I’m a Truck!

8 03 2013

Living car free can pose a challenge when it comes to moving big heavy stuff. Actually, even living with a car still won’t help you move a couch. For a job like that, you need a truck, or an appropriate bike trailer.

Nice parallel parking job, eh?

Nice parallel parking job, eh?

Luckily, you can rent an 8 foot long cargo trailer from EBC. Also, luckily, there was a break in the winter weather the week the bf bought the couch.

This is how you move a couch.

This is how you move a couch. Always place the center of gravity over the trailer wheels, and use a tonne of bungees.

I'm a truck rollin' down Whyte Ave!

I’m a truck rollin’ down Whyte Ave!

The hardest part of the day was carrying the couch up the stairs from the basement shop where we bought it. Hauling it by bike was a breeze, though when you’re pulling a large piece of furniture on a bike trailer, you discover your seemingly flat neighbourhood isn’t so flat after all.

The residents settle in on the new furniture.

The residents settle in on the new furniture.

Post script: it took less than a week for the two legged, two wheeled residents to get bike grease on the couch. Luckily, a solution of washing soda got it out. Sodium carbonate FTW!

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Brown Xmas

27 12 2011

With temperatures on Xmas morning at 7C and rising, I loaded up my bike for the journey to my parents’ place, who live outside of the city. Though I often ride out there, this would be the first time I’d try it during “winter.” (Though there was that time I got caught in a snow storm on Mother’s Day…)

Gifts for my parents, brothers, and sister in law - check. Vegan main dish and snacks for the only non-carnivore in the family - check. Sleigh bells to alert me to load slippage and to act as talisman against highway grinches - check.

There’s no bike infrastructure connecting E-ville with my folks’ town, so my route choices are: freeway, highway through stinky industrial area known as refinery row, super-busy highway and freeway that doesn’t directly connect but spits you out on shoulderless country roads where people drive like it’s a freeway. I took option  #1 – the direct freeway. At least the shoulders were wide, there wasn’t much sand and ice, and the holiday traffic was light. It’s not exactly the scenic route, though.

Expansive scenic views from the freeway.

Funny how the closest I got to a white bikey Xmas this year was a pic on a gift card.

After I stopped to take the above picture, my gloves were so soaked with perspiration that I had trouble getting them back on. Thinking temperatures would drop as I left the city, I had completely overdressed, and was so sweaty when I arrived that my mom asked if I needed a shower.

It was difficult enough to not let the parents insist upon picking me up instead of me riding out for Xmas, and I knew that my worried mom would not let me ride home after dark. Once it started raining, there was no question, so at the end of the evening we loaded the bike into the freshly washed pickup (first time dad’s ever washed the truck on Xmas!), and my mom drove me home through the Xmas rain.

P.S. My dad would like to claim responsibility for the unseasonably warm weather, as he bought a new snowblower after the first (and only) cold snap we’ve had so far this winter. By this logic, he is also responsible for the rain, being caused by the washing of the truck.

Back at home, Squeeks amused herself with the bells on Porta-Bike.





Last Cruiser Days

25 10 2010

I’ve been riding Marjory this week, knowing that it won’t be long before I have to put her away for the winter. With that 4 letter word that starts with “S” in tomorrow’s forecast, it’s entirely possible that I’ve taken my last ride on her until spring. At least it was a good one.

Moon rises over Marjory.

Through the rolling ridges of Dawson Park (where the guerrilla art installation from last week is still up!), over the fresh tarmac in Riverdale into a breathtaking sunset over the river, followed by the caresses of cool air in Mill Creek Ravine.

I popped into a bustling EBC to say hi to a couple of folks, and was convinced to go on a dumpster raid for what was rumored to be a big score of bikey stuff.

As the sun set and the temperature rapidly dropped, under-dressed and patience running thin, we hit the motherload. Among a smorgasbord of accessories were several matching wicker baskets, each of them broken in a different way, so I grabbed two, making sure there was enough good parts between them to reassemble one working basket.

Squeeks tests out Marjory's new basket.

I put the basket on Marjory to try out (even though I’m not really a fan of baskets for day to day use) and took her out for one last ride. I don’t know why, but suddenly Marjory wasn’t so fast anymore. I didn’t realize how much I relied on seeing the front wheel in my peripheral vision for accurate steering, because it felt clumsy and awkward like the bike had sprouted a cow catcher. A friend who knows my riding style well predicted that I’d end up taking off the basket in no time, but I guess I’ll have to wait for spring to see how long it takes for me to get sick of it.