Saturday, July 23, 2011

Trying out the Ghetto Pannier

I had to make a quick trip down to the grocery store for some kitten food, English muffins and peanut butter. I still haven't put any cargo capacity on the Fuji besides the Swiss army ammo bag, and I could only fit the one plastic bag with the English muffins and peanut butter in it and still have room for my keys and phone/wallet.

Normally I would also put the U lock in the bag as well. It wouldn't fit, but I did discover that it sits nicely on the VO rack. The curve of the U lock matches the curve of the rack perfectly. :)

That just left the bag with 10 cans of kitten food. I remembered awhile back Velouria of Lovely Bicycle wrote about a solution to this very problem.

Just tie them on to the rack! I had to tie them to one side and let them hang to the opposite, otherwise the bag was hitting my chain.

You can see that tying it on the far side keeps it up and out of the way.

I really enjoy riding at night, even if it is just to get a few groceries. Of course it would figure that some dumb redneck tries to ruin my fun. On the ride home a jerk in a beat up truck going the opposite way yelled out for me to "get on the sidewalk, retard!" Well, really, who's the retard then, Hrm? It would be called a sideRIDE if we were meant to ride on it. :) The funny thing is, this is the same sort of guy that will "hoot n' holler" approvingly when they see me in the daytime. I wonder if since it was dark out if this guy thought I was another guy, and therefore not worthy of his approval. Who knows. These "good ol' boys" out here can be real hypocrites.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Change of Guards

Awhile back I made a set of guards using elastic bands that were crimped together to for a "netted" pattern. I've had a good deal of interest in this design, and have sold a few too! Sue of Bikes in Motion put one on her Raleigh Sport with a clever modification to the attachment design.

I've never been really happy with the way the little clips that I had originally used for the guard.

They look great, but only seem to work well on some fenders. I've been trying to talk customers out of them, with some luck, but have decided to just stop offering those clips all together. In the long run, hooks in drilled fenders or binder clips (with the inner "leg" removed once the guard is installed) are the most secure method of attachment for any kind of dress guard. So I've been looking for better solutions. Here's what I've got:

Sturdy hooks. I've found them in black and silver. These are really strong. I can barely bend them, and I've got strong hands for a girl. They're shaped in a way that once hooked in to the fender, they lay flat, unlike an S hook would. They can also be hooked into binder clips, for those who get squeamish at the thought of drilling their fenders.

Then, just yesterday, I found these!

They are a much smaller gauge hook that comes with the nice swivel barrel and can lock into itself. Which, if you were to drill your fenders just right you could snap the hook shut, but I don't really see that as necessary.

As much as I enjoyed designing and crocheting the crochet dressguards, I am no longer going to be able to offer them as a ready made, or even custom made item on Etsy. I honestly just don't have the time to work on them anymore, and if I'm going to dedicate some time to offering dressguards, I would rather it be guards that are sturdier and can fit any bicycle. I will still be offering the PDF pattern on Etsy and Ravelry for anyone who wants to make their own. Also, since the elastic guards are faster to make and I've done away with the expensive fiddly pretty clips, I can offer them at a better price!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Rear Rack and More Dressguards

My new rack for the Fuji arrived yesterday! After much searching around for a simple rack with legs short enough for the Fuji's small frame I finally just went for if and got the VO Constructeur rack.

I had to forego the traditional method of attachment (drilling holes in the fender and screwing the rack to the fender) as the tangs are too long to clear the quick release on the hubs.

I really didn't feel like messing about with cutting, filling and drilling, so I went over to my LBS and got a bracket that mounts to the frame where the rear fender bracket mounts.

Which has worked out well, ANC saved md from drilling. I guess I was just in an instant gratification mood that day. :)

It looks much better, fits much better and I hope that in the long run it will work much better than the rusty old Pletscher rack I had on before.

Also, I've been assembling guards! I've got two sets of the Netted guards almost ready to go out, and will be starting another set in a lovely cream color with hooks! I'm excited to see how that one turns out.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Holiday Weekend

Just a quickie to wish everyone safe and fun Independance Day (or just a safe and happy weekend if you're not an American). There might be only a little riding and tinkering for me this weekend as we are having the sibling - in - laws over for a LOTR on Blu Ray (!) marathon to celebrate Middle Earth's freedom from the forces of evil.

Though I do need to try and finish up some Dressguards for a few folks as well now that some supplies finally arrived.

Happy weekend!