Over the past week I’ve been in the process of moving to an apartment closer to UBC for the coming academic year. My new place isn’t actually that far from the old one - it’s just under 5km up a slight hill. This gave me the perfect opportunity to conduct a little experiment and see how much stuff I could move without the help of a car or moving truck.
I rented a homemade bike trailer from the AMS Bike Co-Op at UBC for a couple of days (at a modest cost of $5/day) and packed it with as many bags and smaller objects as I could (I’d estimate the trailer weighed about 80-90kg fully loaded). The two round trips I did involved less effort than I had feared, although I wasn’t able to manage riding any faster than a slow jog up the hill. I was pretty pleased at how simple a solution it was though - just hook up a trailer to your bike, throw whatever you want in it and off you go.
Is it a feasible or even realistic way to move an entire apartment or small house? No. Not with a single rider and trailer at least. In my case these two trips only represented about 20% of my possessions, and I still ended up having to throw everything else (including all my furniture) into a moving truck. But for someone with no furniture to worry about who only wants to move their personal possessions a short distance, moving by bike is not only totally feasible; it’s probably also one of the quickest and cheapest ways of moving I can think of.
In my case this solution turned out not to be suitable for my needs, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work out for others. I’d be more than willing to try again next time given a few volunteers and more trailers. I’d just have to dig out those IKEA manuals and disassemble all my furniture first.