Thursday, April 22, 2010

Of Bikes and Baskets

Happy Earth Day, everyone! That is the called for greeting, right?
Anyway I wanted to share a few Earth Day appropriate images with you and tell you about something fun and planet-friendly,thus the inclusion in the "Earth Day" post, that I'll be participating in during May and the item I'm going to have to craft in order to participate in aforementioned Earth-friendly activity.
First, the pretty pictures.

Tell me you can't see pictures of poppies without hearing the voice of the Wicked Witch of the West shrieking, "Poppies!" Of course you can't.

Aren't those pictures just like time lapse photography? I've documented all the stages of a flowering poppy and I only had to run around to every poppy in my yard to do it.

I should conserve some of my energy because during the entire month of May I'm going to be participating in The Commuter Challenge. The focus of the Commuter Challenge is to encourage folks to get out of their cars and on to their bikes. My husband and several friends from work are already committed bicycle commuters and they formed a team and participated last year. This year he's added me to the team and I am pretty psyched. The goal in the Commuter Challenge is to rack up as many trips as possible by bike. A "trip" is defined as any place that you would have driven to that you're riding your bike to instead. The only "trips" that don't count are ones made strictly for exercise. Yesterday I rode to the bank, then to the Post Office, and finally to the Farmer's Market. With the ride home that's considered 4 trips. It's not May yet, but I thought I'd get a feel for the route. I may be jumping the gun here a bit, but I'm deeply competitive and I want to do well in the Commuter Challenge, despite the fact that there really isn't any specific reward for the first place team.
I rode to the Farmer's Market to buy eggs which is all I could fit in my backpack. Once there I wished I'd had a way to bring other goodies home because there was a lot of good stuff to be had. Eureka! A new craft project is in order.
I need to knit this:

It's from this new book.

The really cool thing about this bike basket is that it's knitted out of twine you buy at a craft or hardware store. Thankfully the sample is lined with some Echino oilcloth, so it's not that rustic. But, I always like a project that sends me to an unexpected place for the essential ingredients.
My husband is a wee bit horrified by the thought of this basket. Not because he doesn't want me to bring home veggies from the market, but because of the odd vision that having a knitted basket on my fancy bike, complete with clip-less pedals, might be. To that I respond with a familiar refrain, " This is Austin, after all."


Cheryl Arkison said...

A basket on a bike with clipless pedals? Classic.

We do commuter challenge here as well, but it is usually a week. After doing it last year I did end up riding my bike a lot more until the weather turned.

As for those poppies, sigh. We've been thinking poppies in our house lately because the most recent quilt project - an homage to my Baba and Dido's garden. So, no I don't actually hear the Wicked Witch of the West. I think of my Baba and she resembled Yoda more than anyone.

two hippos said...

Yeah biking! I bike almost everywhere, though the grocery store is the one that's hardest for me to do and easiest to justify getting out the car keys. Maybe I'll get better at biking there this spring.

Karen said...

Commuters Challenge is a lot of fun! I participated the last 2 years my company has done it and really enjoyed it. Kudos to you!

Judy said...

I love the bike challenge: go for it girl!! My son-in-law commutes to work in downtown Atlanta on his bike and has been doing it for several years now......even in the snow!
Love your poppies.


KarenB said...

That looks like a lot of fun! The knitting, not the riding. My husband could do it, but his commute is an hour and a half in a car. Can't even imagine. I've tried to knit with twine before. It can be hard on your hands, so pick carefully or wear gloves. It's an adorable bag though. I like the sweater next to it. Bookstore, here I come.

Serendipity Collections said...

Great post, Malka! Happy Earth Day! Love the poppies and the wicked witch reference - hehe. The commuter challenge sounds wonderful!


Anonymous said...

Isn't biking wonderful? I just got a new bike and I love taking it to the grocery store--but I know what you mean, it does limit your purchases!

Allabitrandom said...

Thanks for prompting me to get my bike out - normally I have started riding it much earlier than April- it has been a cold winter ( excuse number1 -plenty more in stock). I did a 3 mile round trip to the shop today- so thanks!!! If anyone wants to check out what is going on cyclewise on this side of the pond try . Go for the challenge - ours is in June so I am building up to it!

Kristin L said...

I love that bike basket/bag! I think the contrast of the hi tech bike and the low tech basket would be fantastically cool. I went boring and practical on my bike (bought used, clunky lady's frame, dymo-powered light, etc) but I love, love, love my easy to clip on and off baskets front and back. They aren't cool and knit (though I wish they were now) but the ability to put all ones farmer's market purchases in at once is super. Alas, my new neighborhood is not half as bike-able as my old one.

Robyn - Coffee and Cotton said...

Good for you! My son rides everywhere and uses an Xtracycle a lot for his groceries, cargo and 4yr old daughter. He is one of the service guys at Bicycle Sports Shop. So if you need a bike mechanic.."I knowz a guy" I am soooo very out of shape and need to ride. For now I just sew the cycling caps. I love the basket!

Anonymous said...

that basket is so awesome! I have a built in basket on the back of my bike that unclips, it looks exactly like one of those wire frame baskets you carry at the grocery store! I think I might need a front basket now!

Kathy M said...

Your poppy pictures are great! I like the idea of a commuter challenge. Ride on!!

stephie @ Narrative Self said...

First off your "pretty pictures" are more than just pretty, they're stunning! And secondly, I hope you enjoy all the cycling - and how could you not with such a lovely basket. Get clicking :)