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.