Category Archives: Unclutter

Unloved Bikes

When in NYC, you’ll soon notice all the abandoned bikes or more commonly, what’s left of them chained with oversized chains to immoveable objects.

The oversized chains and locks work. But when some of a bike’s parts aren’t locked they seem to get picked off. That often starts the abandonment process.

These stripped and rusting bicycle leftovers are probably just an accepted part of big city life these days. But I’m sure many of the home or business owners on the other side of the sidewalk from these eyesores would pay to be rid of them.

So here’s a business idea for a friend who’s living in NYC. He’s young, active, personable, and likes to use his bike to get around town. After arriving in the city, his bike was stolen because he was using an old style U-lock that the big city bike thieves knew how to open using only a Bic pen (you can see how on youtube).

Maybe call the business or something like that. Then get stickers with that name and apply them to the wrecks and tell the person living nearby, if you could find them, about the service.

Charge $49 to remove the first abandoned bike. And $29 for each additional one they have nearby.

The abandoned bike would have to be removed, preventing people from paying you to liberate someone’s bike that they want.

After cutting the lock, the still serviceable chains or cables could be sold to bike shops to resell, ditto for any “vintage” but still useable parts. The rest could trashed or sold as scrap.

The business could be run online and billed via paypal or something similar. Equipment needs would be minimal, a small cutting torch and a heat-resistant blanket (to protect the immovable object). Everything could be easily transported by bike to the job site.

Of course, you’d also need a lock and chain – so no one steals your bike while you’re working.

Teashop Takeaway Part II

Here’s the second part of my excerpts from the teashop video about “Life Management.” The primary speakers are Leo Babauta and Tim Ferriss.

You can check Friday’s post Teashop Takeaway (by scrolling below this post) for a longer introduction to them.

I’ve read many of their blogs over the years and a couple of their books as well. Neither of these guys was well know even three years ago. As they became successful writers, more people wanted slices of their pies. A pie really doesn’t get much bigger, you just have to cut thinner slices. So I’ve seen their ideas about life management evolve and morph with their circumstances. The foundations remained, but tweaks were made as they scraped the barnacles from the hull.

-Distractions – Simplify your life so you don’t have so many distractions. Try to eliminate as many distractions as you can. Then you need to become comfortable with letting small things go by the way. Let little bad things (say incurring a late fee) happen. Accept the small losses that allow you to focus on the one or two predetermined most important items.

-Time – There’ll always be more requests for your time than the time you have.

-Meetings – Avoid having meetings and conference calls. If you must have them, then set the agenda beforehand along with a start and end time and stick to it. Also, send out an email before the meeting to the participants sharing your goals and everyone can come in prepared.

-Slowness – Don’t fear slowness. Try building slow periods into your schedule. Really work to have dinners with three or more friends at least once a week. Doing this can help you appreciate things in real-time.

-Multiple Interests – Identity diversification is vital so you don’t become too attached to your work or any one thing. Find at least three things you can identify yourself with and try to set goals within each area.

-Deferring – Don’t defer things. Instead do or use things and appreciate them now. Cultivate an awareness of what’s important. By not deferring things, you’ll put yourself into the position of feeling that you’re living well.

-Gratitude – Try to express gratitude for what you think is good in your life. Once a week (or more) jot down three things in your life you’re grateful for. Appreciation is often a casualty of our modern quest for action.

-Introductions – When meeting someone new, try asking them, “What do you do when you aren’t working?” And see where the conversation goes.  It’ll be a more interesting start for you both than the common “What do you do?” This also touches on the identity diversification idea I was just talking about.

The ideas Leo and Tim share in the video cover lots of the broad categories they deal with in their writings. (Tim is actually trying to transition away from only being recognized as a life management writer, to become more associated with tweaking the human body’s performance).

If you want to get the gist of what Leo and Tim are about, you could watch the video and read my excerpts in under two hours saving yourself time and maybe money. I’m not saying to not read their stuff, I do and like it.