Short Cut

FREE WHEELIN' Hitting the road is the best way to learn about northern Vietnam, but the Minsk Club of Hanoi can probably teach a thing or two about obsession. Its website (dissidentx.com/minsk/network.html) catalogs sightings of the club's favorite bike around the world: Cuba; Turkey; Norway; even Afghanistan, where Taliban leader Mullah Omar is rumored to have escaped a U.S. bombing raid on the back of a Minsk, known locally as the "Kabul tank." When a Minsk Moto-Velo Zavod company director visited Hanoi in 1999, club members welcomed the bemused businessman with banners, cheers, chilled vodka and a 40-motorcycle escort...

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