29 April 2008

helmet liner

I made a helmet liner of leftover sock yarn. I needed something with earflaps, and it needed to be lightweight and warm. I started at the top, worked increases at eight points, and single crocheted the edging.

I rode my Bianchi hybrid on a short errand after work today. It was quicker to take it than to unlock the e-bike. I totally love my e-bike, but my hybrid is a sweet little bike, too.

It snowed on me on the way home from my errand.

28 April 2008


Compare and contrast:


RCW 46.61.770
Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.

(1) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except as may be appropriate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.


RCW 46.61.667
Using a wireless communications device while driving. (Effective July 1, 2008.)

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, a person operating a moving motor vehicle while holding a wireless communications device to his or her ear is guilty of a traffic infraction.

Okay, you are off the hook, only because the law prohibiting cell phone use won't be enforced until July 1. But it's on the book. In case you're interested at all, the reason why I was riding in the driving lane was because I was preparing to make a left hand turn. This occurred approximately 5-10 seconds after you felt the need to honk at me and pass me. I wasn't quite close enough to signal my turn, which I always do, but I was close.

To sum up: hang up and drive. Courteously!

23 April 2008

The "out like a lamb" part never happened.

I left the house (in the car) amidst yet more snow. (Aside: the Californian spouse did remarkably little complaining when it was snowing *on his birthday* last week.) At lunchtime, I decided that it was warm enough to ride back to work. Warm enough, yes, but by the end of the afternoon, not dry enough. At all. Which didn't alter the necessity of riding home, so I walked through the front door soaking wet. My husband dryly noted, "That didn't work out as well as it could have, did it?"

For me, 90% of getting dinner on the table is a loose meal plan. I usually shop by sketching out five or six meals, plus extra salad fixings and easy lunch-type things. I don't designate any specific order for making them, though logistics come into play. (For example, all postal employees are tired by the end of your average Monday. Complicated dinners do not follow.) Since I just did the shopping last night, I had a fresh selection of meal plans to choose from. I decided to make the soba noodles with green beans and almonds from Vegan Express. Wow--easy. A quick sauce based on hoisin; toast some almonds; slice some scallions; cook the noodles, green beans, and in this case, the added edamame together, and dinner's ready.

20 April 2008

I did not sign up for this.

It keeps snowing. Not a lot; just enough to continue annoying me. And the robins.

I'm attempting to make a helmet liner out of leftover sock yarn. If it worked, I'll know shortly. I've been winging it, working from the top down, and I ran out of yarn and had to go foraging for something that was at least in the ballpark. It has ear flaps. It should probably be a full face mask.

16 April 2008

tempeh fries with wild rice and veggies

In the interest of moving that snow photo down in the queue, this is what I made for dinner tonight. Tempeh Fries with Horseradish Mayonnaise from Vegan Express , served with wild rice mix, steamed broccoli, raw red pepper slices, and radish halves. Yes, I like arranging vegetables on my cobalt blue Fiestaware.

It did stop snowing, and today was brisk and sunny. If you were inside, it looked beautiful outside. If you were outside (and I was) you tried to ignore the fact that you were being buffeted about by a mighty cold wind.

14 April 2008

remember when?

This weekend, temperatures were in the upper 60s, and on Saturday, at least, we had sunny blue skies. TODAY IT SNOWED. Not much, but please, please, stop it. This photo was taken on February 1st, and what you can't really tell is that the roof of our porch is at least ten feet off the ground. I took this shot from our driveway, and you also can't really tell that there is a path shoveled up to the steps. The piles of snow were so high at a couple of times during the season that I could barely hoist the shovel high enough to get the newly shoveled snow on top of them. My last electric bill noted that the average daily temperature for the billing period was eight degrees lower than last year. And I don't recall last year being especially balmy.

I did not ride my bike today, as the wind was blowing so hard that the entire flagpole at work was swaying. Also, did I mention it snowed?

I discovered today that Erik Marcus blogged my photo of the Coconut Pineapple Noodles. (Leftovers of which I finally finished at lunchtime today.) One of those things that makes you realize that we are all just regular people, even if some of us totally know who others of us are...

12 April 2008

fully loaded.

Fully loaded 2
I volunteered to go get frozen pizza and ice cream for the pack of wild children at my house last night. Because! I could test out my grocery panniers! It turns out that you can easily carry two frozen pizzas, 2 lbs of baby carrots, 4 apples, a 1/2 gallon of ice cream, a box of crackers, a magazine, and a six pack of beer. You can see where the beer unsnapped the stiff liner of the panniers, but otherwise all rode well.

The bag boy threw a fit when the supervisor who was running the express lane asked him not to crush my loaf of bread with the apples--apparently, he felt that this was an excessive use of her authority. Which is why I normally shop at a different store, where they instruct their baggers correctly and the employees aere mostly cheerful. However, it was worth enduring the tizzy to be able to ride there and back.

11 April 2008

I promise not to add an orange safety flag.

Felted Handlebar Bag
Am I taking the accessorizing too far? But how can I resist combining some of my favorite avocations? (Wait, I'll answer that rhetorical question when I get home from the library.)

This is a small felted handlebar bag, which I concocted from some nice thick and thin wool I purchased at my LYS' big sale. It's just a rectangle knit with the yarn double stranded on size 11 needles. I folded it in half and seamed it, then picked up and knit the straps. Then I made a very loosely-knit swatch out of a single strand of the yarn, felted it on a vintage washboard, and used it with a cover-your-own-button kit I bought at a clearance sale. I think I made buttonholes when I knit the straps, but I ended up having to trim them, so what I ended up with were a couple of slits cut to fit after I felted the whole project.

The idea here was to have someplace handy to stash my wallet and cell phone when I am going for a ride and either don't need my bag or want to reserve the space in my grocery panniers for other things. A test run has been executed, and the items a) fit, b) are handy, and c) don't bounce out. If the buttons hold, we'll call this mod a success.

09 April 2008

windy and cold.

My biggest challenge in riding to work is...riding TO work. I think it was about 30 degrees when I got there this morning. When I'm scheduled to be in at 6:30, as I am this week, I am sadly lacking in motivation. Actually, figuring out a coffee set-up will help, but 30 degrees + o'dark-thirty + no caffeine is not really feasible.

However, if I have an hour, or sometimes longer, for lunch, I will ride back to work and then home. That's what I did today, and the wind was an excellent reminder of why I got this bike. With the pedal assist on, it was still harder than riding in the highest gear with it off on flat terrain without wind. I'm really pleased with how the assist mode functions--it doesn't take over so much that you lose the fun of riding a bike, it just makes it a lot more fun in more challenging conditions, or when you're tired.

08 April 2008

food, and how to get it home.

Nava Atlas is one of my favorite cookbook authors. In February, I picked up a copy of her newest book, Vegan Express. Her flavor range has changed a little with this book, but the emphasis is still on combining relatively modest numbers of whole, fresh ingredients. A couple of nights ago I made the Coconut Pineapple Noodles with a few modifications. I added some tofu, used fewer scallions, and added some steamed broccoli and shredded raw red cabbage to the plate. Making it again, I think I would add a little soy sauce, just to deepen the flavor a little...

This is one of the Nashbar grocery panniers I found on eBay. Due to my work schedule this week, I've only managed a short test ride with these on the bikes, but one of them held my small messenger bag, some mail, and a package containing two pairs of jeans. I'm sure eventually I will find out what happens when you misgauge the width of the bike when they're opened and full, but the first ride was uneventful. They also came with a bright yellow rain hood--which looks like a shower cap, so you can protect whatever is in the open compartment if it rains.

03 April 2008

not cycling stockings.

(Though, aren't they all?)

Finished yesterday, Chameleon Colorworks in September.

One way ride today. I had a meeting after work, and when we finished, it was twilight, and I don't have any kind of lights on my bike yet. Besides a headlight and taillight combo, I want these. So the bike got to ride in the back of my coworker's big truck. She drove very nicely, so it didn't slide around....

02 April 2008

note to self

Your keys? Are on a carabiner? USE IT.

Still, it didn't suck that much when I realized, a block or so from home, that the noise I'd heard a couple of miles back was my set of keys, falling out of my pocket. A neighbor offered me a ride back to look for them, but I brightly answered that I intended to go home and get the car. Except that my *car key* was on the ring, and the other car key was with my husband, who was about 30 miles away. I did keep the pedal assist turned on, even going the direction I don't normally use it. (I rationalized that I needed to get home to walk the dog.)

Part of the reason I started this blog has to do with the shortage of info on this bike. If you Google "Schwinn Campus Electric," you get a surprising number of really elderly links. Even Schwinn's site is lite on any extra images--you get a list of the components, and full images of the (allegedly) black and silver bikes, in their men's and women's versions. I expect this will all change as these bikes move into circulation.

So here is a photo of the right grip with the Micro Shift twist shifter, and the bell. I haven't used the bell for official purposes, but I do enjoy dinging it. The world would be better with more bells and fewer buzzers.

Here's the left grip. The accelerator marked "H...L" on the right of the photo operates the motor. There's a switch that engages the pedal assist, and there are lights that correspond to your speed. (It seems like this could be incorporated into a regular bike computer, but whatever.) [Edited: the lights correspond to the battery charge, not the speed.] The pedal assist doesn't kick in until you reach a certain speed, and it cuts out if you stop pedaling, or tap the brakes, or if your speed reaches 15-17 mph. All of this suits me perfectly--I'm not a speed demon, and I *want* to pedal, but it's not precisely what I was expecting. Toward the bottom of the photo, you can see a large thumb lever, and in other countries, it's the throttle. I was never that excited about an electric-only mode (having ridden into the side of a barn on an ATV with its throttle stuck open at a young age), but in the US configuration, it's not an option anyway.

My old kitty was sleeping on the bed earlier, and he was so groggy I was worried we might be losing him. But apparently he was just sleepy, as he's purring and doing figure eights at my feet now...