Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cycle Me Happy

The more I traveled to D.C. the more I started to think about commuting via bicycle to work as a lot of my friends down south use their bikes or the metro more than they drive.  Considering my work is only 1.5 miles from my home and very few hills it only made scene to keep from adding mileage to my vehicle.  

I had been keeping an eye out on Craigslist the last few weeks, but the only prospect I found was a $300 10-yr old 40-lb black cruiser bike with a front basket in Frederick, MD and I'm sure if I keep looking I'll find something better.  

For some reason on May 30 had FINALLY decided to stop by Pedal Pushers, a local bike shop, to see what options they had available.  Who know's maybe I could find a new bike in a price range I was willing to pay.  However, my heart was only teased by this lovely mint Raleigh Route 3.0 that I fell in love, but the sticker price was still $435, then tack on the rail, basket, and paniers, your looking at closer to $600.  Maybe next year of when I make prove my bike riding skills worthy of such a nice bike or move to a nicer neighborhood where theft is not such an issue.

I did deicde to say a short prayer on my way home {how nice it would be if we could finally sell our elliptical & I could use my half toward buying this bike}.   The funny awesome timing was about this time a person had send an email inquiring about my elliptical, but I didn't notice the email until the next afternoon.   When I contacted them later that day the husband met me the next morning around 10am the next morning to test it.    He had to go back and talk to his wife.  He called the next day and said he and his wife would be there on Saturday to pick it up. I tell you what I was jumping out of my skin with excitement.    On Saturday they did so, and we had the cash in hand and an empty space where the elliptical had been.


My heart is happy knowing that the elliptical is going to a good home as well. The gentleman was trying the it for his wife who was specifically searching for a quality Precor. He was very impressed with the quality and smoothness of ours, especially for the price. He is receiving a quality machine for about half the price refurbished & I'm glad to bless such a lovely couple, especially one who is very grateful to have it. He will be stopping by later this evening to take it home.

 I'm in such aw & happiness that God has blessed me in such a wonderful and delightful way - as if it were fate that it should be sold at this moment in time. Now I can replace it with something worthy of it's location that I can use both indoors with a stationary attachment and outdoors when the sun is shining bright. OMG, it's finally happening I'm going to be buying a bicycle!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh happy day! 


Saturday morning, June 1, at 9am I went to a bike swap at a local ski and bike shop that a coworker had informed me of on Wednesday and it was a good thing, because I found this beauty for only $75.  It had everything I wanted, water bottle holder, bike rail, cruiser styl, and comfy.  The only thing I need now are paniers, which are over $100 for decent ones so they will have to wait.  

Breezer Freedom 2009 model

I had only been on my bike twice before my tire went flat, once on Monday I took it for 7 miles along the river park and the 2nd to work.  On day 3 I had taken it along the route I usually drive to work, instead of the park walking path and a 2" rusty nail had punctured my rear tire.  I was at the halfway point so I walked back home and swapped out the bike for my car.  It took a few days before I decided to go and DIY the tire, but I found a few videos that they really helpful, on how to change a flat tire and change a road bike tire and after I changed the tire and found out the the gear shifting problem was due to installing the rear shifter wrong I found this really helpful video on how to change a cruiser Shimano Internal 3 Speed Shifter & Rear Wheel.  Before this video I thought it was for the breaks.  I know pretty sad, but now I know better.   

update June 2013: 
As you can see my dining room is also being weeded out and the large objects are finding new homes.   We've had an commercial elliptical for a few years and it really wasn't something we were using so I'm pretty excited that it's now gone. 

October 2013:
Sadly, I haven't taken my bike out much since the flat tire incident, and for the last month it's been hanging next to the fridge in the kitchen on a new bike rack I found at Home Goods for $8.

I'd love to hear any of your bike riding experiences when your out and about.

{Weekend Organizer}: A White Picket Fence

instagram sneak peak 06/16/13
instagram sneak peak 06/16/13

It's been very hard being in the middle townhouse and keeping our dog from wondering into our neighbors yard for which some reason he likes to poo.  Typically right behind our stair rail, not really in their walking path, so it's not really been a huge deal since we do keep it cleaned up as much as we can.  We have shortened his lead several times, but it leaves him leaves him a very restricted space even in our own yard to wonder around.  Our neighbors on the left have a double-sided privacy fence so that's been a benefit for us as well since we don't have to worry about that 8' stretch.    

Raehaus - length of dog lead

I had initially been hoping to find a home with a fence, but with this house we had so many of my wish list items that not having a fence didn't seem like a deal breaker so we figured we would install one shortly after moving in.  However, after doing a bit of research on the cost of vinyl and wrought iron fences that idea became more of a distant future happening when the materials list had been calculated at over $200 even for my tiny 10'x8' yard.  Plus, I had hoped to find a wrought iron design that had a 20s feel to it, but that has proven to be more difficult then anticipated. 

We had actually forgotten about the fence for a while, until recently we had a one of our lighter vintage push mowers was stolen off the back deck and my mom took charge and began the search without telling me.  Though, being the item it was we have an inclination of who it was, especially since none of the more valuable items were taken.  It's just really irks me that some people feel that they have the right to take something off of someone's property that they neither own or paid for and feel that that's acceptable behavior. 

Within a day or two of our incident my mom had found a someone nearby who was selling a white vinyl fence they had been using as a dog run, and for only $40.  Although, I was a bit hesitant until I saw the fence (really after my mom called the guy and he delivered it) that it was going to be a size appropriate fence for my miniature backyard. 

The fencing was left on our deck for a few days until a friend of my moms could come over and install it for us, which ended up giving us a few surprises and costing us more to have the fence installed then the actual cost of the fence.

On day 1, we talked about the layout of the fence and then began the initial install of the largest 8' run, but that took several hours since there ended up being concrete and all kinds of debris under the ground to help support the walkway to the parking lot steps. This then directed us to purchasing another pole hole digger since the initial one was a very cheap model, and also a large piece of rebar to help break down some of the concrete.

My mom's friend kept working trying to break down the concrete, but I really wished he would have stopped, because we were one paying him by the hour and two he was working harder then he needed to and it would have made more sense to wait for the proper equipment so the job could have been done efficiently.

Saturday evening we made sure to head to home depot to pick up the appropirate supplies, like an Ames 48" post hole digger (an upgrade from the basic warped model my mom purchased from Lowes), and a Ludell 70 in. 17 lb. Tamper Head Digging Bar that was used to break up the concrete mess under the pavers.

On day 2, now that we had a better post hole digger, and the digging bar the process took half the time.  It took some time to settle in, but once things got started I had been called out to discuss the gate.  What I didn't understand was why we were discussing this again, since we had already talked about this yesterday and agreed that the gate would not open into the neighbors yard, but stay on the stone pavers.  I really don't want to be walking on the neighbors property, especially with it being a rental and we will have new neighbors soon who may not like us walking in their yard.  Once that was settled, again, the digging bar and post hole was used to make the way for the gate posts to be installed and then had to be leveled again so that they gate would be level.

It took a few hours, but what pieces we had for the fence was finally installed and only being 30" shy of finishing the entire project I think we did a great job at scoring a vinyl fence for only $40, which is the price of either an 8' section or the gate kit.  By the time everything was done we paid with installation and the fence what we would have for the entire fence so overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

I am filled with jubilation that yes, I finally have a fence!  

Once everything was installed we realized that we were just shy of finishing the area by only 30" so for now we put up a doggy gate and used a brick to keep it from falling over.  So far it is doing the trick, but at some point I plan to use some garden post and shims to make a trellis and then rotate the rose bush so that way it can grow up the trellis and look as if we planned to leave that amount of space. 
Total Cost:
$32 Post Hole Digger (a friend is buying this off of me for $25)
$32 Digger
$40 Fence + gate kit (estimated cost of new $120-280)
$160 Installation
$239 Total