Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Wardies-Cycling (and other Simple Innovations)

Touched on a few good ideas/inventions in my end o year recap but wanted to make a comprehensive list of the best ones from last year. Great thing about being a member of a bike club is that someone may have a great solution to some pestering problem that is simple--easy---and cheep (sic)

Ideas like this are given the "Wardies"--as Ward came up with the simplest--easiest--and cheepist (sic) idea ever to a stupidass problem. For years I've been eating peanut butter that is non homogenized--you know the kind that has a layer of solids and a layer of oil that you have to mix.  Less transfat and it taste better.  But when you open up a new one the peanut solids are entrenched on the bottom, and the oil is laying on top--almost impossible to stir and if you do so hard the oil goes flying.  And when you don't initially stir the jar enough---leaving more and more solids behind--half way through you have a product you could use between bricks.

At one point I actually thought of looking for a small paint can mixer/ shaker.  Then Ward told me what he does.  Cost $0--effort 0.  Just store the peanut butter upside down.  Shit.  Works well.  And that is what makes a great idea--simple--cheep (sic)--little effort and works well.

Hardware Container for Bike Storage--(Modified from Don/ Brian)  --Some Diablo Cyclists kept a cut open water bottle in one of the water bottle holders on short rides to stuff a windbreaker etc. in.  A bottle is good but it is usually tapered.   I tried a tennis can--more space but the lid kept flying off.  Then I hit upon a "loose hardware holder" found at many local hardware stores--and in plenty of designer colors to match ones bike.  Cap stays on and has a slit on the top so one can stuff glove liners into can while on the go.

Camera Bag Stem Holder--(Christine) --Christine found a cheep (sic) camera bag that has a Velcro tie that goes around the stem.   Ward scared me into adding a bungee safety reinforcement.    This clears out room in the jersey pocket as now the "bag o drugs" can ride on the bike.  (Didn't like the "Bento Top Tube" box as kept hitting it when standing on a climb)

Mini Suntan lotion Holder--Those travel size tubes are expensive and even worse you don't know what to do when one is 10% full.  Some people have had success refilling them.  But easier is filling a Visine Original Eye drop bottle.

Mini Hammergel Holder --Continuing along the small bottle idea--I hate taking a Hammer grenade for a ride.  Not so much for being a weight weenie but it basically takes over one jersey pocket (especially if it leaks)--and on a ride I just need 1-2 shots, not the 5-6 a grenade holds.  GoTubes are a perfect size--but but but don't have good squeezable lids.   The OLD Hammer grenades with a real screw top lid (not the new ones with a proprietary lid that)  work well, so I dug up some old Hammer caps and put them  on the GoTubes.

Bottle drying city (Ward) -- Loads of bottles--some drying in the sink--some drying on paper towel --one falls down and there go the rest looking like bowling pins.  Ward used PVC to build a bottle drying rack village--pictured below is the town I created.  (Ward puts in a few extra long posts to dry out a camelback insert)  Write to Ward Industries; POB 000666, Concord, Ca and he'll send you blueprints to make one that looks like the NYC skyline.

Bike stereo --For all the climbing rides a speaker and MP3 player mounted on a tire that slides over the top tube.  Under 200g.  Not the loudest but speaker is pointed straight up at your head and MP3 player is easy to control. (photo above with stem bag)

Non cycling

Animal Chair Guard  --Have a rocking chair on the porch that neighborhood cats love to sit on--and then when I sit in it I'm covered with hair.  So took a carpet runner, attached it to the back,  and laid it over the chair bottom up--with the tiny spikes pointed up--which discourage the neighborhood cats from taking up residence.

Winter Mini Greehouses--Planted a row of baby cactus before winter set in--and cold/ rainy weather the death knell of baby cactus.  I knew I wasn't going to run out and cover them with burlap every time a freeze was predicted--and we've had a dozen nights where temperature has gone into the 20's.    So got cheep cake servers--drilled 8 holes in each for air circulation, added a washer weight on top and tent pegged them down at the bottom.  Winter almost over and cactus doing fine.

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