Bikes on boats, trolleys on lorries

I was sitting on the sunny deck of a boat that took me and my bicycle across the large Dutch lake called IJsselmeer. Looking at all the bikes on board, I started musing. Isn’t it just silly to take your means of transport aboard another means of transport?


Of course it is. But it can also make very good sense.

For example, when you want to cover a long distance that is not feasible to do with your preferred  means of transport. Like if you want to cycle for two weeks in Spain, but it takes you another two weeks to cycle over there, and two weeks back.

Or when your means of transport is broken, like in the case of the SS Great Britain that was brought back from the Falklands to the city of Bristol on a pontoon.

But the most common reason to transport your means of transport is because appropriate  infrastructure is lacking. The oddest-looking example I ever saw in this category were trolleys for an inner-city transport network being transported on lorries. They were built elsewhere, not somewhere along the closed circuit infrastructure of the particular city. Another one is that of army tanks on trains. Obvious because they would otherwise ruin the road infrastructure, but still, it made these tanks look like unharmful toys; you can get rid of them using an ordinary cargo train.

A case that, as far as I believe, does not fit in any of the above categories, is that of new cars being transported on a lorry. I am always puzzled about that. Wouldn’t it make more sense if these cars drove themselves? They can cover the distance, are not broken, and use the same infrastructure. And if being transported on a lorry is more fuel efficient, why don’t we charter a lorry for long distance travel with some other people, and read a book meanwhile? It must have something to do with the fact that the cars should be as new as possible when delivered to the customer, or with the amount of workforce needed to drive the cars. Pretty boring reasons, actually.

Let’s not forget about the fun part of taking your personal means of transport – bicycles, cars, motorcycles, or whatever you move yourself about on – on a train, a boat or a plane. When I am taking my bike somewhere, it always feel like I am taking a faithful friend with me to travel to unknown places and new adventures. Adding to the many shared experiences we already have.


You are invited to post all examples of means of transport being transported you ever saw in the comments area. The sillier the better! 


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