Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Carsick Designs

We will have a booth at the Bazaar Bizarre in San Francisco this weekend, selling panniers, backpacks, and tool bags.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumn bike commuting can be done

One thing I love about bike commuting is experiencing the transition from one season to another. I know winter is coming when I no longer wear my shorts and short sleeved shirt on my morning commute. I've learned that having the right tools for the job makes all the difference. When it comes to winter bike commuting for me that means long johns, wool socks, a wool long sleeved under shirt, my home made head band to cover my ears (made from the sleeve of a 2nd hand merino wool sweater) and some sort of wind breaker or rain jacket, depending on the weather. Or one of Brian's merino wool button ups that I've taken a liking to this year.

Wool has won my heart only within the past few years. I grew up hating wool. Having sensitive skin, just the thought of it made me itchy! But I've grown to love merino wool for active wear. It's warm when you need it to be and cool when you need it to be. It breathes and doesn't stink like synthetic active wear does. I do get a little itchy from the merino wool but it's only slight and it's only when cooling down after being hot and sweaty. And for me, the advantages far outweigh this little irritation that soon passes. If you are reluctant about wool as I was, start with something small, like socks to try it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

There have been quite a few occasions when I've thought "that would be a great picture" while commuting on my way to work. I've thought about carrying my camera with me but I'm usually running late so it's best that I don't. Brian took the camera with him this week. Here are a few pics he took.

beautiful sunrise on a chilly, foggy morning commute

even though traffic isn't so bad, riding is more fun than driving

checking to see how visible the bike is

A cyclist stopped Brian and asked about his green lights. The guy told Brian he was really noticeable, easy to see. They are two Down Low Glows from Rock the Bike and can be found at Another place to get similar lights is Bike Brightz,

Let's help each other not be afraid of the dark and cold.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Our new tiny home. On wheels

Brian and I went and picked up the Sportscoach yesterday. I have to admit I was uneasy about it all week. I kept asking myself "Are we making the right decision?" "Why are we buying a motorhome again?" "Is this going to be a money pit?" Our whole plan is to make our life simpler, less complicated, less cluttered with stuff, and I wonder if this is going to hinder that plan. Then, on Friday, I looked at pictures I had taken of it, and I was excited about it.

The moment I saw it yesterday I became excited again and those questions disappeared. What's the point on dwelling on them? It's too late. We bought it. It's ours. I have to remind myself that this wasn't a spur of the moment decision. We've been leading up to this for the past couple of years. Living full time in our coach and traveling is going to be a more enjoyable life than spending our days going to jobs that we don't like in order to pay for our home that is too big for us, and to pay for the useless 'stuff' we've managed to fill it with. A home that we don't get to enjoy because we spend our time working to pay for.

The seller and I took care of the paperwork while Brian attached the windshield wipers we had purchased on our way up to get it since the forecast called for rain. $35. And so it begins.

Brian was super nervous about his first time behind the wheel of a motorhome. He drove it for about 10 minutes on a test drive last week but this was going to be a 45 minute drive, on the freeway, in the rain. He did great and got us home safely. He parked it on the street, turned it off and opened our gate to back it into the back yard. When he went to start it again, it struggled and didn't start. Sounded like a dead battery. I thought "Oh great! Here we go. We just bought a piece of junk." Turns out it was a loose battery cable and Brian got it into our yard like he'd done it a hundred times before.

Here are some pics. We will be doing some remodeling because we feel that some of it is "god awful" so stay tuned for the upgrades.

The couch folds down into a bed.

The captains chairs swivel around and the little table is removable and there is a larger table to be put in its place.

"10-4 big buddy". Yes, we have a cb.

Yes, that is a built in blender! There are other gadgets offered for it online like a food processor and coffee grinder. 

The bathroom. Which will be getting a makeover.

Lots of built in storage and a walk way next to the bed which was a plus for me. Part of the counter folds  up and makes a vanity. I don't plan on using that but it's a cool feature. I WILL be using the built in hamper though.

The bar with the door closed

The ice maker

The bar with the door open. All mirrored inside.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We've Come to a Conclusion

Brian and I have spent the past couple years doing some soul searching and making some positive changes in our lives. Even though many things have changed (ride our bikes more, make healthier choices when buying groceries, no more tv to name a few) many things have stayed the same (same jobs, same house, same rat race). We've had numerous discussions about how we are not happy with our way of life. We feel like we are missing out on so much. We work 5 days a week and try to squeeze in some amount of real "living" on our two days off. The scales just don't balance out and we are working on tipping them. We've had many ideas on how to do this: We've thought about buying a rural piece of land and farming; we've talked about moving to Portland, OR; we've considered bike touring for an indefinite period of time; we've been intrigued by the thought of living in an eco community.....but there was always a feeling of reluctancy with each of our ideas, until.....

In July, on our way home from a camping trip to Buck's Lake we started up this discussion once again and came to a conclusion that we both felt comfortable and excited with. We decided to travel for an indefinite period of time in a self contained vehicle. After doing some research we decided on converting an old school bus. We actually did buy a bus about a month ago but got our money back after the DMV told us the title was suppose to be destroyed along with this bus. This got us thinking more realistically about all the work and money involved with converting a bus and we shifted gears and started looking into motorhomes. Long story short, we put a deposit on a motorhome this weekend. If it passes smog, it's ours and we'll drive it home next weekend. It's a 1983 Sportscoach. We are planning on doing some renovations just to make it our own. Here is a picture of the outside. More pics to come once it's ours.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Summer, in a nutshell

I posted my keirin track bike for sell on Craigs List....

...and an old Schwinn that I converted into a single speed.

We had a yard sale and gave some stuff away

We visited Mt. Lassen....

...a creepy cave....

...Dunsmuir, where we slept in a train car and walked under a waterfall...

the yellow car was our home for the night 

...Mt. Shasta...

we decided to go on a hike once we drove up the mountain and i was fascinated by this plant we saw along the way

I was so glad to see there was a sign to teach me what this was

...and Mt. Shasta City where we drank from this natural spring...

...and frolicked through this enchanted forest...
(unfortunately i didn't have my camera on the correct setting. these pictures don't do it justice)

...and roamed the streets where we saw this sign...

...and the home of our most recent dreams. Thus, the craigslist ads, yard sales and giving things away. More on all that in a future post.