I hate moving house, and yet I seem to do it pretty often. Back when I first came to Bristol I moved every 6 months to a year for about three or four years straight. I settled down for two, and then my stuff was back in boxes.
It can be really stressful, trying to pack all your belongings into bags and boxes (which takes a long time to acquire enough of), paying out for a hire van (and that’s after jumping through a million hoops just to get it), and then spending all day loading up box after box after bag after bed, and unloading it all at the other end.
So, rather than go through all that again, we recently moved (mostly) by bike.
“But isn’t that even more stressful?” I hear you ask.
Well… yes, in some ways it is. But it’s the kind of stress that we’re calling ‘type 2 fun’. The kind of fun that’s not fun at the time, but is incredibly fun when you tell people about it afterwards.
Catch my drift?
Thankfully our new flat is only a mile down the road, and it’s all downhill. Waaaay downhill. Like, 148m downhill.
This is very type 2 fun when you’re riding down a ridiculously steep hill with a huge backpack, two overloaded panniers, and a trailer piled up with belongings.
In Adam’s case, his trailer was loaded up with large pieces of furniture.
However, despite the added stress of trying to ride very slowly down large, steep hills, towing heavy loads, with a queue of cars piling up behind you, there’s a lot to be said for how satisfying it is when you get to the other end and unload.
The backbreaking work of unloading an entire flat’s worth of furniture is broken up by riding to-and-fro, meaning you’re never doing all the heavy lifting at once. Plus, you get to be out on your bike for the majority of the time, and you have that smug satisfaction of doing it all whilst emitting zero pollution.
Of course, there is also the added factor that we’re lucky enough to have a three-week overlap between these tenancies ending and beginning, meaning we can take our sweet time to move in.
And, we’re not completely mental. We needed a van for the biggest and most fragile things (i.e. the sofa, the bed, and the TV). But rather than have a van for the entire day, we spent our money on one hour of a person’s time (and the use of their vehicle) and had it done in time for lunch.
As an aside, I’m really proud of myself for doing this. When we first got the trailers, I only used mine once, having Adam set it up for me beforehand. This was last year, and my one attempt to set it up on my own was a complete failure, leading me to dismiss its use altogether.
When we decided to move by bike, I knew it was going to fall to me to do some loads on my own, since I have more time at home in the week. I made Adam walk me through the setup (it’s really not as hard as I was imagining), and proceeded to do a few runs a day all by myself.
It’s one of those things that really isn’t a big deal on the surface, but I now have a new cycling skill under my belt and it’s boosted my confidence immensely. Now I’d have no qualms with riding off to do a big shop on my own, whereas before I’d have limited myself to what I could fit into my panniers.
It’s all progress, right?