I Want To Ride My Bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle. I really do.

However, my current bike is nearly 18 years old and it’s time for it to head to that big bicycle rack in the sky. In addition to being not-at-all cool, only half of the gears work and I’ve replaced more tubes and tires than I care to count. Doing the walk of shame a mile from home with the incessant thwump of a flat tire announcing your presence to anyone within earshot is fairly embarrassing and not something this gal cares to experience again.

But as soon as I decided to get a new bike, I just as quickly realized I have no idea what kind to get. For being such a simple machine, the bike has really evolved a lot in the last few decades. So I did what any self-respecting person does and hit up Google for some advice. There’s a lot of good information out there, but this 2-part piece called “How to buy a bike” by Jim Langley, a bicycle aficionado, is quite thorough.

What Kind of Bike?

To get you thinking, he asks: Why do you want a new bike? What kind of person are you? What kind of riding do you want to do? Lastly, how much do you want to spend?

To summarize, I want a new bike for riding around town and paved bike trails with the kids and as an alternative to my running routine. I don’t need the latest and greatest technical features, just something reliable and well made, and I’d like to spend $500 or less, knowing that it’ll last me at least another 10 or so years. I also know that I don’t want another mountain bike, nor do I plan to race, so a hybrid of the two seems to make the most sense.

The next step is to visit a couple bike shops to see what’s available and take a few bikes for a spin. Fortunately, there are quite a few bike shops to assist me in this process. While we have a couple of big box sporting goods stores in the area as well, I like the idea of patronizing a locally-owned establishment. I think it’s important to support small businesses, and I feel like I’ll get more personalized attention, something that’s important both now and down the road, as it were, when I need service or repairs.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. And if you have any suggestions as to where to shop or specific models or brands you favor, let me know.

How to Frame a Mirror

The vanity mirrors in the two bathrooms of my home irritated me. They served their purpose, but aesthetically? Not so much. I soon learned there was a solution.

The mirrors were the large, frameless cheap kind that builders hang when they are unimaginative, budget-minded or both. The one in the girls’ bathroom measured approximately 4’x 3’ tall. The one in the master bath was even larger, about 6’x3’. Tacky metal mirror clips held them in place.

Since fixing the problem became somewhat of an obsession, i went on the Internet trying to find easy and inexpensive solutions. I didn’t want to invest a lot of money in the project because we were trying to sell the house, but in the meantime I had to live there and look at the monstrosities. Of course, I could have removed them altogether and hang smaller framed mirrors, but I couldn’t find any I really liked. Proportionally speaking, if I were to buy new, it’d need to be fairly large to look decent.

So imagine my delight when I came across how to frame a mirror. The author is a creative gal who owns a furniture refinishing business in Utah called Sweet Pickins. While she is far more handy and creative than I, she came up with a simple solution to making over ugly vanity mirrors that even the DIY-challenged like me can pull off. She used inexpensive baseboard and chair rail molding to frame out the mirrors, glued it on and did her cool distressed painting application.

Anyone else have such a design/décor dilemma? Let me know what you did to fix it. And if you have any other suggestions, I’m all ears.