Thursday, September 17


Hello! A bit of an introduction....

First and foremost, please read the About Me page! And here's an explanation of the blog title. When my children were young one of the books I used to love to read to them was  Quentin Blake's "Mrs Armitage on Wheels", and Mrs Armitage's phrase "What this bike needs is......" - e.g. "somewhere to wash your hands" - frequently comes to mind. Mrs Armitage is clearly a "necessity is the mother of invention" sort of person, and so am I, so I felt the title to be rather appropriate to what this blog is about, which is.....

Basically the stuff I sew, the jams, chutneys and syrups that I make, and the bike rides that I go on. Plus probably quite a bit about frugality. From this first post you can see that these are sometimes connected.

I can't quite believe I've actually got this blog up and running, after several weeks of trying to work out just how to do it......I think part of the problem has been that I'm the sort of person who reads instructions for everything before I finally dive in, for fear of breaking something, and the same seems to have applied to me in setting up this blog.

Everyone seem to say that it's easy - "Do this and this and then write your first post!" Eh? What about this, this, this, this and that? Design, where to put page titles (tabs? is that what they are?), privacy, gadgets, rearranging the layout. It's driven me potty and I have oft wanted to throw not just one brick but a whole hod full of the things at the computer in the process.

I'm still working things out, and still wanting to throw bricks at the computer, but I thought that if I dithered any longer before going live then I just never would! So if anything is up the creek please let me know (I just hope the comments section works....!)

Well now, as regards this bike bar bag, the story behind it is that I went on my longest ride (55 miles) so far back in August. I had the route planned and had printed off mini sections of map. Usually when I go out I get off the bike and consult the map which I keep behind me in my panniers, along with my glasses, but I wanted somewhere more to hand, where I could get to glasses and map, and primary snack, easily. The day before the ride I was thinking "What this bike needs is somewhere to put my map and glasses, and a snack, which I can get to easily without getting off the bike!"

I couldn't afford the ideal - a bar bag with map cover. But then I remembered the musette bags (see below) that I had received from the bike clothing company Vulpine when I had ordered stuff from them (usually only in their sale...) which I had always looked at and thought "Hmmmmm - what could I make these into? So this bar bag was born! It proved invaluable on the ride (as did the padded boy shorts I had ordered from Vulpine beforehand) and I have kept it on the bike since then. No good in rain though as it's not waterproof. I like the fact that the bright green colour shows up well too.

Musette bag 

I decided to send a pic of the bag to Vulpine, and on my return I had a reply from them saying it was "genius!" and asking me if I would send them some instructions for making it. This pushed me to making a new improved version (the one you see is Mark 3) and taking photographs along the way so I could do a proper tutorial. I think I am supposed to say here that I am not in the pay of Vulpine! I just like their products. I hope it is clear - I have checked and double checked it but if anything is wrong or unclear please let me know in the comments.

PDF of How to convert musette bag to bicycle bar bag.

Back soon hopefully......but not so soon you'll get sick of me!