Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Red December" Progress

I may have my mountain bike sold.  I go up to Lincoln tomorrow and will see if the guy wants to buy it for his wife.  Hopefully she will have a good home and his wife loves the bike.

I plan on getting some Kona white fabric to work with my quilt tomorrow.  I've run out and didn't realize it until I started working with "Red December" again.  I do have 99% of the pieces done for block one and then can test out sewing the edges with a double stitch:

So far it looks good.  Once I get the excess folds turned in I can glue them onto the fabric.  I did cut out a template for the stems but realized it wasn't going to work.  I'll just hand applique those in place.

The one thing I love about Esther's patterns is that she puts a 1 inch square on each page so you can get the size right when you print it out.  Genius idea and it makes things so much easier for accuracy.


I took out my Fargo to the local trail and headed on the southern part of the trail that recently opened up.  I've used my Mukluk without problems but yesterday was miserable.  The crushed limestone was soggy in parts and wasn't even in other parts making for a hard time pedaling through the stuff.  Add in the head wind and almost 100 degree weather, it wasn't easy.  I probably should have left but I'd driven all the way to the trail and wasn't in the mood to go back home.  It's a beautiful trail, but it's so remote out there it's hard to enjoy the ride.  Riding in the heat is something I've just had to learn to tolerate this summer if I want to ride.  Just keep lots of water with you and know the signs of dehydration and heat related issues.

I finally got some pictures in yesterday of the trail and ride.  Here's a great view of the Missouri river next to the trail:

The cliffs along the trail and this side road:

The dead cornfields that the heat has killed and there should be a small deer in there hiding.  She took off when I made too much noise.  If she's in the picture, she'll be off to the left.

Having the bag on my rack full of stuff made for easy reach and I didn't have to carry a backpack that weighs a ton.  I threw in some water bottles as well.  I wish I could put the rack and bag on my Mukluk, but the bike is too wide for the rack.  I'd need a specialty one and those aren't cheap.

I'm hoping to get to the paved trails in Lincoln tomorrow and enjoy the day.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I actually have a quilty post!

I loved the my idea of outlining with thread the edges of the pieces of "Mimi's Bloomers" but I'm going to wait until Erin has the entire quilt directions ready to go.  I played with the math and with the freezer paper and came up with odd sizes.  Not sure at all how she's going to put it together.

I spent the afternoon cutting out heat resistant templates and making some of the pieces for "Red December".  I have loved this quilt since Esther first showed it and am determined to finish it somehow.  If this doesn't work, I'll going to outline the pattern with red thread like in redwork quilting.

Here's what I have so far.  It isn't much, but folding over the ends of the flowers isn't easy since they turn into slender points.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get most of it done, basted and ready to sew.


I am no longer a worthy member of the toolshed and should be tossed out immediately.   I hang my head in shame and disbelief that I cannot patch a tire to save my life.  I went out this morning and my Mukluk's front tire is flat.  This is why I buy inner tubes instead of patching them and have been waiting until I could get a tube for the Mukluk.  The guys on the mountain bike forum would be laughing their butts off right now.

I did have an awesome ride the other day despite the high crosswinds and the rain on my Fargo.  I went 14 miles and tested her out on some gravel and minimum maintenance dirt roads.  I need to put back on better tires if I want to really go through those roads, but she did great with the road ones I have on her. She truly is an off road bike and is perfect for rural NE.

  My Mukluk would have made the dirt roads a piece of cake though.

It started raining 6 miles from home back out on the highway and came home nice and wet.  I do keep a waterproof/windproof jacket in my pack so I didn't get totally soaked, but those semis really push your water limits.  I'm sure everyone driving past me thought I was nuts.

Someday I'll get my bikes in some great places where I'm not eating semi truck dust or gravel and do some real riding.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Re-Patching a Tire

I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but how on earth can you screw up patching a hole in an inner tube?  Even a 5-year-old kid can do this with ease.  Just put the cement on the tire, wait for it to dry,  put the patch over the hole and air up the tube right?

After closer inspection this afternoon I realized I'd missed the second hole from the thorns despite my attempt to get both of them covered.  I looked at the patch.  It's huge.  How could I possibly miss the SECOND hole?

Note to self: Use a Sharpie pen if you have more than one hole to mark them.  Duh.

It's one thing to pump air into a regular tire.  Piece of cake.  Not so for a fat bike inner tube.  I was out for 10 minutes pumping air with my basic home pump.  I'm SO screwed if I get a flat tire out on a trail as it would take hours to use my hand pump.  I have no clue how many CO2 cartridges it would take to fill it up.

I'll see how my tire does in the morning.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Past couple of days have been really rough.  Without going into details, a hard decision was made to take Bandit and Buttons into the Humane Society.  Thankfully; the lady at the front desk didn't make me feel worse of a mom than I already do and I desperately hope they are adopted soon.  Please don't ask why.  I'll just say that if you truly feel the need to take your animal in to a shelter, do so, regardless of the reasons.

Hopefully; I'll put a quilting post up soon.


Never heard back from the mountain bike site, so figured I'd just keep the account.  Hubby chilled out some as well.  If you can't handle the testosterone, get out of the locker room.  Most of the guys are great even if I come across as pretty inept.

After dropping of my fur balls and bawling my eyes out, DH told me he'd take me to the bike store as I had wanted to try some different electrolyte supplements.  I also needed a real patch kit for inner tubes and I hoped since the store sold Surly bikes they'd have a fat bike inner tube.

My problem with Gatorade and other drinks is that they make me feel sick and bloated so I hadn't worried about not having a bottle.  When I asked around on a women's forum they made some suggestions of Nuun tablets and another powdered drink mix from Skratch.  I picked up a couple of each and will try them out over the next few days.

Just like fabric shops, bike shops are evil.  SOS kicks in (shiny object syndrome) and you wander around gazing longingly at stuff even if you have no clue what they do or even are.  If the bike shop guys know what bike you have, they even worse by offering stuff for said bike.  Apparently a bike company has front/back plastic fenders for fat bikes.  I wasn't sure I liked them, but nice to know they are there and yes, he had the inner tubes.

This time the owner had a couple of bags for racks that I'd looked at before.  I've wanted one for months, but haven't been able to afford the costs.  Sometimes you don't want to carry around a backpack.  To my surprise, DH said to get it and not worry about the cost and it would be an early birthday present, but probably the only one he could get me.  Truthfully; I could design a better looking bag, but don't have access to the fabric/supplies to really make what I want.

So... here it is:

With the patch kit, my Mukluk no longer looks like this and has a front tire on.  It just needs a good test

ride to see if I can actually patch an inner tube right.

I asked the guy there if he was getting in any Krampus bikes.  He said he had two on order but I don't remember when they'd get there.  From what he said, Surly made 300 pre built bikes, but had plenty of frames and the rims/tires.  He said he loved the ride and handling of the Krampus.  Evil, evil, man since he got to ride one.  I think he even said the guy that designed the bike was from around the Lincoln area..maybe from his shop?  Still reeling from the loss of my fur balls, I don't remember.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Decisions and More Decisions

*Sniff*  I put my mountain bike up on Craigslist this evening.  I don't have the means to drive up 80 miles to a trail and I refuse to ride by myself after my accident.  Now that school is starting in a few days I've lost my teenage riding partner as well.  It breaks my heart, but it's been sitting in the garage most of the summer and needs a home where she can be ridden.  I've consoled myself in that I still have my Mukluk and Fargo.  Those are going to be buried with me when I die.

I've thought about selling my Topaz 30 since I don't use it as well.  Retail for the Topaz is around 3500 when I talked to my dealer.  I won't admit what I paid for it several years ago.  Dealer said UPS would pack it and said there was a UPS place nearby.  I'm still leery of putting stuff on Ebay though hence not sure what to do.

I'm still not sure what do about "Mimi's Bloomers" block sizes.  Turns out I had purchased the center pattern some time ago.  I should probably cut freezer paper blocks/setting triangles and center panel to see how it fits.  Duh..that might be a brilliant idea for sizing any kind of BOM.  If I get it done, I'll post a pic for a layout.

I also emailed the mountain bike forum I visit and asked to take off my account.  One of the "aspects" of the site is that you can give "rep" points, either negative or positive.  Only problem with that system is when you get anonymous childish reps like "whiny rep ho" over and over.  It's like being back in high school with anonymous boys who think they are men.  Geesh.  I don't even use the rep system so go figure.  When DH saw the posts, he was so mad he asked I leave the site.

I took out my stitches today.  No point in paying a doc 20 bucks for something I can just do myself.  Turns out the doc put one stitch way to tight so that when I flexed my hand that stitch would pull the wound open or dig into the skin.  My hand feels SO much better after taking out the stitches.

Lots of decisions made today.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Printer Sizing

Blogger has been giving me fits all morning by not putting up the menu bar above the typing space.  Grrr.

I'm going to have to start all over on "Mimi's Bloomers".  Good thing I only have 3 blocks that I thought were done.

The problem is with PDF files and printer sizes.  If I save her PDF to the desktop it prints out a different size than if I print it out from her site.

Here's the difference:

I did mine with the larger size as the outside lines measure 9 inches perfectly.  The smaller block comes out around 8.5 inches.  The directions say it's a 9 inch finished blocks so I figured that was the correct size.

However to my dismay, if you use the 9 inch block template it doesn't work perfectly.  The ten inch line on the left side and bottom of the block give you a better idea.

You will end up cutting out some of the petals or they are too close to the 9 inch finished line.  The 9 inch block works great with an 11 inch block though.

Tomorrow I plan on ordering her center panel and see how everything compares before going on.  I still need to finish up "My Tweets" one of these years as well.  I messed up the center panel and had to restart.  I still have 4 blocks of that quilt to finish as well.  

Vegetate and Decompose

My daughter did this when my dad was here.  I looked over to see what was on TV and there they were sitting like that.  I just had to take a picture.  It's not often I get to see my dad so I'm glad he was able to stop by for the day.

I was thinking about why women don't ride a bike as much as men.  See above picture.  Men get to turn off anytime they please.  We don't.  There isn't a "vegetate and decompose" button for women.  I'm a mom and wife 24/7.  Even while on a bike, I'm thinking like a mom.  Dinner, school, kids, grocery shopping, cleaning up, I can only ride for so long before I need to get home..all of it  When DH worked night shift, I'd be awake on mom radar shift.  Even after he got a day job, it took a long time to turn off the radar.  I then realized you never loose "Mom Radar Vision" even while on a bike.  For some women, they can't balance that radar and their own enjoyment/needs.  Riding a bike seems out of their realm of reality.  

BTW, I'm glad guys can turn off into "vegetate and decompose" mode.  My husband works hard every day.  He's tired when he comes home.  He just wants dinner and then watch TV most of the evening.  Getting on a bike is the last thing on his mind.  I am hoping that with next year's tax refund I can get him the Fargo he wants.  He loves mine and said he'd ride more if he had one.

If he doesn't want the bike there's a Surly Krampus or a Salsa Beargrease calling to me if Xtreme Wheels or another bike shop can get one in.  The new rims/tires of the Surly Krampus would keep me happy as well if they work for the Mukluk.  Both look like they would be tons of fun.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Riding Along The Missouri River

Some day I'll have someone else with me while on a bike to get decent pictures.  My cell phone camera takes terrible ones and with the trees/cliffs behind me I had a hard time getting a decent shot.  I often don't think to take pictures.

My Mukluk is sitting next to the Missouri River along the trail.  It's a gorgeous trail as it runs along the cliffs and the river.  I'm so glad this part of the trail finally opened up this summer.

I scared off two deer that ran in front of me and saw plenty of animal tracks.  Some were coyote and what looked like bobcat tracks.  There were some really large animal prints but I'm not that good with animal tracks.  Next time I head out, I should get a book on animal tracks and see what's out there.  The north part of the trail doesn't have nearly as much travel as the southern part so it was nice to see wildlife.

Trail ends out by the boat dock in the next town.  I'm figuring I picked up the thorns from this ride.  Maybe from the highway but logic dictates this trail.  It's around 10 miles from where I started to the next town.  It was a great 20 mile trip and after my hand heals up and I get an inner tube I'll go back again.  I have nightmares of having a zillion of those stupid thorns poking holes in my tires leaving me walking home miles from home.  I think being a woman, you tend to worry about being stranded far more than guys do especially since this trail is out in the boonies with no roads that meet up with the trail.

According to Strava my top speed was 22 mph.  Umm, Strava...this is a fat bike Mukluk.  The fastest speed I got from the computer on my bike was 14 mph.  My average is around 10 mph.  If I'm going up a hill, it's around 3-5 and I'm usually gasping most of the way up.  You get quite the workout with a 30 poundish bike that isn't that fast.  Not sure how accurate Strava is but it wasn't that trip.  My Tracks isn't too bad and neither is another one I use occasionally.

Ohh..Strava has it as 17 miles.  I lied..or Strava did.  LOL.  Oh, and no achievements either..LOL.  I guess I need to ride down a hill too fast and kill myself to beat my record or have someone else ride the trail that uses the same app.  The riding down a hill trying to beat your record actually happened.  Another Darwin award for that guy.

Stitches And Flat Tires

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time.  I ran out of printer ink to resize the patterns.  I just haven't been in the mood to start over either.  The fabric line is several years old and I just have fat quarters.  I worry about totally messing up and running out of fabric.

It's been to blasted hot to do much cycling which is terribly depressing.

Now I can't ride a bike for a week and a half or really do any sewing as I got stitches yesterday.  You wouldn't think three lousy stitches would hurt so bad but it does.  Especially since it's on my top knuckle.   At least it's my left hand but it makes some things hard to do.

I was trying to take my fancy pedals off my bike and one of pedals wouldn't budge.  In frustration I pushed the wrench really hard, the pedal came loose and my hand went into the chain rings putting a nice gash in my hand from the force of it.

For those who can handle stitches a pic is posted at the bottom.

Last week I ran over some thorns and got a flat tire.  Of course it's my Mukluk tire and the inner tubes run around 20 bucks to replace.  I think they are called Goathead thorns and they can go through car tires as well.  I would hate to step on those nasty things.  Sometimes I think God is telling me to get off a bike and I'm too stubborn to listen.  LOL.  At least the bike god was kind enough to let me get home before the tire went flat.  Walking 5 miles back home would truly suck.