Has anyone else seen an elf cycling around South Birmingham, or is it just me? Yes, it's that time of year again, when elves can be seen around the city, and ordinarily sane people erect a stupidly large tree in their house, decorate it with cat toys (at least that's what kittens think), and then watch it die.
I did see one person this year collecting his tree with a bike and trailer. Even with a trailer it looked quite challenging, but good for him! Not having a trailer (yet) I have to confess to getting the c*r out (which was the usual horrible experience), but as shown in the photo, once the tree is dead it's not a problem transporting even a large tree on a bike for recycling. Except this year there appears to be one, small problem.
The last time I took a trip to the Lifford Lane waste management site, it was with a woodbine. I don't mean I was taking an old gasper down to the hazardous waste section, but rather a country mile of wild honeysuckle that had made a home in my garden. I rolled it up into an enormous ball that I then shoved into a Jumbo bag, jumping up and down on it until it was all contained within the bag. In view of covid-19 restrictions I checked with the Veolia website, and noted that using a waste management site now required booking using a c*r registration number. Whilst having a booked slot is a good idea, I was annoyed by the retrograde step of making waste management sites off-limits to anyone who doesn't have access to a c*r. But there was no way I was getting the Jumbo bag on my bike anyway, so I just made a note to raise the issue with my local councillors. However, local cycling hero Kim beat me to it. Bikes are now allowed; you just have to enter "Bicycle" where the booking form asks for a car registration. I don't know if arriving on foot is at all possible, or what is the situation regarding flying sleighs pulled by reindeer.
So how do you get a large Christmas tree on an ordinary bike? All you have to do is take the secateurs to it and add it one branch at a time to your panniers; you'll discover that a Christmas tree is mostly air. Although cutting up the tree in situ is boring and time-consuming, it's a good idea anyway because it confines all the needles to one location, instead of distributing them lavishly throughout the house on the way to the nearest external door. And the expression on the face of the person on the gate at your local recycling centre when you sit there on your bike and say you have a Christmas tree will be priceless.
One way and another this year has been awful, so we at Push Bikes hope you are able to salvage something of Christmas. Don't forget, you can always have a great, socially distanced time on a bike.