We needed a new taller ladder than we’d previously had. I scoped out the offerings at the Restore, because I am a die-hard bargain hunter who will never pay full price if I don’t absolutely have to. They had a ladder that was right for us! One of the things I love about the Restore and all thrift-like stores is that they perform a kind of alchemy – turning unwanted stuff into stuff someone wants. Through their careful work, they transmute undesired nearly-garbage into wonderful finds that will make your day.
So, a ten-foot-tall ladder (thirteen-foot reach!), and a store it came from, a home I wanted to take it to, and about 1.5 miles between them. I set my brain to brainstorm how to get it from point R to point H.
- While it would technically fit inside of a bus, that was going to be a last-ditch effort since I’m not even sure it would make it through the angles of the doors, let alone taking up like half the bus.
- Biking holding it would be a little too dangerous for me; it’s not light. I could push it while it’s on a bike rack…? Hmm.
- I could rent one of the hourcars with a roof rack, but that costs money and also I’d have to drive a car and like worry about tying it on to the rack firmly and wow that all seems really stressful what if it falls off like a Christmas tree oh no.
- Or, I could hand-carry it with the help of my spouse? That seems like a long way to walk in lockstep. Not that long, probably doable, but whew.
I took the results of my brainstorming back to my spouse. She put the best parts of my ideas together into one, like she always does: we would go together, use her furniture dolly, rest half of the ladder on it, and push it down the Midtown Greenway, taking turns if it gets heavy. If something weird comes up like we can’t push it up the greenway exit ramp or something, we’ll just carry it that short distance by hand.
The weather was nice enough one fine April Saturday, mid-thirties and the ice was melted off our path good enough for what we needed.
Since the greenway is a little curved like all roman-style roads for drainage, and due to the wobble inherent in such an innovative mode of transport, we settled on a navigator position and a pusher position while taking the pedestrian lane. We walked slow and took our time and did tiny zig-zags and felt like pretty ultimate badasses, using the power of a good breakfast, spring sunshine, and a furniture dolly that she’s had for at least 15 years to get a big piece of equipment home.
Since it was one of the nicest days so far this year, the number of recreational cyclists and runners was pretty high, and we caught a fair number of stares. I’ll probably never forget the look on one dude’s face: this was a fully lycra’d up, highly masculine-style cyclist who looked like the kind of person that would have a peloton app configured correctly on the stationary bike at home. The look on their face, showing through the aerodynamic sunglasses, was one of total awe. I imagine this is what they were thinking, internally:
“I thought I was taking my life seriously. I put on my serious bike pants, eat my serious biking fuel, plan my serious biking route… but this, what I’m seeing here, a couple of queer folks pushing a ladder along the greenway? H*ck, this is ACTUALLY what serious looks like.”-Very Serious Cyclist
Why even leave the house if you’re not going to make people reconsider their life choices?
All photos are by the author.