Friday, December 26, 2008

Making Cycling Caps

I've been on a little cycling cap-making spree inspired by our "Secret Santa" gift giving in my family. The deal is everyone has to make something which then goes into the pool of gifts. I made a hat and it turned out to be a popular choice. I've made a couple more since then, including this one which I made for our friend Kate. It's a really nice brownish wool tweed made from an old sports coat. 

That's me modeling the cap before we wrapped it up on the way out the door to Kate's. 

Getting our Tree

We ventured out on Christmas Eve morning in -3 degree's to get a tree. With snowshoes and Motion in tow, we had a nice walk down through the woods. There's a spot where nice sized little trees seem to grow, so we head there each year. Despite the cold, I was pretty warm by the time we'd dragged it back to the yurt. 

You can see frost on Nancy's hair. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice Snow

Today was another day of continual snow.  We went to town to do errands and among other things picked up a very cool sled-style snow shovel. Here is: a view from the yurt out towards our garden and sugaring structure; our cozy little home; and my industrious wife hard at work. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008


We had a nice snowfall last night: lots of snow that was light and powdery. Perfect for skiing. We dug out our boot, skis and poles and brought Motion along with us for a nice ski through the woods and fields outside the yurt. 

A good ski is usually followed by a good nap, which Nancy, Motion and I all had when we got back.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tom's Bag

Our friend Annadeene asked me to make a bag for Tom, her husband. He is a mandolin player and she envisioned a bag that could hold his assortment of music notebooks, sheet music and songbooks, as well as another pocket for holding the tuner, capo and picks.  

I was glad she asked because having a specific project to do helps  provide focus on making bags, which is something I really enjoy doing but have a hard time making time for unless there is a goal or purpose. 

I modeled the bag on a shoulder bag I have and use all the time. 

Altogether I am pretty happy with how it came out, but I still have a ways to go and lots to learn to make something that feels like it'd be good enough to sell, which I'd like to do sometime.

Winter Biking

Today I had some stuff to bring to the post office (specifically Tom's bag-- see next post) and delivered it by bike. For winter riding I have studded snow tires mounted front and rear wheels which make biking in ice and snow at all possible. It's still dicey, but it wouldn't be doable without them. Additionally I have my lights mounted and at the ready since it gets dark around 4 or so. 

There is a special thrill to biking when most folks assume you can't ride a bike. It feels adventurous and special. A few years ago I biked to work when it was -5 degrees below zero because my car would not start. To my surprise, I was hot when I got there since I'd put on so many layers. The hardest part of riding I find is keeping my toes warm since they don't move much and there is a wind chill factor. 

The studded tires do an able job of keeping me upright on ice and snow, but it is the ruts that are the most challenging. They are hard to see and want to keep your wheel in them even if you want to go out of them. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Me & the Practical Pedal

For the last year or so I've been writing articles for a publication called the Practical Pedal. My articles have focused mainly on gear-ish stuff such as rain capes, knickers, fenders, and tires. Its really cool to be provided an outlet for voicing my opinions and perspective on bike stuff while trying my hand at writing for public consumption. When I first started college I was Journalism major and there was something intriguing about the idea of interviewing, writing and researching. As time progressed it became reasonably clear that my interests lay elsewhere. So, it is curious to see a sort of a latent journalist show up without really expecting it. Here's a link to a couple of articles:

Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery

I recently came across an online comic strip called Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery. It chronicles the adevntures, mishaps, and challenges of Yehuda Moon, the co-owner of the Kickstand Cyclery-- a bike shop. His pal Joe and he run the shop and their running dialog often centers around their respective bicycle philosophies. Yehuda is a transportation commuter type and Joe is a go-fast sport type.

Drawn by Rick Smith, who is a Cleveland based comic book artist by night and programmer by day. He bases the strip on his daily 24 mile round-trip commute and time spent hanging around bike shops.

Here's a couple examples. For more, go to