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Today I cut out and stitched up the first prototype "bike spat." Voila:

Bike spats prototyping

Current observations:

Sewing curved flat-felled seams is HARD, as advertised. Here's the toe cap, from the outside:

Bike spats prototyping

Not too bad, right?

Well, from the inside:

Bike spats prototyping

Hahahaha, yeah. It should get the job done, though! No fraying nylon for me.

The upper shaping was even harder to get right than the toe box:

Bike spats prototyping

I feel like these need some additional stitching somehow, to shape them more effectively. But I'm optimistic that they'll accomplish their main goal, of keeping the rain out of my shoes.

Also, my respect for cobblers has just gone up by 287%.

And I think it's been at least a week since the last time I proclaimed my love for my new sewing machine.

Some of the corners I had to stitch through were THICK. So thick that I had to just turn the flywheel by hand and ease the fabric through. I also managed to completely bend a sewing machine needle. I've never done that before. Whoops.

-

In other bicycling adventures, this morning I rode my bike up to the Household Hazardous Waste facility in Richmond, to find out if they would take the old neon rowing light that stopped working. Riding through Richmond reminded me of riding through Phoenix - neighborhoods with way more character and cultural diversity than we seem to have here in El Cerrito.

When I got there, the HHW drop-off space was a large drive-through building with lots of "Slow!" and "Caution!" signs out in front. There were no other vehicles in sight. As I pedaled towards the entrance, towing my bike trailer, an employee got up from his chair and said, "We don't accept bikes!"

"That's good," I replied, "Because I don't want to get rid of this one anyway!" (zing! I'm usually too slow on the uptake for witty repartee)

As it turns out, I guess they can't have people on bikes or on foot come through/to the facility for liability reasons, but they were kind enough to make a special exception in my case. They accepted all the items I dropped off. It's nice to have that old neon light taken care of, finally. It was a ridiculous item from start to finish.

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