Gone Riding

by Jessie Kwak

gone riding

I soooo obviously haven’t been keeping the site up, have I? Busted.

Guys, I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but here’s your official notice that I’m signing off blogging at Bicitoro for the time being.

For the time being.

I totally reserve the right to give you more stream-of-consciousness bike crafts at a later date. You’ve been warned.

The truth is that I’m focusing on my freelance copywriting business and writing my novels, and it’s hard enough to balance two major writing businesses without adding in a hobby that’s primarily based around writing (albeit writing about sewing and cycling).

I’ll still be sewing and cycling, and my plan is to leave Bicitoro up indefinitely as a resource. I’ll still be around to answer emails and comments, so send ’em away!

See ya in the streets, on the trails, and on the twitters.


A Portland Bike Craft gift guide

by Jessie Kwak

If I was a better person I probably would have told you all about Bike Craft before the weekend it’s happening – but, really, if you’re still getting your news from me at this point then it’s your own fault.

Me, I get my bikey news from Twitter.

But, Bike Craft! It’s happening this weekend from 11-5, Saturday and Sunday at Bike Farm, a nifty volunteer-run bicycle collective.

Bike Craft 2014

There’s beer, jewelry, art, a craft station, clothes, books, free vegan tamales (oh, Portland) and Bike Farm even has volunteers teaching basic bike maintenance if you want to learn how to love your bike better.

There are about 20 vendors. I don’t see a full list on Bike Craft’s website, but here’s a taste of who you’ll find:

Helmet ear warmers from Gigi’s Handy Work

Bike craft ear warmers

Gigi uses recycled fleece and wool sweaters or suits to make her cozy ear warmer “Helmuffs”. She’s got a ton of colors and appliquéd designs. I love the skull and crossbones one! If you miss Bike Craft, you can find her online here

Bike craft ear warmers for helmet

Beautiful bike part art from Velo Gioielli

Bike craft upcycled bike art

Brian upcycles bike parts into some really stunning works of art. You can see his booth in the front left of the photo at the top of this post, featuring an amazing chandelier made out of gears. He’s also got etched barware, jewelry, and more. If you miss Bike Craft, you can find Brian at Portland’s Saturday Market, and online at velogioielli.com

REALLY lovely inner tube earrings by Laura TK

I’ve seen tons of inner tube earrings around the internets, but these were truly gorgeous. Laura paints the earrings with these vibrant, shimmering colors – she actually said that people have come up to her at craft shows to accuse her of murdering exotic birds for her earrings, only to realize that they’re actually inner tubes. If you miss her at Bike Craft, you can find her online at www.LauraTK.com

Bike craft recycled inner tube earrings

I couldn’t resist. I bought these:

Bike craft upcycled feather inner tube earrings

Cycling and running accessories from Clodine Crafts

Clodine uses scraps of wool from Pendleton’s Woolen Mill to fashion reflective pants cuffs, ear warmers, bookmarks, and more. Her stuff is so, so pretty! She’s just getting started, and planning to start an Etsy shop, adding top tube pads to her inventory. I’ll update this post if I see her shop go up.

Bike craft pendleton wool accessories 2

Bike craft pendleton wool accessories

Also, how many of you knew about the Pendleton Woolen Mill and didn’t tell me? I’ll definitely be checking that out this week.

Hats, books, belt buckles, and more I didn’t get photos of

I wasn’t exhaustive in my documentation of Bike Craft since I plan to go back tomorrow, but I just wanted to shout out to some of the other vendors.

Elly Blue Publications and Microcosm Publishing are both there. You’ll find handmade bike caps by DanaMade, Black Star Bags, North Street Bags, and a handful of other vendors.

Check it out!


Get Crafting with Inner Tubes in print!

by Jessie Kwak

You guys, Andrea Rangel (who you may remember from this post on knitting activewear for winter cycling and this post on choosing a knitting stitch pattern) just told me about MagCloud. It’s a site that lets you offer print on demand booklets and magazines, and it’s what she uses to print out her lovely materials for her knitting classes.

I’m using it to print out copies of Crafting With Inner Tubes – and I’ve listed the book for sale on their site. So if you’ve been wanting a physical copy, now’s your chance!

Crafting With Inner Tubes

By Jessie Kwak

28 pages, published 11/17/2014

You’ve been there, right? In the middle of a joy ride when all of a sudden:pssssssss-s-s-s…Puncture.As a natural packrat, I hate to throw anything away that could possibly be useful, so over the years I’ve developed quite the collection of busted inner tubes. Crafting with them has become an obsession – I’ve made reflective belts, jewelry, and even a macrame plant hanger.And now you can, too.You get a 27-page, full-color PDF…

By the way, I’m fully aware that it’s been ages since I’ve posted here. I have so so so much I want to talk about, and I plan to hop back on the blogging train now that it’s cold and dreary and I’m not out having fun all the time.

Hope you’re all well!



Come hang out! Bike craft night at Bike Farm

by Jessie Kwak

Hey Portland and surrounding environs! What are you doing August 14th?

Nothing important?

Look, I made plans for you:

Bike farm bike craft night

From the event page:

We’re having the first of hopefully many craft nights at Bike Farm. Come cut up tubes and make bike bags with me. I’ll be there to help guide you through a sewing project, just like we love to teach mechanics at bike farm, we’ll all be teaching sewing!

If you know how to sew, crochet, knit, weave … come hang out and teach your skill. There’s a ton of fun material to work with in a bike collective, nuts and bolts, tubes for days, cog, gears and wire spokes.

Bring a project, or just show up empty-handed. We’ll have a couple sewing machines, a ton of inner tubes to play with (because me and inner tubes, right?), and other assorted sundries from the Bike Farm drawers and shelves.

Plus, I’ve got like 10 yards left of this neon yellow fabric that I thought we could make safety infinity scarves, etc, out of.

To come, RSVP here in the comments, on the Facebook page, or just show up. I can’t wait to see you all!


Bike Farm is an all-volunteer-run collective dedicated to every aspect of bicycle education, from safe commuting to repair. Our mission is to provide a space where people can learn about the bicycle and build community around promoting sustainable transportation. We strive to demystify the bicycle in order to impact the city in a healthy and positive way.


Craft Bomb Your Bike!

by Jessie Kwak

If you’re into bikes and crafts, you’ve probably already seen Craft Bomb Your Bike, 20 makes for you and your bike – it’s been getting some great exposure all throughout the internets since it was released earlier this month. I was out of town most of July and my contributor copy arrived while I was gone – so I had to wait in anguish while the everyone twittered about it.

(All right, not really in anguish. I was in Spain because my cousin was marrying a fantastic Catalan man, and I was having far too amazing a time to be thinking about blogging.)

Craft bomb your bike - cover

Now that I get to hold my copy in my hot little hands – and it is HOT right now, isn’t it Portland? – I can say that it’s a beautiful book!

My project is an oilcloth clutch that attaches to your handlebars (long time readers may recognize the hot pink oilcloth). Long time readers will also be totally shocked – SHOCKED! – to find out the straps are made from recycled inner tubes.

Craft bomb your bike - cycle clutch1

The publishers did a fantastic job with the photography and layout – overall it’s a very beautiful book.

Craft bomb your bike - clutch2

I’m a particular fan of this pretty tool roll by Katie of Swim Bike Quilt.

Craft bomb your bike - tool roll

You can get the book through Interweave or Amazon.

The projects are all fairly whimsical and girly – you’ll find things like buntings for your basket*, a crocheted helmet cosy, and embroidered “I love my bike” label.

* Or “nests,” as my new cousin-in-law from Catalunya called them when we went on a ride together last week. “Do you want to rent a bike with a, what is it, a nest?” Yes. I most definitely would love a bike with a nest.

Craft bomb your bike - table of contents

And check out these fun crocheted birds by Kate at Greedy for Colour:

Craft bomb your bike - birds

I don’t care if they’re functional or not – they’re totally adorable. They’ll go perfect on my nest.

Happy crafting!