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The Contraption

Posted 01-17-2015 at 12:38 AM by artemis
Some "x" number of years ago, I was living in a city where I had no car & lived entirely with public transport & my trusty bicycle. I could bike 6.2 miles (10 km) one way to work or take a train & a bus. At some point I had to move apartments within this city.. My hubby & I decided to rent a car just for the move... But... the stuff that need moving needed to be packed in boxes. Boxes... Simple cardboard boxes. I had a bunch at work, colleagues saved me some more, all flattened & ready for use...

So.. Question: how does one take a gazillion or 30-40 boxes home on a bus/underground or bicycle?
Option 1: tie a bunch of flat boxes together & then create a handle type thing & carry it on the bus & underground, sort of like an over-over-over-sized tote ... Worked fine for a few trips from work to home untill I got fed-up & wanted something quicker.. Hence I came up with...

Option 2: a contraption. So my trusty bicycle could technically carry double the number at least of what I could carry.. Right? Right? Well here was my solution for carrying flattened boxes. Take a flat stack then tie them up, then use bungee cords to suspend 2 sets on either side of the pedals, so I could pedal & the 2 sets of cardboard boxes would sort of hang there like shields.. Let's say!
(See image of the contraption)

So anyway... My colleagues were used to my insane over-over-over-sized tote-look-alike, now they stood there amazed at my contraption with 16 large flattened boxes & a bicycle + I was very nicely dressed, a pretty white blouse & a black skirt & lovely ballet flats, makeup a bit of jewelry..
(And no bike helmet - who wears those in a city with lovely perfectly constructed bike paths & designated lanes through parks & everything)..

So I set off.. 10 km. They cheered & laughed & my purse & water bottle in the basket behind. The first stretch was fairly lonely & I saw no one & was perfect... Yes.. Quiet & uneventful till I hit a lovely park with ups & downs & all that... So little kids start cracking up, older women pretending to not see me coz it was too mental & sweet old men just grinning. I kept going swimmingly... Until! Until I toppled, not crashed & fell dramatically with blood & gore, but a topple. I fell on my side... Cardboards below me, me on the bicycle & another set of cardboard boxes on top of me .. I looked like s'mores! Of course no one helped & luckily nothing more than my pride was slightly injured... And so I cut my losses, thanked the fact that no one in the park knew me & my dress was fine... And I got the whole contraption up & walked the last 4 miles.

Bungee cord is kinda bouncy & wasn't the best choice.. If I did it differently, I'd use some stouter cord/rope!

I remembered this incident & laughed so much today, thought I'd share it.

The Contraption
Total Comments 13


artemis's Avatar
Schematic of the contraption
Posted 01-17-2015 at 12:43 AM by artemis artemis is offline
katydid's Avatar
I love the image~ beautiful woman on bike with cardboard boxes. My question is did you really use that truck? Or, some other contraption?
Posted 01-17-2015 at 07:17 AM by katydid katydid is offline
*Brad*'s Avatar
I have mixed memories of cardboard and bikes. In the dark trying to wheel bikes wrapped in cardboard onto a cattle truck to transport them to the starting town for a bike tour. Lots of adjustments after hundreds of bikes jostle together in a truck.
Bikes and cardboard .. amusing afterwards
Posted 01-17-2015 at 08:03 AM by *Brad* *Brad* is offline
Updated 01-17-2015 at 08:05 AM by *Brad*
hijiller's Avatar
The story is delicious, so well told, that I was sitting here mentally balancing that bike. But then I viewed the illustration, and my heart grew full of emotion..all the joy and cleverness and faith in ourselves and the future, there for me to see in your drawing.. Thank you for reminding me how hopeful and determined a species we are.
Posted 01-17-2015 at 08:24 AM by hijiller hijiller is offline
artemis's Avatar
Katy: I totally used that bike & boxes! But just thst once. I went back to my over-over-over-sized tote
Omg! I just remembered my hubby carrying a drill & other such tools from the Hardware store, the stuff was so heavy for his bike, he fell too! We've laughed lots... Even when it happened. Plus I was so physically fit from all that biking, walking, carrying etc... Sigh! The U.S. has made me fat & blobby! I miss living in Europe...
Posted 01-17-2015 at 11:36 AM by artemis artemis is offline
ZoydW's Avatar
You were such a hipster then
It was an ingenious solution. And a fall you can laugh about is a good fall.
Posted 01-17-2015 at 12:32 PM by ZoydW ZoydW is offline
redwing's Avatar
Arte, I think you need to get back on your bike, sounds like you were really happy when you were on it.

I love the crazy things we do in our lives, feeds our soul for a long time
Posted 01-17-2015 at 05:25 PM by redwing redwing is offline
artemis's Avatar
Redwing: I will soon. Yeah it was fun.. But that phase had its own set of problems. Actually I am very content now & happy. I laugh at stupid things & I've constructed a strange 3D plant stand to grow vines that is going to be a nightmare to deal with pretty soon! I make sure I laugh everyday even silly things... It's all around us & it's just a question of keeping an open eye or 2.
Posted 01-17-2015 at 07:37 PM by artemis artemis is offline
artemis's Avatar
Thanks for your replies... I'd love to read some crazy story from people. I bet several of you with your varied professions can tell us some pretty fun stuff!
Posted 01-17-2015 at 07:39 PM by artemis artemis is offline
Doctor Dreamy 50's Avatar
It shows you have ingenuity and can laugh when things don't go exactly as planned. Kudos.
I lived in Mexico and saw a family of five ride a single bike, The husband on the seat, a baby in the front basket, wife seated side saddle, a boy standing on rear tire axle nuts ,
and a young girl sitting on a makeshift seat holding onto the Dad. They were going shopping and they all seemed happy.
Posted 01-17-2015 at 09:13 PM by Doctor Dreamy 50 Doctor Dreamy 50 is offline
ByronBay's Avatar
Great happy memories for you and it made me smile too Been an avid cyclist here too but my bikes haven't been quite that ingenious!
Posted 01-18-2015 at 05:17 AM by ByronBay ByronBay is offline
Stew's Avatar
I wish there was a picture...........
Posted 01-20-2015 at 08:31 PM by Stew Stew is offline
hijiller's Avatar
There you go again, Stew..just reading the headlines.
Posted 01-20-2015 at 09:04 PM by hijiller hijiller is offline
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