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roadside market
Uganda; Oct 17, 2004

any road, any load

a typical load

If there was an Olympic event for carrying the most amount of stuff on a bicycle, the Ugandans would be sure frontrunners. We’ve seen bikes laden with huge bundles of sticks (I mean huge), stacks of bricks, an array of bright yellow jugs (full of water, petrol or banana liquor), or an enormous amount of green bananas on the way to market (this seems to be the most popular cargo). Laden such, it doesn’t take much of a grade for someone to get off the bike and start pushing, sometimes requiring an assistant. Getting it all ON the bike to begin with seems difficult enough, but balancing the darn thing over cruddy roads seems almost impossible. A billboard for Roadmaster, a popular brand of bicycle, screams its tagline: “Any Road, Any Load!” Sometimes people are just riding the bikes, too, but maybe that’s just on the way home, after single-handedly delivering an elephant or a house or something like that.

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