Have you ever moved a one-bedroom apartment full of stuff, in an hour and a half? More importantly, have you ever moved and had a good time during the move and afterwards? My guess would be no. In my experience, moving is always stressful. Maybe that wouldn’t be the case if more people moved their stuff by bicycle?
Logan has been trying to get me to go on a bike move ever since we got to Portland and after six months he gave up on me and started attending the events solo. I resisted going to bike moves because I hate moving. My lovely Portland friends have told me again and again that bike moves are a blast. But I wasn’t so sure. Since moving can be so stressful why would I want to help move someone else’s stuff?
On Saturday, our friend Audrey organized a move by bike. She was moving across town to a new apartment. Reluctantly, I went on the bike move and discovered that the rumors are true; moving by bike is a lot of fun!
We arrived at Audrey’s around 10am and there was hot coffee, yogurt, fruit, bagels and donuts for everyone to munch on; between 25-30 people showed up on all sorts of human-powered machines, like cargo bikes and recumbent tricycles. Many folks were riding normal bikes too, but were towing some very cool trailers. For example, one trailer was made out of bamboo and hemp and was big enough to haul a queen sized mattress and box springs!
In fact there were so many people that showed up, we were fighting over who would carry what (in a playful way). One person noted, “We tried to get here early because on the last bike move we didn’t get to carry much. All of the big stuff was taken.”
A few things struck me about the bike move. First, the reaction of people on the street. Some people clapped, others cheered from their apartment buildings, and even pedestrians had some great comments. One guy was standing on his front lawn with a phone in his hand and shouted at us, “I am talking with my mom on the phone! She’s in Philadelphia and I told her about this. You guys are so cool! This is great!”
Second, everyone was laughing, joking around, and happy. And it was 90 degrees outside! I’ve never experienced a happy move before.
We closed off the day with pizza, beer, and fantastic conversations. It’s amazing what you can do when you bring a community of people together. We were able to move Audrey into her new place in an hour and a half and had a lot of fun in the process.
You might not be able to move by bike, but you can savor Sunday on two wheels. Dust off your bike and go for a ride! Maybe you’ll even consider meeting up with other pedal-powered people in your community?
Micro-action: If you live in the Portland area, consider getting connected to Shift. They put on Pedalpalooza, Breakfast on the Bridges, have a calendar of events and more. In essence, they create community by bringing like minded people together.
If you don’t live in Portland, maybe you can start an informal bike group in your town?