When Bin Day Bites Back

September 29, 2021

We’ve almost got to grips with the excitement of having actual doorstep recycling (if by ‘doorstep’ you mean ‘half a mile away at the road end’) these days – although the thrill of lugging four weeks’ worth of Guardian’s half a mile down the road once a month will never quite pall for me. So far we’ve only had to resort to the car once (executive decision from the other half as it was absolutely weeing it down on a blue bag day, the blue bag being the paper and card one, please do try and keep up at the back).

Occasionally our neighbour takes our recycling down for us on his way, and occasionally he will bring the empty bags back, but mostly we save that excitement for our lunchtime walk. Yesterday, though, I had headed out early to get the paper because the forecast was looking pretty dreadful, and I decided to save us a walk in the rain, by picking up our emptied bag and cycling it back to the house.

Obviously the sensible way to do this would have been to fold it up and bungee it to my rack, so equally obviously I decided what I’d actually do would be just to grab it and cycle with it in one hand. It was pretty clear after about 200 yards that this wasn’t really going to work because the bags are weighted at the bottom, and rather large, so I was effectively cycling with an unruly pendulum in one hand that quickly got into a sync with the movement of the bike so that every pedal stroke sent it gyrating ever more wildly next to my wheel. And yet, somehow, I didn’t just get off and fold it up like I should have in the first place because if it had seemed like a faff to do this at the road end, it seemed even more like a faff half way up the hill to our house when I was so close to home. What could possibly go wrong?

Yeah, maybe don’t answer that question. I’m still not entirely sure exactly what combination of swinging bag, pedals, spokes and feet left me sprawling on the road literally three feet from our gate, but it would have been embarrassing if there had been anyone to witness it, other than Moo-I-5.

I should have got away with it as long as no idiot shares it with the world by posting it all over the Internet …

(edited to add: now here’s a *really* exciting bin day)