When I was gearing up to move to the Boston area from the midwest, my car died. I took it as a sign that I wouldn’t need it when I got here, and we’ve been car-free for going on 4 years. It took a lot of getting-used-to to walk or take public transit everywhere, but now it’s second nature. Though waiting for the bus in the rain still stinks, the truth is, parking in this town sucks even more. And so does shoveling out your parking spot in the winter. And the parking spot territory wars that go on on our street. I’m really glad to have no part of any of those things. And taking a car off the road is something great for the planet too. When you don’t have a car though, you need a good set of wheels to help you carry groceries, laundry, and other large, heavy stuff where it needs to go. Our solution was to get a “bag lady cart,” or a “personal folding shopping cart,” as they’re called. We got one like this:
Our trusty cart has served us well for 3 years, but it’s been gradually falling apart. The pins that hold the wheels on have all rusted out and have been replaced by paperclips. The tread is mostly worn off the tires. The biggest issue, though, has been that the back wheels have been gradually caving in on themselves. When the spokes started falling out so the wheels really could collapse, we knew we’d have to surrender and get a replacement. Small, rusted-out pins, I can fix, but large wheels….well…they’re pretty badly busted. But I refused to ditch the whole cart when only the wheels needed replaced. So that left us with either fixing our wheels, finding replacement wheels somewhere that would fit, or getting a new cart.
Fixing the wheels seems nearly impossible for us. I don’t have much welding experience, I’m not good with scrap metal, and I don’t know exactly how to pound these back to the right shape.
Our local Home Depot didn’t turn up much, and though those mega-sturdy handtruck wheels (accessorized with snow chains for the winter) would have been killer, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have fit on our cart:
But they would have been really awesome.
So our last options were google search or get a new cart. What’s a bag lady cart called anyway? It really took me a while to find a cart that looked anything like ours, let alone replacement wheels. But the internet is really an amazing thing. I was not only able to find wheels, but the exact wheels to fit our cart. They came in the mail a few days ago, just in time to test them out for our weekly grocery and laundromat trips.
Check out our (almost) good-as-new cart!
It’s still a little rusted around the joints, the red plastic-coated paperclips stick out like, well, red paperclips, the tread is still worn off the front tires, and the bottom is bowed down from all the heavy stuff we put in it, but all in all, our trusty old cart is definitely NOT fit for a landfill. Cart, we can still have many good years together.