The craziest forms of transport

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For a blog that’s about travel I’ve realised that we haven’t really talked too much about the myriad of different modes of transport we have available these days. I’ve spoken a little about cars, spaceships and implied some about planes. However I think I’d like to talk about (and show) some of the lesser known (and wackier) methods of transport that we can choose from. I’m probably stretching my luck, but maybe Holiday Extras will one day send me off to try a few out.

The Jetpack has been a kind of Holy Grail for science fiction enthusiasts, military types and those with no sense of personal safety. It’s gone through an incredible amount of iterations since its conception. The Germans first tried, without success, to use jetpacks during World War 2. The US military has written them off as unusable and prefers helicopters. However there does remain a scene of hardcore enthusiasts, and in 2008 Yves Rossy became the first man to fly over the English Channel using a jetpack.

Once the stuff of science fiction could it be that the jetpack is finally here? Probably not, heat is an issue (Rossy wears a flame retardant suit) as well as the distinctly un-aerodynamic properties of the human body. They have some use in space where the microgravity means that minimal amounts of thrust are needed, and I imagine that the jetpack is something that is going to remain in the hands of astronauts.

Some of the craziest modes of transport are the most low tech. The bicycle has been around for a long time and has spawned a number of offshoots. For a long time I thought that the unicycle was the wackiest of bike variants. While usually the domain of those crazy types who just love being “different” I think that the unicycle has met its match in my next nomination. The monowheel.

The monowheel is a single wheeled (surprise) bike, usually motorised, that doesn’t seem to provide the rider with any benefit whatsoever over a regular bike. They look uncomfortable, dangerous and difficult to ride. However, they do look ridiculous and so therefore earn their place in this hall of fame. If you’re having trouble picturing the monowheel, then here’s a video. Be warned, the crash at the end is excruciating to watch.

Last on this list is something decidedly less high-tech. I’ll show you the video first.

The ostrich. Probably the last animal I would ever want to ride. Look how the guy is clinging on for dear life as the giant bird tries to run away from him. I had a friend who lived near an ostrich farm and when we walked up to the fence they’d come over to have a look at us. They strike me as an animal that’s constantly pissed off. Something it’s probably best not to go near, let alone try and mount. Still, it looks quite funny so they make this inglorious list.

And that’s that. It’s the end of the day so I’ve run out of time to write more. Any other suggestions for wacky rides just let me know in the comments.

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More stupid signs

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Yep, it’s late on a Friday afternoon and I’m looking forward to the weekend. As the last post about funny road signs has proved to be so popular I thought I’d give myself an easy task and collate a bunch more into a blog post. So without further ado, here they are (and yes, I realise that most are probably photoshopped, but they’re still funny).

Caution: Stating the obvious?

Caution: Stating the obvious?

Erm what? Warthogs?

Erm what? Warthogs?

Not literally, I hope.

Not literally, I hope.

Would be useful for a pre-schooler. But should they really be driving?

Would be useful for a pre-schooler. But should they really be driving?

As far as deterrents go, this is a good one.

As far as deterrents go, this is a good one.

So there we go, I expect this won’t be the last crazy signs post I do. I might try and move off onto other things for the “fun” posts. Next week – back to the regular content.

Here comes 2009

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With new year’s eve just around the corner, I can expect to hear numerous people asking “where did 2008 go?” and “I can’t believe it’s been nine years since the millennium”. I often wonder to myself, had we not spent the majority of the year at work, would we be asking the same question? If we’d spent this year relaxing on a beautiful tropical island, would it matter what year it is or how the time had passed? Perhaps it’s just me.

New year’s eve is definitely a time for reflection, to see whether we’ve achieved everything we’ve wanted to achieve thus far and to decide what our future goals will be. I can safely say I’ve never met anyone who’s reached all of their new year goals by December 31st 11.59pm. However, we all fall into the trap of wishing for a prosperous new year and setting a handful of goals, even if we were far from completing the last batch.

 

happy_new_year_by_horeb

This year I feel like doing something a little different from the usual ‘lose weight goal’ or ‘save for something or other goal’, I want to throw caution to the wind and set myself something a little unusual. God knows I need a something to put a smile on my face with this massive economic recession looming.

Instead of feeling depressed after I’ve realised that I haven’t lost the love handles or can’t afford to up sticks and travel yet, I intend to set some exciting events which will highlight certain pockets of my 2009. I urge you to do the same, after all, what’s life without something to look forward to.

1) Spontaneous adventure. I would love to set aside a weekend or a bank holiday to jump on a train or head to the airport and travel to somewhere I’ve never been before. Grab a friend or partner and throw yourself into an unknown territory.

2) A hazy summer camping trip. Stick on your best walking shoes and find a field to set up your tent and bbq. Nothing could be better than laying on a blanket and basking in the summer sun whilst sipping on a cool beer.

3) Hire a barge. I’ve been thinking of this one for quite a while. I think it would be so extraordinary to wake up on a boat and set sail down a river, stopping at a rustic pub or two.

4)Visit relatives or have them to stay. This should really go without saying but I know I don’t see my family or extended family enough. 

5) Hire a house on the beach and invite your friends to stay. Get together and play Frisbee on the beach or dash into the freezing sea before retiring to a few hot toddies in the beach house. 

6) Go to a festival. The atmosphere at a festival is electric, I know it sounds corny but it just makes you feel alive.

7)Do something for charity. Whether it be a sponsored run, bike ride or even a cake sale.

8)Give blood. I am absolutely terrified of doing this and the thought of it  makes me go weak at the knees, however I know I need to get over this one day.

9) Take up a hobby. Instead of going home after work and watching the TV, get stuck into a hobby. I’ll be taking up dress making, wish me luck!

10)Do something to challenge your fears. Zorbing, wakeboarding, climbing, something physical which will push your limits. I plan to challenge my fear of heights in 2009.

11) One random act of kindness. Bit of an odd goal but one of the most important. Help a passing stranger with their groceries, hold a door open, help someone off the bus, give up your seat on the tube or pass your magazine to someone else on the train. I firmly believe kindness ripples like a stone dropped into water. Share a little happiness with someone else and it’ll be passed on.

12) Laugh as often and as much as you can.

13) My final point. Plan something spectacular for your birthday, it’s your one special day of the year. I hear Las Vegas or New York calling my name.

 

Happy new year.