Trucks, as far as I’m concerned, are simply vehicles for travelling to the next interesting place. Yes, there’s the occasional knickerless strumpet and, indeed, beautiful scenery en route…but international roads, like domestic motorways, are generally tediously dull.
While Namibian fawns over 660-horsepower beasts, and photographs eight-axle juggernauts – we discussed his steering wheel fetish, remember? – I would prefer almost any other mode of transport.
Yet there is little call for rock ‘n’ roll shipping. And how many times have you seen a train delivering lights to a Metallica stadium concert? A rock ‘n’ roll cycling company would, of course, be absurd. So, I’ll accept the driving bit…and stop moaning.
It’s nearly 1900km to Paris, yet we’re off to a poor start. Pulling out of Stockholm’s Globe Arena, all eighteen wheels slide round the first roundabout. This is like ice-road trucking; we might as well be on a lake. The road remains invisible to the eye. And it’s minus nine Celsius.
This time there is no black ice, just an interminable stretch of scary, powdered snow, and a central reservation. The sight of tarmac, two hours later, is a jubilant, yet transient, moment. Soon enough, we’re back to holding our breath and closing our eyes on the worst stretches. Well, one eye – just to reduce the ghastly spectre that peripheral vision beholds.
Now, next time you’re moaning about the price of concert tickets, consider this: to put a truck on the fifteen minute ferry-ride from Sweden to Denmark (Helsingborg-Helsingor), plus the forty-five minute crossing to Germany, costs €468. One way. So, multiply that by two for a return journey, and then by twenty for the number of trucks on the tour.
Now add the daily rental price of 38-tonne trucks plus diesel. Understand why concert tickets aren’t cheap?