Some of you know I'm a pretty crafty person--Martha Stewart on a bicycle but with fewer tussles with the legal system (and my my standards, nicer hair and clothes). I will tell you this: cute fabric with bicycles is hard to come by. So when I saw this design by Birch Fabrics, I had to share. It's part of a line called "Commute." I will be buying some of the bicycle-themed patterns (the airplane doesn't fit into my idea of a responsible daily commute, but the streetcar does) and I'll let you know what I come up with. But that will be a while, since there are some projects in my back-log to finish first.
Coming eventually: more info on craft-based activism, or "craftivism." There's a long way between cute bike fabric and craftivism, but it's a pretty rad movement and I encourage you to check it out instead of waiting for me to finish that post, since it's been a long time in the making already. Short version: badass people using traditional artsy-craftsy things to make political and social statements.
Lowrah asked a wonderful question during Grease Rag introductions last week: what are you proud of (and it doesn't have to be bike-related)?
It's much easier to answer the question "what are you not proud of?" There are a lot of media images that tell us our bodies, our clothing, and our actions are wrong. There are attitudes from others that say "girls" aren't strong and can't fix bikes. There are also internal voices: I'm not proud of X, Y, and Z events from my recent life, of A, B, and C that didn't get done, or choices D, E, and F. Pause. Stop. Think. It's easy to get caught up in the bad things. I know there are things that I'm proud of, so it's time to remind myself of what they are.
I'm taking on another challenge during 30 Days of Biking. I'm going to write down, somewhere, something that I'm proud of (I'm defining "proud" as "something I feel good about"). It doesn't have to be from that day. It doesn't have to be bike-related. And it's ok if all I want to write down is "I'm proud that I rode my bike today."
I'm proud of the wheel I built at Grease Rag last week, with lots of instruction and help from Jamie. Even moreso, I'm proud to be a member of such a wonderful community. I love you, Grease Rag! What are you proud of?
It's that time of year again. April is coming, and that means it's time for 30 Days of Biking!
I'll just repeat most of what I said last year:
There’s a fun event coming up that originated in the Twin Cities but has now gone global. April has 30 days, so clearly it’s time for 30 Days of Biking.
The premise is simple. From their website,
The only rule for 30 Days of Biking is that you bike every day for 30 days–around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you–then share your adventures online.
Keep up with them on Twitter or spread the word your own way. I did this last September [September 2010] and it was a good motivation to get on my bike, even on the reluctant days when I just rode around the block. Once I was out on my bike, “around the block” didn’t quite multiply into “multi-mile ride,” but it did often become a trip around three or four blocks. So there. I don’t tweet (although I enjoy reading Feminist Hulk’s Twitter) and I won’t put you through daily blog updates, but I will be riding along and I’ll go on a group ride with anyone interested (not limited to “Super Official Scheduled Rides,” picnics optional).
Register here and check out the events page. WFT-friendly Queer Bike Gang (the organizers of Cirque du So Gay) will be sponsoring the Short Shorts Ride to ARTCRANK on April 14. Or maybe something else spins your wheels. Whatever it is, just ride!
Short Shorts Ride
Saturday, April 14 @ 5:00 P.M.
Who wears short shorts? YOU. And even if you didn't before, now you have a reason. QBG & 30 Days wanna see your ass in shorts. Short shorts. The shortest shorts possible. Make that the most tightest and brightest shorts as well. We want to see a parade of colorful canopies on your butt cheeks throughout the streets of the Twins. This slow-paced ride will end at ARTCRANK!
Today's weather is shaping up to be quite a bit warmer, but yesterday I broke out the winter boots and yellow jacket again. I was glad for eye protection both days (think wrap-around safety glasses, sunglasses, or ski goggles) because of yesterday's cold air and today's high wind. They're especially nice when the wind is kicking up quite a lot of sand.
Riding gear for cooler weather.
No one on my team lived particularly close to the Powderhorn 24 route, so we decided to sleep it out near race headquarters. Part of our race tactics was to save our riding power for the laps we needed to do, and we were taking fairly short turns riding the course, so a 5 mile jaunt home was out of the question. (Although I know many excellent riders who did ride home and back during the race, we thought this wasn't the best option for our novice team.) We pitched a tent outside of Freewheel and settled in for the race. No need for everyone to be asleep at once, but our borrowed tent was definitely large enough to hold all of us.
I think for many people the theme of the race was ride, eat, try to sleep. I have no idea what the solo riders did. Hopped up on that much adrenaline, sleeping wasn't easy. I didn't have to worry about sleeping for the first part of the night since that's when I was riding. "Conveniently," it didn't rain on me when I was in the tent...because I did the entire previous shift in a thunderstorm that let up just as I pulled into Freewheel to hand off my manifest.
Trying to snatch a quick nap on Saturday I could tell from the cheering exactly when my friends rode by. My dad called to say hi from a favorite bike destination back home. That was a quick conversation, as I wanted to get back to my nap, but between the cheering and my own excitement, it was hard to keep resting.