The Absolute Bizarre
Hi folks, I thought I’d talk a bit more about vehicles today, particularly those of the hybrid and alternative variety.
People generally have and use vehicles for a variety of reasons, from work and practical uses through to recreation, pleasure, and the downright insane. As with many things in life, you sometimes stumble across the other lesser-known category: the absolute bizarre. Well today, it’s simply that. Unlike the Kart Racing blog of before, today we’re going to look at the fiery spirit of the humble gas powered platform scooter: the Goped.
For those of you unfamiliar, the Goped is quite a comical looking child-like scooter, the kind you stand on with one foot while scooting yourself forward with the other for a few metres or so until you ether hit a small stone and have to start all over again, or get completely fed up with after a few minutes.
Far from being a child’s toy however, these little beauties are nothing more than an engineering marvel. Kitted with a 22-25cc 2-stroke engine, front and rear brakes and pneumatic tyres, they are guaranteed to give teenagers an exhilarating mobility option and adults a chance to be young and stupid again. With many varieties of Goped available (including sport and off-road variants) the options are plentiful.
I’ve been living overseas in South East Asia for nigh on ten years now, the majority of them in Cambodia, which is one of the poorer, lesser developed nations in the region. Living in a place like this, with it’s utter absence of a Westernised minefield of rules, regulations, standards and restrictions can be, for many, a delightfully refreshing change and more often than not, a wonderfully liberating experience. It’s not uncommon to hear fleeting tourists or longer-term travellers share their sheer delight in discovering certain freedoms that have either never been experienced, been long-forgotten or merely dreamed about. Hearing the words ‘Imagine trying to do THAT back home!’ with its accompanying rejoice and clinking of glasses is as normal here as taking your first sip of coffee in the morning. It’s actually just as normal as hearing or watching the absurdity of daily life here unfold before your very eyes.
See, it’s the absolute bizarre I mentioned at the beginning that is generally commonplace here believe it or not, which is why I’m seriously considering getting myself a Goped. After all, they’re an incredible amount of fun and will add another layer to the absurdity of life here if nothing else.
The idea of all this came about earlier this year, when an old school friend of mine got in touch via social media. Craig and I hadn’t been in contact for almost fifteen years and so it came as a wonderful surprise. Naturally we slipped straight back in to the memories and giggles of old. He sent over a few pictures of his family and I commented on how shocked I was that a couple of his children had dwarfed him in size. He added a few more pictures of his latest motor project scattered strategically around his newly built workshop with him off to one side beaming proudly.
He then sent an image that stirred in me a memory that had long been put aside. It was a picture of a Goped. ‘Remember these?’ he quizzed. He accompanied the question with a smiley face. Oh my word. Do I remember these?! Almost at once I was taken back in my mind to the days of the ‘Goped Run’: long summer days (and nights) spent in the English countryside tearing along the banks of the canal without a care in the world, giggling and screaming for miles and miles before stopping often (sometimes too often) for a well-earned sit down and a cold beer next to the fireplace in one of the many traditional country pubs. There we would get adequately fed and watered and laugh at each other as we compared our corresponding cuts, grazes and bruises.
If it hadn’t been for Craig getting in touch again, I may not have reminisced over the Goped days, but resurrecting memories like that is always a good thing. In this case it’s a great thing, because it has got me digging around on the internet looking for an affordable Goped option to play around with over here. In rural Cambodia the traffic is minimal, the people are both curious and welcoming and the rules are… well, there may as well not be any. At the very worst I’ll have to wear a small plastic helmet on public holidays, but the idea of thrashing around the countryside here, surrounded by rice paddies, temples and wooden family shacks is a very appealing one.
Anyway, rather than splash out on a new one, I’ve been looking online for used ones and was pleasantly surprised to find a website that offers all sorts of things at affordable prices. Check out these used gopeds for sale and grab yourself a bargain.
Hopefully, within a few weeks I’ll be heading out on my next Goped run!