ICYMI: May Was Full of Bike Fashion Too!

Although most of National Bike Month (aka May, to those of you not so enthralled with biking) has been focused on the how and the where of biking, rest assured, there was plenty of bike fashion going on in my world as well!

I didn’t know that May is also Me Made May, a month-long challenge for seamstresses and those who sew created by Zoe, of the blog So Zo… What Do You Know? The concept is pretty much what it seems – wear something you made every day in May. I love it! Except that I don’t yet have 31 garments that I’ve made (the yoga mat bag doesn’t count!). I think I will aim for this next year – perhaps by then I will have 31 different reflective-trimmed bike-friendly office-appropriate garments to get me through the challenge. I already have three things lined up for the next month or so.

I wasn’t idle, however, and I cranked out two blue casual bike skirts, with reflective trim of course. The first was a midi length blue linen-cotton blend, just two widths of the fabric sewn together with pockets and an elastic waist – but with reflective rick rack in the hem. It’s super comfy and will be perfect for biking around this summer on the weekends. It does make me feel a bit Prairie Girl but when it’s hot and humid later this summer, I won’t mind. Alas, The Mechanic and I have been so busy this month that I haven’t had a chance to do photo shoots with either skirt, so please excuse the lame photos.

The other skirt I made was a bit of an experiment because I have never used a Kwik Sew pattern, nor created anything (for me) just with the serger. Kwik Sew K3513 is a simple foldover skirt pattern; I made version B. I hadn’t planned on this skirt but found the fabric on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics and had to get it. Of course, I realized this past weekend that it’s a bit more sheer than I initially thought! Thank goodness I always wear Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts under skirts and dresses, on and off the bike. Initially I was worried that the size Medium would be too small so I fudged the seams a bit, and now I think it might be too big. Sigh. At least it will be easy to adjust, if needed. I almost didn’t put any reflective trim on this, but how could I not?! So I just tucked a bit in the side seams. It doesn’t go into knit fabric well, but I guess it’s visible. The Mechanic says it is. Again, no chance to do photos yet.

I did buy fabric to made another top, but first I have one ready to cut out – then I need to buy fabric for the jumpsuit I still want to make, then buy the pattern for the next reflective top. I aim to have all three done before a work conference at the end of July, so hopefully I’ll get some down time to sew.   New Fabric

And in non-sewing news, I was featured on Chasing Mailboxes’ blog, as part of Mary’s Women Bike DC series. I completely admire Mary for not only cranking out some serious bike miles and steady running, but managing to write so often. And being chosen from all the amazing women in the DC area who bike is a real honor. Check out the other women in her series, too, to be inspired.

And just last week, BikeArlington used a few of my photos in their Bike Errand Challenge blog post. I’m pretty amazed by the large loads on those bikes. I really want a trailer eventually. Actually, maybe I’d rather have a folding bike.

Both The Mechanic and I have been running around like made, crisscrossing our way across the Eastern Seaboard on the weekends and working long hours during the week, so we are definitely looking forward to relaxing next month. Our first year anniversary is in a few weeks, but celebrating that is the only thing we have planned. Hopefully it stays that way and I can get some sewing done!

 

Bike Inspiration

There comes a time when we all need a bit of bike inspiration, and this being the beginning of National Bike Month, maybe you are new-ish and want some inspiration. Maybe you’ve been doing this for a while and just want to see what other people are doing. NBM2014_Web_540x59First of all, it’s hard to not be inspired when reading about Gillian, Arlington resident, founder of Kidical Mass Arlington, head of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee and overall bike woman extraordinaire, in the latest Chasing Mailboxes blog post. I can’t imagine biking while 8 or 9 months pregnant (honestly, I can’t imagine being pregnant at all), plus doing it with two other small children! She makes it sound so easy! Inspired – or maybe now I just feel inadequate. Days when my legs hurt and I just don’t want to bike, I’ll need to remember her story and just suck it up.

Maybe I need this tee shirt from Spread Shirt

Maybe I need this tee shirt from Spread Shirt

Speaking of needing to suck it up and do something, I’m pretty inspired by something that is about to happen: Local bike bloggers The DCyclist, Rootchopper, and Bicycle Bug are soon departing on a grand bicycle adventure, doing the entire Pittsburgh to DC Great Allegheny Passage, also known as the GAP (not to be confused with the Gap, a clothing store where I occasionally like to window shop). The Mechanic and I have talked about doing this, perhaps the upper part only, later this year, so I’ll be watching their adventures and eager to hear their stories afterwards. I’ll be the first to confess I’m not as hearty as they are, but I really enjoyed the two nights that The Mechanic and I camped the C&O Canal from Shepherdstown, WV. co_map3_v2

I’ve mentioned Bikie Girl Bloomers before, but haven’t worn mine too much yet – but love them anyway. Imagine my surprise to be featured in the latest Bikie Girl Bloomers newsletter! There were my bloomers, hanging out for the whole social media world to see! (Don’t feel left out, I’ll share them again). Now it’s your turn to #showusyourbloomers!

Lounging at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs

Lounging at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs

If you don’t want to buy a pair for whatever reason, you can always be inspired by my biking and sewing friend across the Pond and make your own. Helen is on a “Ready to Wear” fast (something I should be doing) and sewing up a storm. She’s so talented – check out the jeans she made! I’m inspired to sew harder garments, after reading about her projects.

I don’t know if this will inspire you or depress you, but I have to share this post from The Discerning Cyclist, other friends in the UK, “How to Protect Your Bike from Thieves in 4 Steps.” I love the photo of the bike covered in locks. But along with other reminders/tips about smart and safe biking, protecting your bike should be on the top of your list.  I prefer the lock technique on this tee shirt I bought The Mechanic from Brooklyn Industries. Brooklyn Industries bike locks teeI hope that just the simple fact that this is National Bike Month will inspire you to do something different, learn something new, or bike someplace new. What inspires you?  bike_month_web_900x900_0

ICYMI: April is Over?!

Um, where did April go?!

May is a good month, because it’s National Bike Month, and there are soooo many bikey things going on! But before we get to May, let’s wrap up the goings-ons in April.

I didn’t get much sewing done, and I didn’t do much biking either. I hope this isn’t a trend for the spring! So here’s what is going on with other people:

Indego

Philadelphia launched it’s new bikeshare system, Indego. Huzzah! Welcome to the bikeshare city club, Philly! And check out their snazzy bikes: not just a wire mesh basket in the front, but one on the back rack – and yes, I said rack! Those bikes have back racks! That means I could take my own pannier with me and just clip it on the bikeshare bike! Genius! What a difference that would make to me. As it is, I frequently don’t take Capital Bikeshare because my pannier doesn’t fit in the front basket, it smacks me in the knee when I hang it from the handle bar, or it’s just awkward to carry over my shoulder. #gamechanger I can’t wait to take a weekend trip to Philly now and check out these bikes.

Carniesha Kwashie of the Mayor's of Transportation and Utilities and Claudia Setubal of Bicycle Transit Systems on Indego bikes. Photo by Mitchell Leff, from Metro.us

Carniesha Kwashie of the Mayor’s of Transportation and Utilities and Claudia Setubal of Bicycle Transit Systems on Indego bikes in Philadephia, PA. Photo by Mitchell Leff, from Metro.us

Women BikeDC

Mary at Chasing Mailboxes, here in the Washington, DC, area, has started a blog series about women in the DC area who bike. It’s great because I’ve thought about doing the same thing, but never found the time, and she write much more frequently than I do, so you’ll actually get something often. Check it out and keep an eye on it, especially if you are in the DC area. I think it’s so great to know a bit more about the women I may pass in a bike lane (well actually, they are probably passing me).

EverNote

Sam of Sam’s Signature Seams recently blogged that she uses Evernote as her pattern tracker. I think this is brilliant! I’ve tried Evernote before, but found that it always deleted my categories, so I eventually gave up on it. I’m inspired by her blog post to try it again, and not just patterns – maybe it’s a good way to track and categorize the things I actually make. I’m bad about remembering when I made things, so maybe this will help. Have you used Evernote before? What are your tricks and tips, if you have? I probably need the help. Evernote

Random Brushes With Fame

The Discerning Cyclist published a post I wrote about spring shoes, which reminded me of the shoes I had been lusting after, and now I’m lusting after them again. My feet hurt at the moment, which makes me really want the sneakersNeiman Marcus Rene Caovilla Metallic Floral Lace Up Sneakers

The League of American Bicyclists

I was innocently cruising through Twitter during work recently, trying to catch up on world news and industry news, when I found a ran across a photo of myself! The Bike League has used a photo of mine on one of their blog posts! It’s a photo from when some friends and I did a bike ride last year, something I’d Tweeted but haven’t thought about in ages. Therefore, it was a bit weird to see it staring at me on Twitter. I’m not opposed to it, I just had no idea they were going to use it. I think it’s a bit odd that they used a photo of us on a blurb about bicycle-friendly engineering, but whatever. I’m flattered to be a Bike League model! 2015_0430_Bike League TweetI’m looking forward to May because it’s a busy and important month. I hope you are ready for lots of sewing and the National Bike Challenge! Dust off those bikes and sewing machine and get ready for fun!

In Which I Try Coffeeneuring

I’ve secretly been a bit envious of the intrepid Coffeeneurs who, every fall season, bike to far off destinations in search of coffee to share in the Coffeeneuring Challenge. This challenge, organized by Mary at Chasing Mailboxes, is only in its fourth year but seems to have somehow become elevated to a cult-like following. Maybe it’s the coffee? Yet, I’ve never tried to join in, just read triumphant stories with some mild jealousy.

This year, I decided to try it. So far so good – this weekend was the initial weekend, and I think it went pretty well. A group of us from work decided to coffeeneur together, so we met at the Ballston Metro Station and biked to Java Shack. We were somehow the first bike-y people there, so we got the good spots on the bike rack, and we watched as a while later all the Revolution Cycles Sunday morning group ride cyclists started pouring in.

After hanging out for a while, we set off on our Part Two – biking to Falls Church to go to Mike’s Deli at Lazy Sundae, a family-owned sandwich and ice cream shop.

I had iced tea and a dee-lish veggie sandwich, but it was not exactly a “coffeeneuring” defined stop. Right off the W&OD Trail, and not far from the West Falls Church Metro Station, I’m surprised I’d never discovered this place before. Apparently they make their own ice cream, and I noticed that pumpkin pie was one of the listed flavors. My other challenge this month is All Things Pumpkin, so I might have to go back soon!

We decided to stop and play on one of the children’s playgrounds on the W&OD Trail on our way home. Ignoring the “Designed for Children 5-12 Years Old” signs, we tested out everything, even the log run thing, that was much harder than expected. Thank goodness for the slide.

Really, they should make playgrounds for adults. We need them too!

We headed back to Ballston, and our various homes, feeling much happier for having been out on such a gorgeous (albeit a bit chilly) fall day. Was it the coffee? The biking? Or playing on the kids’ playground? Who knows! It was fun.

I got about 12 miles in all together, which is nothing compared to the other people who participate in the Coffeeneuring Challenge, but it’s more than I’ve done in a while, so I was pretty happy about that. But now the pressure is on to keep this up for the next 6 weeks! The Mechanic and I are returning to Shepherdstown, WV, next weekend, and are taking our bikes, but the coffee shop is pretty close to the Bavarian Inn. Maybe we can take the long route? Then after that, well, there are so many options! Where to next?!