Thursday, May 26, 2011

On Pedals and Petals

Lately I've been spending a lot of time in the garden, which has led me to dream up all kinds of gardening-related topics to write about. Every spring I get overtaken by this huge urge to get out in the dirt, pull some weeds, plant some seeds, and celebrate growth in my backyard. My sense of urgency to get my hands dirty is driven by the first emergence of the sunshine, the long daylight hours and by a deep desire to get seeds planted so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor during the lazy days of summer. These past two years I've struggled with how to balance my love of gardening with my love of riding bikes... especially during the springtime, when both pursuits require a high level of commitment in terms of time and money. Anyhow, as I continue to struggle with balancing these pastimes, I'm planning to chronicle my adventures in both cycling and gardening here.

I've been thinking about the similarities between riding bikes and gardening ever since asked this question by my friend Muuqi, as a part of an interview he did awhile back for his blog, Life Cycles (great blog, check it out!). Basically, it comes down to two main themes-  observation and investment.   Both acts- riding bikes and gardening- give you an opportunity to have a more intimate interaction with your natural surroundings than say, sitting on the couch or driving in a car.  These interactions help you develop keen observation skills, which I think makes you a better citizen of the world, or at least a more interesting person.  On investment- there is immediate satisfaction, from weeding a plot of land or building a trellis, or from sweeping around a perfect corner on a mountain bike, or reaching the top of a tough climb. There are also longer term rewards.  In the garden, you pick ripe fruit,  cut fresh greens, you savor the literal fruits of your labors.  Similarly, on the bike, you harvest a sense of growing strength and speed after investing in repeated workouts on the bike. 
Fruits of last  year's labors- giant lettuces

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DIY baby Jersey (for the youngest member of our cycling team...)

Awhile ago I mentioned in a post that I made a baby jersey for my friends' / teammates' son Jaren.  I got some questions about how I made it so I figure it deserves a post all on its own.

Basically, I strategically deconstructed an adult jersey (our team's kit from 2 years ago), and used my favorite parts to sew together a side-snap-button baby jersey.  Step by step description after the jump: