Thursday, December 31, 2009

xtracycle bag part 2

I left work at noon today and decided to finish up the xtracycle bag.

floating liner pinned in place

Attaching liner to outer bag with binding tape and swing away binder

Back of bag, I need to transfer hooks and backing from old bag still
side pocket big enough for a u lock
front of bag

I installed grommets in the rear for mounting the hooks

Floating liner, black binding is on edge of pocket used for backing board and hardware.
Bright yellow will be good for seeing small items that are in bottom of bag.

xtracycle bags

I designed my own bags for my xtracycle a couple years ago when I first bought it. My mom did the sewing on them. About a year ago I modified them so they were removable more like a pannier. Now seems like the right time to sew up a new set of bags. I started on one a couple nights ago. Here are some progress pics. The outer bag is espresso cordura.

Marking the first pieces.

I need a bigger cutting table.

The sides sewn on.

Adding the topstitch to the rear panel.

The outer bag is finished.

The floating liner is going to be spectre yellow. All the pieces are cut and ready to sew.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I've been working on a pannier pattern for a couple weeks. I came up with a basic pattern that i used to sew up a couple of practice bags. I've spent most of my waking hours thinking of ways to improve it. I felt like it was time to make a real one so I sold one of my xtracycles to buy some fabric and hardware.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to get started. I changed a few things as I went and still have a few more changes to make. The first one took me about 8 hours total, but I think the next one will only take a couple hours.

The outside is foilage green and espresso 1000 denier cordura. I made a floating liner out of grey/green 420 denier coated nylon. I'm hoping they will be fairly water resistant with the floating liner. I used auto door panel backing board for the inner support.

Monica is going to test it out tomorrow on her ride to work. She will let me know if I need to make changes or if it is acceptable. I've made/ built lots of stuff in my life (cars, motorcycles, mopeds, art, etc.) . This is the first time I can remember that I have been impressed with the final product.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I'm looking forward to this weekend. On Saturday Brian, his mom, and I are going to the Bazaar Bizarre in San Francisco. Brian and I went last year and I was so inspired after seeing people who are being actively creative, making stuff and doing things, and I look forward to being inspired (and motivated) again this year.

I especially love the act of making something out of something else. Using something old to make something new. Making something out of something that is on its way to the trash or being donated. It's because of this that I have a difficult time simplifying. But I'm working on it. Trying to be realistic and find a balance.

Monday, December 7, 2009


One thing bike touring has taught me is just how little one needs to survive.

For quite some time now Brian and I have been conflicted about whether we should quit our jobs, sell all our possessions and travel around on our bikes, or just sell MOST of our possessions and simplify our life so we can quit our current jobs and start doing something we enjoy for a living.

Well, we haven't come to a decision but we are simplifying and no matter which we choose (if either. or both) this will prove to be beneficial. We've been going through our house with a fine tooth comb and so far we've had a yard sale, sold a bunch of cd's and some dvd's, put some stuff on e-bay, and this weekend we are vending at an antique fair in town to try and rid ourselves of boxes of items that have been stored in the closets of spare rooms and in the garage rafters.

You see, we use to wander thrift stores, antique stores, and swap meets for fun. I took interest in old, quirky kitchen and bathroom gadgets, especially if they were pink (like the Tidie Dryer that "Quickly Dries....Bras, panties, hose, gloves.") Or turquoise. Then there was the old fan phase, then the old toy phase.....I couldn't pass these things up because they were so cool! Had to have them.

Now, as all this stuff sits in boxes at one end of my living room waiting to be shown off at the antique fair, I look at it and think "these are the things holding us back."

Just like bike touring, with each item we get rid of I feel a little lighter and it's a little easier to move.

Monday, November 30, 2009

"beautiful day for a ride"

It was 8:20 a.m. yesterday morning when I got on my bike and was about to pull out of the driveway when a teen age boy rode by on his bike and said "beautiful day for a ride". All I could respond with was "Yep".

I couldn't stop thinking about those 5 words my whole way to work. "It's 43 degrees out. Most people I know would think it was a bit cold for a ride."......"Most kids I come across in my neighborhood don't say anything to me, or if they do it's a smart ass comment"........"That boy must have good parents."......."The sky is clear and blue, the sun is shining, I'm riding my bike. It truly is a beautiful day for a ride."


Sunday, November 29, 2009

For the birds

Brian and I went to the Yolo Wildlife viewing area today. It's between Sacramento and Davis and can be seen from the Yolo Causeway on Highway 80. Speeding by it at 70 miles an hour the acres of wetlands and rice fields probably go unnoticed by many. When we first started walking around it seemed like there wasn't much to see but once I took the time to slow down and zoom in on what was right in front of me, there was so much to see. Here is some of what we saw.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bike Tour 2009

Sorry we've been neglecting you for so long blog.

In September Brian and I took time off work for a bike tour. As we were deliberating about where to ride, we decided against flying or taking the train to our starting location. After finding out that the Power To The Peaceful festival was taking place in Golden Gate Park the last weekend of our vacation, we decided this would be our final destination. We decided to ride the northern coast from Fort Bragg (we were dropped off a little south of there) to San Francisco (where we were picked up after the festival).

Here are some pictures of our adventure.

Entrance to a cemetery

Gualala, CA - Our destination for Day 1
We found this spot with a beautiful view to eat our lunch

Gualala Point Regional Park. Home for the night...

Our site was right next to the Gualala river

Some shots from Day 2:

Entrance to Fort Ross Cemetery

As we were stopped, taking a much needed break after some serious climbing, we watched this car ascend even further, and disappear into the fog. I was grateful that I was on my bike, able to take in every inch of the scenery rather than speeding by in a car, having to pay attention only to the road.

Lunch and coffee at Cafe Aquatica in Jenner (if ever in Jenner, go here!)

After riding down the most beautiful, long, smooth, curvy hill (I actually laughed out loud while riding down it) we rode into Bodega Bay, our destination.

Home for the night, Day 2
We were looking forward to that hot tub ALL DAY. It was everything we hoped for.

Wanting something healthy for dinner I was disappointed to discover our options were a fish n chips place or a fancy looking italian restaurant. We chose the fish n chips which ended up being super delicious.

Day 3:
After filling up on the complimentary breakfast and coffee at the office in the morning we made our way out of Bodega Bay.

We stopped at this market in Valley Ford for lunch

Leaving Tomales heading to Point Reyes Station

We rode past this boat junk yard and I found it fascinating

We stopped on the side of the road for some fuel (fresh fruit and trail mix) and rest. I collected some oyster shells after noticing they were all around me.

Entering Samuel P. Taylor State Park on the cross Marin trail

This trail is so beautiful, and peaceful.

My bike - Surly Long Haul Trucker

Brian's bike

Our secluded hiker/biker spot at Samuel P. Taylor

Riding out of the park, on our way to Lagunitas Market for coffee and the best breakfast bagels.

Riding from Lagunitas to Corte Madera, the weather was unusually hot. The thermometer on my bike computer reached 103 at one point. It was a rough day and we decided to rent a hotel room in Corte Madera instead of riding on to the Marin Headlands like we initially planned. We had no regrets about that decision.

We woke up to sporadic rain fall which added to the enjoyment of the day's ride from Corte Madera, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and into the city.

Michael Franti @ Power To The Peaceful

Chicks on stilts, dancing

I know, it looks scary, but it wasn't.

After hanging out here most of the day we rode down to the beach where our ride was patiently waiting for us. We were both sad the adventure was ending. At least until the next one....