the tanem give us with the people of the countries where we travel, makes the sometimes very difficult size issues, worthwhile.


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