Biking in Vietnam

10 Feb

I finally got out on  a bike ride. 

We hit the Ben Thahn market in the morning where you can buy anything from snake wine to weasel coffee.  I’ll be bringing home some of that weasel coffee if anyone wants to come by and try it.  Just the smell of the roasted beans brought me to my knees and put my saliva glands in overdrive.  I’ve never smelled anything quite so delicious.  And it is delicious.

We then hired ciclo drivers to haul us to the other end of town to visit some Buddhist temples.  I booted my driver to the passenger seat while I took over the cockpit.


I immediately felt right at home on the fixed gear single speed machine.  Well, for a moment anyway.

I thought I’d show off my superior American cycling abilities to the other ciclo drivers so I stood up to sprint. As I did I immdeiately lost control and just about dumped my passenger and myself into oncoming traffic.  The ciclos are essentially a really big 200 pound trike set up in reverse with a hinge connecting the front wheels to the back wheel.  They manuever much like those swing bikes from the 70’s which is to say they go in the opposite direction to where you think they should go.  When I stood up and started sprinting my ciclo got the death wobbles that got worse the more I struggled for control.  It took a moment to realize that what I needed to do was let go and be. Another buddhist move necessary for successful transportation in Vietnam.

After arriving in one piece I wandered around the temple bowing to people and chanting, “om mani padme sum.”  Everyone looked at me like I was from India or something.



After half a day of pedaling in 90 degree heat nothing beats a nice bowl of pho bo and an ice cold Tiger for recovery.


8 Responses to “Biking in Vietnam”

  1. KanyonKris February 10, 2008 at 10:43 am #

    Nice ride – I dig the chrome and red-wall tires. Glad you didn’t dump it – instead of cleaning toilets, you may have spent the rest of your time there buffing road rash out of chrome. 🙂

  2. kenny February 10, 2008 at 5:08 pm #

    Nicely done, brad. Be careful over there. Keep the pictures coming.

  3. kenny February 10, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    Are you sure weasel coffee isnt coffeee filtered thru the digestive track of weasels?

  4. barney February 10, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    “Are you sure weasel coffee isnt coffeee filtered thru the digestive track of weasels?”

    It is, indeed, what you asked – the coffee is through the digestive track of weasels. People said that these species of weasels only select the best beans of a certain coffee type and the chemical mixture in their stomach adds to the flavor. You should try this – the best coffee in the world, hands down!

  5. kay February 11, 2008 at 12:51 am #

    Is it the same snake wine that you have seen?


  6. brkeyes7 February 11, 2008 at 8:43 am #

    Kay-That’s exactly what it is and after having tasted some today I can say its the most awful thing I’ve ever tasted in my entire life.

  7. je February 12, 2008 at 8:43 am #

    Nice cycling shoes you’ve got there. What kind of cleats do they use?

  8. anaty July 19, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    You really don’t like snake wine ? I think it’s fun

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