“Okay, no problem, I can carry that on my scooter.”
Nothing prepares you for the amount of talented scooter riders when you travel to Bali. Coming from The States where a few areas might have what seemed like a lot of motorbikes. Or it may be summer when more riders are out and sometimes even grouped up together on a tour. The numbers here are unreal. They just keep coming and from all directions.
Oakley, my youngest son of eight years age was saying the word “there” as in, “there is one” from the moment we left the airport until I told him he needed to stop (keeping Dad’s sanity is priority).
“There, there, there, there, there, there……There, there, there, there, there,…”
The thing is, I don’t think those riders in the USA stand a chance in what I believe to be some bizarre competition held on the narrow streets of Bali. The rules are pretty straight forward with the only goal being…get to where you’re going without dropping something.
The players compete in two categories.
- Largest amount of items carried either by weight or bulk.
- Top level of unexpected weirdness or level of danger of items carried.
Note: A player may enter both categories in one ride
Here are the contestants. Help me judge by choosing your top 3 and replying in the comment section below.
Sorry for the lack of photos, the riders come up fast and I spent most of my time staring in astonishment while mentally placing them into the appropriate category.
- Two car tires (not scooter tires…car tires on 14 inch rims.)
- Family of four (it’s okay, the kids are in a Baby Byorn type thing or standing between your legs up front)
- You, me and my dog (pets are pretty popular to take on a ride. Just have a good grip on them and have them lay across the seat between you and me.)
- Surfboards (This increases the danger factor by adding a wing, or shark fin depending on placement.)
- Birdcage (with bird. Covered. Usually a cockfighting rooster)
- Air compressor (Good size one that needs a handle and wheels to move around the shop)
- Juice bottles (6 or 7 cases of glass bottles. Stack them high for additional danger)
- Umbrella (open, because it started raining and you are still going to get where you were headed. This takes a high level of skill due to wind generated by movement and the use of one hand to hold the umbrella leaving only one to control the bike.)
- Four, 5gallon water jugs (full)
- 6ft. Stack of welcome mats (see pic)
- Bowsaws (4 of them)
- Mailbox (big)
- Fifteen flats of eggs (not in a box, not wrapped in plastic, not tied. “hold these.”)
- Three, 5gallon plastic jugs of gasoline (Obviously more danger than the water guy but what if they crashed into each other, sparking the petrol and then adding the water? I see bonus points here.)
- Breadfruit 30+ (These are as big as watermelons at times.)
- All manner of plants (including a 40lb Tarrow root or 1/3rd of a tree.)
- Three foot pane of glass held by the passenger upright (I thought he was raising his fists in victory during the ride because I couldn’t see the glass.)
- Six foot Ladder (Attached at the back or on the rider’s back, positioned straight up)
- 40 balloons (inflated)
- Eight cases of soda and beer (danger factor is increased due to the value placed on the beer.)
- Sharp bamboo sticks (placement was key here. The driver had the sharp ends pointed up between his legs.)
- A cooler or “esky”as the Aussie call them. (one that holds around 70 cans, filled heaping with ice, no lid)
- Four to-go container sleeves (not the small ones, the big ones, no box.)
- 2 or 3 giant pillows full of packing beads. (see pic below)
There you have it. Now you just have to imagine these competitors riding in tight traffic, on narrow streets with dogs, cars, trucks, and other folks on scooters filling any open space.
I realize Bali may only have a fraction of the scooter traffic that Vietnam has. At least that is what I’ve heard. I can’t wait to see for myself.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to your responses.