Sunday, March 18, 2018

Ideas for 2018 and beyond

On the agenda for 2018 are some new goals, revisiting one from 2017, and thoughts in general about travel.

Bike NYC
In May, I have plans that involve the Dahon folder, a train ride, and time with our eldest son visiting New York City highlights. Travel is lined up and accommodations are secured so whatever the weather, the trip will happen in some shape or form. It was a delightful surprise that our son wanted to join me so I know this adventure will be extra special!

Experiences are Key
For many years now, I thrive on the journey versus counting miles and/or setting unreasonable goals. I am tempted by flowers growing in fields, wineries, coffee shops, garage sales, hikes/walks, unique bicycle shops, Vermont microbreweries, spending time beside water sources, anything in Canada, and/or with friends. I still love to camp and prefer that mode when alone but because I have the means I am open to staying indoors when companions require more comfort. With limited vacation days per year I like the guarantee of either indoor shelter (especially if I must ride all day in the rain) and/or remaining flexible with plans/goals. It's all about maximizing vacations and weekends!

A Week with my Husband
Speaking of experiences, my husband and I are setting aside a week's vacation for a bike ride, which will likely be in September due to allowing his broken wrist to properly heal and gain strength, but we are hopeful to spend a week riding somewhere. Current ideas are the remote region of northeastern Vermont/Canada and revisiting the GAP. He has a different mindset regarding miles so I may have to bring wine for evening wine-downs!

Bike and Hike
Bike overnights are a must in 2018 and I'm also craving another bike-hike overnight much like the past Lake Elmore adventure. It's a great way to stretch the legs and enjoy solitude.

Finish Riding Colchester's Roads
I want to finish riding all of Colchester's public roads. I will start earlier this year and to keep interest I may include short hikes, visits to farm stands, or heck, maybe Colchester has their own microbrewery!

The above ideas will keep me busy for 2018. Future travel ideas could be classes at bike mechanic's school - there's one in Oregon and Colorado - which would allow exploration while learning. I like the idea of combining themes with cycling. And for the first time ever, I don't have any major bicycle renovations planned beyond routine maintenance - at least that I can foresee!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sunset Ride!

As an addendum to my previous post, I pedaled the long way home for more pristine, pre-storm lake views.

Totally worth it! I racked up 16 miles for the day and remembered to vote on my way home.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Calm (ride) Before Another Storm

Early morning pedaling along Lake Champlain
I have been riding more often since February, which has taken the edge off the long period in December to January where I endured 6 weeks without two wheels. We still have periodic snowfall, but there are longer dry spells that clear up treacherous surfaces - perfect for riding in colder temperatures. There's another storm headed our way so I set off early this morning for an hour-long loop before arriving at my workplace - probably the only snow-free day this week - so I'm tempted to repeat a similar route on the way home.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Nor'easter is Coming

I took the long way home, rolling along the waterfront and was confronted by the approaching nor'easter storm. If you enjoy weather events, it doesn't get much better than this, especially with floating plates of ice along the shoreline. We aren't expecting severe snow or rain, but I'll ride the bus tomorrow to be on the safe side.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Revamping a Vermont Vagabond Mini Messenger Bag

spice up a messenger bag
Add floral motif for a little pizzazz, including color coordinated zipper pull.
Introducing: a revamped Vermont Vagabond mini messenger bag!

I'd tucked away this little find from a consignment shop a couple years ago, knowing I'd refurbish it someday. Vermont Vagabond was a local company that was around about 20 years ago, but sadly is no longer. They made well-constructed but simple items from cordura material and YKK zippers (try finding that brand of zipper now-a-days!) My husband and I still own Vermont Vagabond's small duffel bags that are handy and will probably last our lifetime.

The procedure was simple: decide on fabric to cover the light grey, dingy flap, allot time, and get to work hand-stitching the material. I also machine sewed a button hole to pull the buckle through but in the end reinforced each side with needle and thread.

A handy small messenger bag
My 8" tablet easily stows inside the main compartment or rear slot.
What made this bag attractive was it's smaller size, lightweight material, and offered only a few organizer pockets compared with what I felt was the over-the-top Timbuk2 bag.

 It was also fun to finally apply a coffeeneuring patch that I collected a while ago.

simple compartments are easier
 Just a few pockets for essentials.

The interior has a singular zipper compartment and I filled it with a pre-cut piece of closed-cell foam (saved from packing material) to lend structure to the bag.

There's plenty of extra space for items as the bottom extends to approximately 3". There is also a couple of interior slots for more storage. Plus, there's always the exterior zippered flap.

This little gem is a perfect replacement for the Timbuk2 bag that I got rid of a year ago. I can toss the floral bag over my shoulder, wear it cross body with the adjustable strap, stuff it inside my commuter pannier, or by adding simple hook and loop fasteners (like the previously mentioned Timbuk2) can double as a handle bar bag. And, there's nothing like displaying my love for coffee!