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.