Image by Dan Reed.

A while ago we asked you what weird things you’ve seen people carry on Metro. Now, we’d like to talk about all the weird, oversized and just plain hard to carry things you’ve carted around without a vehicle, period. Our contributors talk about some of those things they’ve tried to carry around here.

“I go to Costco on Metro! I typically take my largest suitcase, a few Ikea bags, and a backpack,” says contributor Daniel Warwick. “At Costco I put my suitcase at the bottom of the shopping cart and then go about my shopping. Pentagon City is easy, but I've also taken the Red Line to Brookland and then Metrobus to the Fort Lincoln Costco because the Pentagon City Costco doesn't sell hard liquor. My suitcase got pretty heavy when stocking up on liquor, so I will typically take a Zipcar to the Fort Lincoln Costco now instead.”

That sounds so easy, right?

“I've been known to bike home from the grocery store with jugs of OJ (the ones with handles) and my handlebars because I had to play a Tetris game with my other groceries to get them in my backpack/pannier,” says contributor Rachel Maisler. “I find the water bottle holder in my backpack also functions well for holding flowers or plants.”

“We once bought a painting that was too big to get into our car,” mentions contributor David Cranor. “I took it home on the bus. It was an insanely windy day, so holding a giant painting at the bus stop was a bit complicated. Getting it on the bus was easy but then had to walk about eight blocks in the wind without destroying it. It was touch and go a few times.”

Joanne Tang also has an interesting story about carting a painting home on Metro. “I bought a big painting at Good Wood on U Street a few years ago and then realized I had to get it home on the Metro,” she says. “It was heavy and took up most of two seats, so I sat with it propped up on my lap and you couldn't see me behind it at all. I'm sure some riders thought someone had abandoned a painting on the train when they boarded and saw it.”

There's a kayak in that bag. Image by Payton Chung.

The oddities aren’t just limited to paintings. Payton Chung has carried folding chairs on the bus (sitting in one during one trip) and has also hooked his inflatable kayak dolly to a number of things. He is also aware that doing so on a CaBi is a violation of the terms of service, and doesn’t suggest you try doing the same thing.

“In winters past, I've often had to catch early trains, buses, or planes to snowboarding excursions,” says Matt Koehler. “As you all know, the metro doesn't run early in the morning. Being cheap and within walking distance to Union Station (25 minutes power walking), I always hoofed it. However, because of all the gear I carried with me I couldn't strap it all to my back. Instead, I used my daughter's old stroller (it was a large jogging stroller) and pushed all my gear up there in that. I'd then lock the stroller up outside. One time last winter at 4 am, some officers sitting on the side of the road idly commented that they'd never seen a stroller used like that before. More comments would ensue when I returned home on the metro with all my gear.”

He adds, “Now I just use Uber or Lyft.”

Warwick then told us about the time he left a memorable stain on the streets of Foggy Bottom while moving between dorms at the George Washington University.

“Something caught on the sidewalk outside of the Marriott on 22nd Street and my entire cart fell. The homebrew [machine] splattered everywhere and a few glass bottles on the same trip fell as well. I cleaned up the best I could, but there was a distinct stain on the sidewalk from where the homebrew splattered for a few months. That was my far the worst moving experience ever.”

Sometimes, you can find camaraderie in carrying big items on a bike. “I one time biked to work with a coat rack in my backpack. It was still in the box from shipping, but no less awkward,” Maisler says. “That day, I saw a lady with a large collection of paintings on the back rack of her bike. I guess we were both redecorating our offices that day.”

What have you carried without a car? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen Jeffers is a writer and advocate whose site The Black Urbanist shares her thoughts on land use and mobility from the perspective of a black Southern femme person, and helps other black urbanists worldwide share their story and find connections. She's a native North Carolinian, and after trying out Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighborhood, she's returned to DC’s Park View neighborhood and plans to stay for a bit.