Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My New Car...

... isn't a car at all.

I sold my car a while ago. I'm very glad I did but one of the consequences I hadn't predicted is that my home has become messier.

Things that I would normally run to the tip or the local charity shop have been amassing over time. I don't want to put them out with the rubbish and I can't be bothered trying to sell individual items for pennies on ebay so they've ended up collecting dust at home instead.

Then a few weeks ago my TV gave up the ghost and died. I'd owned it for eleven years. I can date it because the TV before that one decided to go kaput during the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. Anyway... the telly that died a few weeks ago was deemed beyond saving and so I bought a new one. Which meant I had a silly, big, old broken telly in my living room. If I had a car I'd have taken it straight to the recycling centre (which is what they call the tip these days) but instead it just sat in the corner of the living room that is least used. My council will collect bulky items like that but I've not really been at home all that much - at least not with predictable enough hours - and so I've not bothered to try and coordinate it.

But none of this has persuaded me that owning a car would be a sensible thing to do. I just don't want one. So I've invested in this - my new bike trailer - instead. Day one: two huge bin bags full of clothes/books/CDs went straight to the charity shop and then at the weekend I cycled the 4 or 5 miles to the recycling centre with the broken telly. I don't know how heavy it was but it was a big old beast and I definitely felt better coming home with the trailer, empty.

Anyway... I love my trailer. I love not being one of those people who just dumps his old telly in the street and I'm going to do a lot more tidying in the weeks to come because I'm sure there's an awful lot of stuff in my attic that really shouldn't be there.

24 comments:

Ben Nuttall said...

Great idea, Dave! What's your reason for not having a car? Congestion/stress?

The idea that "one man's junk is another man's treasure" is very true (I'm not referring to your Lady Diana TV set) - it's just a matter of making the connection.

My room's a complete mess at the moment due to me not having unpacked from the two holidays I recently got back from. It started off as three or four bags neatly(ish) placed in the corner but time makes fools of us all and now it's a heap where my carpet used to be seen.

I'm going to have to clear some stuff out before I go to uni (Maths in Manchester, funnily enough).

Just bought your new book and looking forward to reading it! If it's half as enjoyable as AYDG or DGGA then it'll be money well-spent and I'll be delighted.

Ben

Anonymous said...

I took a load of stuff to the charity shop a while back - not rubbish, good stuff - and they said they had too much stock already. The alternative is Freecycle, where I found people ready to give my junk a new home. My local Freecycle is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hackney_freecycle/ but if you search yo'll find one for every borough in the country.

Nikki said...

Can't you join a car club? I'm a member of one and it's great if you don't need a car but every now and then you need to do something like take a load of stuff to the dump. I highly recommend it.

Stephen said...

I'm with anonymous - Freecycling is a great way to rid your house of junk that shouldn't go straight in the bin. We've got rid of loads of stuff, some we could have sold on Ebay if we'd felt it was worth the effort for a few quid, some we never could have. Good to know it's going to someone who wants it (even if a proportion probably do go on to sell on Ebay). You could probably have got rid of the TV that way.

Not to say a bike trailer isn't a good idea.

Henry said...

Another vote for Freecycle here... my wife and I recently moved to a smaller house so we had a couple of rooms worth of various bits of junk to get rid of and not much time. Two weeks of freecycling later it had all gone! You'd be surprised what rubbish some people will take off your hands, and a lot went to local charities that we wouldn't have otherwise known about.

tom a said...

Another vote for freecycle - but also a vote for your local council. They'll come and pick up bulky items of waste like old TVs - there's more than likely a form you can fill in on their website.

Anonymous said...

Antother freecycle vote.

I'ts great you can literally get rid of stuff in no time and they collect!!!!!

Emma said...

Wow, that's a good idea. It even looks quite cool with its orange stripe. I like that you've shown with the photos that it's suitable for on and off-road use.

Get some spokey dokeys on there and you're away.

By the way, should you happen across a spare AYDG or RtbC badge, I'll happily take them off your hands!

howgoodisthat said...

WANT ONE!

MrGreedy said...

Dave, could you tell us bike nerd readers what make the trailer is? Looks sweet

Dave Gorman said...

I've heard a few people raving about freecycle recently and it's definitely something I'll look into. Likewise the car club idea although I'm more likely to use it for a weekend trip home than an hour long trip to the tip.

@mrgreedy: the trailer is from a company called Wilstow Trailers. It doesn't appear to be available on their own website yet (wilstow.co.uk) but they sell on ebay and it can be found there. It's not the cheapest but most of them seem a bit on the flimsy side and this one is supposed to be tested to 100kgs...

beth@bethmadethis.co.uk said...

Very smart.

Did you know that Ikea are doing a similiar thing in Denmark after realising the major percentage of shoppers visiting their store were getting their by bike?

http://mmeiser.com/blog/images/ikeabikes2.jpg

I do like its go faster stripe.

beth@bethmadethis.co.uk said...

omg fdskjbbgdlfs... 'there'

Kickstart said...

Dave - does this mean you have now joined the biking equivalent of the Caravan Club, will other cyclists curse you for riding slowly along country roads at weekends? Will you be attending rallies with like minded cycle trailer pals?

At least you could put a stove, picnic table and chairs in the back and stop for a cuppa in a layby.

I'm only kidding, it is a very sensible solution to modern a problem.

Marchettaschick said...

Dave, that looks like a brilliant idea. Earlier in the year I sold my car and got a bike. I enjoyed it at first, helping the environment and keeping myself fit. I thought it would be more economical, I would save money on car costs and gym membership and therefore have a bit extra wonga. However,I developed the same problem and ended up with a whole load of stuff in my spare room. I too have a broken TV in the corner of the room, surrounded by other things that I previously would keep in my car. I had to give up on the bike though because my knees were buggered and I had to spend more money on deep heat than I ever had on Gym membership; I was cycling to work one day and suddenly felt a sharp pain and then went hurtlin over the handle bar. When I finally managed to sit up, it turned out that a car had hit me. On closer inspection I was shocked to see tht it was the car I had sold a couple of months earlier! The cheek of it, I looked after that car really well and thts the tanks I get for cleaning it Four times in four years, Shocking! Then it cost me a fortune to fix the bike because stuff was bent on it. So I did give in and brought a new car. I wish I had seen one of those trailers before I brought the car, because it looks great (I am a little too excited by it I think). Well done you for sticking with the biking.

Oh and even though I have got a car now, the tele is still in the corner of the spare room. :-)

Carolyn Ann said...

I've just discovered your blog! :-)

Your comment about not dumping televisions reminded me of when I worked in telephone repair; I was parked outside an apartment block in Sheffield, England, and someone "dumped" their TV on the sidewalk, right near me. They just didn't bother taking it down the 10 or 12 stories, first...

I ride bikes, too. Except mine have engines. :-)

Carolyn Ann

PS I'm being particular because I'm not sure which bit of the world you're in; "telly" is British, but one can never be sure... Sorry!

Mark said...

Can you attach it securely to your bike? Or can an urchin unhook and be away with it? It's bad enough trying to keep the bike in the same place you left it...!

Urban Commuter said...

It's possible to hire the trailers which carry kids, if you don't need it all the time. Here:

Rent Bikes in London

aedan said...

If you had a folding bike you could take it on the plane or train when travelling to gigs.

They are less likely to be stolen because you take them into shops with you, unlike David Cameron.

I would never take David Cameron into a shop.

I've got a child trailer I pull behind one of my Bromptons. It can carry non child items too.

Dave Gorman said...

I used to have a Brompton years ago when I lived up several flights of stairs. I stopped using it a while ago and gave it to a friend on a sort of permanent-loan. Sadly it was stolen from their flat a few weeks ago.

aedan said...

Current Bromptons can have titanium frame parts and are easier to carry up stairs.

By the way, did you know you made it into the CTC (Cyclists Touring Club) news letter today?

WestfieldWanderers said...

Bike trailers are great, are they not. Here's a picture of my outfit after getting home from the weekly supermarket shop:
shopping by bike

orp said...

Another good way of parting wih unwanted stuff; but it has to be in good useable condition (no junk or scrap please, Dave's telly wouldn't do). Google frn (in UK).Ignore the ice cream co which comes top and check the furniuture re-use network for a scheme near you. They take, usually collect, donated household goods to a) provide for the less well off, b) keep stuff out of landfill and c) give really beneficial opportunities for volunteers needing a bit of structure, purpose and personal development in their lives.

Big D said...

Thats a great trailer :) well done to you, and said trailer for doing the 5 mile trip to the recycling centre.