Published on July 22nd, 2009 | by Becky Striepe7
Crafty Commute: DIY Projects For Your Bike
We’ve featured art made from bike parts and jewelry constructed from bike tires, but what about crafts for your bike?
Since moving within blocks of a train station a few years ago, I sort of fell out of the cycling habit. I used to ride bikes all over town, and it’s time to get back onto two wheels and back into shape! The thing about riding bikes, especially during summer in the South, is the heat. There’s no way to get around it: by the time you reach your destination, you’re going to be a little sweaty. Maybe a lot sweaty. Here are some projects to help you beat the heat!
If you need to look fresh at your destination, don’t despair! Pack yourself a change of shirt, some fresh socks, deodorant, and a showerless shower kit. Treehugger posted not too long ago about a shower in a bottle, but it’s totally easy to make your own! This recipe is Georgia-summer tested. Here’s what you need:
- rubbing alcohol
- lavender/tea tree oil blend and lavender/rosemary oil blend – if you can’t find the blends, just pick up individual lavender, tea tree, and rosemary oils
- 2 oz. spray bottle
- a washcloth or rag
- rubber band or twine
In your spray bottle, combine either: 20 drops of lavender/tea tree and 15 drops lavender/rosemary oil or 20 drops of lavender, 20 drops of tea tree, and 10 drops of rosemary oil. Wrap the bottle in your rag and secure with the rubber band or twine. When you reach your destination, head to the nearest restroom. Spritz yourself generously and wipe down with the washcloth. If you got particularly sweaty, you might want to do this a second time. The alcohol will help you cool down, and the oils have antiseptic properties that will keep you from getting stinky. You can even spritz some on as perfume when you’re done, just for kicks!
Ditch the Pack
Forget your backpack! The straps and the bag trap heat and sweat on your back and shoulders. You’ll be surprised at how much cooler you feel without a bag.
That’s all well and good, but you’ve got your survival kit to carry, right? Not to mention your water bottle, maybe a change of clothes, and your wallet/keys/cell phone/etc. Never fear! There are all manner of awesome DIY storage solutions. Over at Lime, they’ve got a great round up of bike basket ideas from milk crates to baskets. All you need is a rack to attach them to the back or cord or zip ties to attach smaller storage solutions to your handlebars.
If you’re looking for a more closed storage solution, check out this awesome Instructable for making a pannier out of a rice bag. With a couple of panniers and some kind of basket or milk crate storage, you can tote quite a bit without carrying anything on your back.
Stay Cool (and look cool!)
Make sure you’ve got plenty of cold water. Fill your reusable bottle up with ice cubes and just top it off with water. It’ll melt as you ride, keeping you in ice cold water all the way! To tote your bottle, you can stick it into your front basket, if you have one. If not, you could totally mod this water bottle carrier tutorial to work for a bike! Instead of the shoulder strap, put two, shorter straps that close with velcro and are just long enough to loop over your handlebars. Voila!
OK, so this last project doesn’t do much to keep you cool, but I couldn’t resist. You can be the coolest kid in school with some home made handlebar streamers!
Have you guys done any custom projects for your bikes? Share your projects in the comments!
Bike Basket. Creative Commons photo by web4camguy
Survival Pack Ingredients. Photo by Becky Striepe
Milk Crates. CC photo by naladas
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