Introduction: Carrying Medium Weight Furniture on Your Bike
Or, The End Table Backpack. Or how to be a biker and still get sweet stuff from yard sales.
If you are still reading this after the super-specific title, you must have some medium weight furniture to transport! The gist of it is that you're going to tie it to yourself, then jump on the bike. You'll want some thick rope, a bike, some furniture that you feel ok about tying to your back, and of course, you.
This works for just about anything you can carry on your back, and that won't hit the rear wheel. My gauge is if you can lift it above your head and sprint it's light furniture, if you can lift it above your head and run it's medium furniture, and if you can lift it above your head and walk, it's heavy furniture. If you can't lift it above your head, it's super heavy furniture (pianos and couches for example).
Step 1: Find the Furniture, and Add Rope.
I have to admit, some days I don't plan things very well. One Saturday I was out and about, looking at yard sales, and found this end table. I happened to be in the market for something to put stuff on, and so I bought it right then and there. Sadly, it was to heavy to hold and ride my bike at the same time, and I was about 3 miles from home.
What I needed was rope. Thankfully, I have a friend in that part of town who I knew had suitable rope, and would be home on a Saturday. So, I borrowed their rope, and set about making a a backpack out of an end table.
Step 2: Let's Get Knotty!
A word about rope: The rope is a vital part of this instructable. Really, a good rope choice is what made this feasible. The soft, slick 3/4" poly rope is great for this. It's good for about nothing else, but it's thick enough that it won't destroy your shoulders. Paracord would be absolute bad times in this application. Normally I have some sash cord in my bag, but I wouldn't use that here either. So use thick rope, or find some way to make pads for your shoulders.
The primary knot I use here is the larks head, because it is fast, good around objects, and shouldn't bind. (it is also called the cow hitch) I think you can figure out how to tie it by looking at it.
You will need to make straps: I simply used one end of the larks head, stretched it out a few feet and then tied it to the bottom leg of the table. (Third picture is a good reference.) Try it on at this point, to make sure the loops are even, and that they are a good size. you want it to be like a snug backpack, but not so snug that you lose mobility.
Really, feel free to see what works the best for you. The end goal is simply to have a piece of furniture attached relatively comfortably to you, without hindering your ability to ride, and without it sliding all over the place.
Also, if you were already carrying a backpack, just lash it into place back there.
Step 3: Get on Your Bike and Ride!
Hop on, and pedal off. Of course, your center of gravity will be very different, and you will have a bit more table on you than usual. Just take it easy, avoid sharp maneuvers and large hills, and everything is kosher. I don't have pictures of me riding around with that table on my back. But I did ride it home, you'll have to trust me on that.
Of course, you could get a trailer. But I think nifty improvised solutions are more valuable in many ways. Mostly in comedic and mental growth value. But it's also greener than calling a cab, or using a car.