I cannot stand not multi-tasking. If I'm working on hats, I have a DVD playing [due to lack of TV], IMing on the other laptop, and my sewing machine in the middle of the whole mess.
This is probably why I'm not nearly as efficient as I could be but hey, I only have so much free time. Might as well do all the fun stuff at once.
This isn't to be confused with being multi-talented, though. That's mostly my sister. My talents, if any, really, are rather limited. I just have the attention span of a 5 year old, and as weird as it sounds, I need distraction to stay focused.
But lately I've been meeting more of the multi-talented in Boston. People who manage to ride bikes fast and excel at all kinds of other things. Music and art seem to top the list; from woodwork to punk rock, it's all kinds of rad that people are actually capable of being passionate about something.

RMM and Natasha are two stellar examples of multi-talented, super awesome people. They're amazingly nice, into all kinds of cool stuff, and ridiculously down to earth. They're the kind of nice you actually believe; not the kind of nice where you immediately start wondering what the other person wants from you as you simultaneously back away and look for more interesting people to talk to. They're the kind of nice where - despite my social awkwardness and tendency to sometimes feel like I'm wasting people's time which they would rather be spending with cooler people - I feel totally comfortable chattering to them about ice cream cakes and photos.
Natasha even let me take this picture of the two of them wearing my hats [RMM won the heartbreaker hat contest] Friday night at the afterparty with her very complicated-looking camera. Aren't they just the cutest?
And with that fuzzy feeling of aw-that-couple-is-so-cute! and this gorgeous weather, I'm off to pay attention to the [Italian] love of my lifey.
[Make sure to check out all the photos Natasha took of the event...and the winner of my hat!]

aftermath of an afterparty

I woke up uncharacteristically late this morning, half fully dressed.
I do remember what happened last night, despite the fact that I finished off a whole beer [even chugging the last quarter of it]. But that's mostly because I haven't really slept.
But sleep is for the weak when Cambridge Bikes puts on an alleycat and throws an after party at a super secret location, complete with free beers, boldsprints, and great company.


As usual, I didn't race, but cheering on friends while meeting new ones is always a good time. Add to that getting to see friends that I hadn't in a while, and I didn't really need that quickly-turning-warm-because-I've-been-nursing-it-for-over-an-hour PBR to get my fun on.



So much fun, in fact, that I chose to shirk my blog duties and didn't take many pictures. I even stumbled out of the party not even knowing who won my hat. Irresponsible, I know...but hey, Natalya will definitely be posting some amazing photos soon [I even got to take a picture with her super cool camera!]. In all, a successful party/race/start to the weekend.
Now if only this coffee stuff will actually start working and get my brain functioning again...
[Also, some more pictures up on Flickr]

freddy v. jason

Despite hailing from the land of really twisted psychological thriller movies, I can't watch scary movies. Even the really cheesy fake ones. I end up lying in bed with all the lights on, terrified. I might be considered tough enough to brave the elements on my bike, but anything scarier than "Bambi" will make me wobbly-kneed, bursting into cold sweats, and have my bowels turning into liquid.
Yeah, I'm a huge baby.
So that's my excuse for not having seen this movie. At this point, I'm sure everyone's seen it, so I'd be left to watch it alone. And that's just unacceptable. At least if I want to get some sleep this week.
Ironically, this movie I've never seen had me up late, terrified that I wouldn't make a deadline. And then it had me pissed that I was messing up. And then it had me not working on my legal note because I was too worried about how smoothly the finishing would go.


But, it turned out better than expected, and it's not like I didn't have fun doing it. It was one of the most challenging, shoulder-cramping, blurry-vision inducing things I've done in a while. And the masochist in me loved every...single...frustrating...second of it.
This hat actually got me chattering - a sure sign that I'm excited about something. It had me asking the peeps over at Cambridge Bikes for creative input [4 slashes over 5, even though I'm aware Freddy has 5 claw-finger-things]. It had me showing off a half-finished brim to everyone on the internets...and being the kind of person that zealously guards her workspace, that's a big deal.



I already know one person who's called dibs on the hat, despite not having seen the finished product. He claims he's "gonna win that hat if it's the last thing [he] do[es]." I say everyone who reads this blog should get themselves down to Elm Street this Friday to make it that much harder for him to win. After all, isn't victory that much sweeter when it involves blood bikes, sweat, and tears?
Bring on the alleycats, Cambridge, and I'll bring the prize hats!
[See you at the afterparty!]

hats off to hoffman

Last night was the first time I've finished more than a third of a beer in a looooong time.
Actually it was the first time for a lot of things: staying at a bike shop after closing, keeping my bike at closed bike shop to get it later, and grabbing beers [or in my case half a beer] with the bike mechanics I pretend to work with/bother all the time.
It was the first time I've actually seen Hoffman on a bike, too [doing backward circles!]. And might be the last time for a while - yesterday's festivities were due to it being Hoffman's last day at IBC. I had promised to make him a hat for his wife [the one with the bunny on it], and after learning on Sunday that Thursday was going to be Hoffman's last day, I had to make one for him as well.


Okay, it's not like I'm never going to see him again; he's moving to Landry's up on Comm Ave. Still, it's sad, and we're all going to miss him tons. The left hand workspace on the first floor of IBC just won't be the same without his stickered out tool boxes. It just...makes me sad.
I'm sure he'll miss us as well. I'm sure deep, deep down inside, he'll always think IBC > Landry's. Which is why I left open the option of repping IBC.


He promised [although after beers and a couple shots] to wear the hat today to his first Landry's staff meeting. He's going to make everyone jealous - I mean, how can he not? It looks pretty killer on him:


And yes this is before we got trashed. I left mostly sober [after my first time in a closed shop!], but the ride back got my blood pumping beer and I was in a state of slightly-woozy-and-those-lights-are-too-bright drunkenness by the time I got home.
Most fun I've had in a while, even though it was a goodbye party for Hoffman. I did take pictures, though, and as Jeremy said, "pics are totes going up on Facebook [and Flickr]."

guilty panic

I'm currently on spring break...and there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.
I have more than a few deadlines coming up, along with the list of things I should be doing [but am not], the things I have to do [which I'm scrambling to get done] and the things that I'm forcefully making time for [which I don't have to do per se but I need it to stay sane].
And I'm still feeling guilty. I woke up today with this to welcome me. More guilt. It's not finished yet [clearly].


Those four letters took a few good solid hours of straight work. I love the challenge, and anyone that can come up with an interesting, really complicated idea will always get my attention. The whole design for this hat - being made as a prize for the Freddy v. Jason alleycat sponsored by Cambridge Bikes next week - is going to be suh-weeeet.
I just need to get it done. Neurotic worry and guilt are fueling the too-late-night sessions that only end when I realize it's well past midnight and I need to be up and functioning in less than six hours. What can I say, I like to keep my promises. Or, more accurately, I abhor the idea of being considered flaky.
It's too early to worry about this already [hat work starts after dinner]. Still, I'm terrified that the rest of the hat's not going to work out, or I'm somehow going to fuck things up.
And then I sometimes worry [when I'm stressed, moody, and right now] that no one really gives a shit. Yup, that's right; all you're hearing from me today is "wah wah wah." Which means it's time I got off the Internet [at least for a little bit] and go on a bike ride.

<3 + bike...a contest winner!

It's officially March, which means someone's winning the "heart breaker" hat.
And that special someone is RMM of Euphoria Before Total Implosion whose story is:

I was stumped about what to get my love for V Day. Obviously, I went to Burdicks and got fancy chocolates, but that didn't even come close to conveying the deep and lasting love that I have for my Natasha. Confused and in a panic, I stopped into Cambridge Bicycle, thinking that perhaps someone in there could help me in my quest. Immediately I saw it: A red PedalStrike hat with white polka dots. Perfect. Within seconds, I went from an inadequate sh++heel of a gift giver to perfect loving husband who always knows what to get for a special occasion.

After I got home from my 4 hour Valentine's morning training ride we exchanged gifts. I was so proud pulling out my gifts, knowing that I had done well. Natasha was thrilled with my present. She squealed with delight and immediately put the cap on her head and we indulged in her chocolates. She informed me that my present was under my pillow. It was the last brass bicycle ding ding bell that Broadway Bicycle School had in stock. I have been lusting after this bell for months. It has a deep and lasting ring. I could not justify the extravagant purchase, as my current bell is working just fine and money is tight in the household right now.

It was a nice Valentine's day, especially since we both know each other so well that we are able get each other such perfect presents. Natasha will be wearing her new cycling cap under her helmet on her ride tomorrow and I will be installing my coveted ding ding on my bike tomorrow.

Okay, granted I'm giving RMM this hat on the condition that he wear it ironically. I mean, did you read his story? He's clearly living the dream in terms of <3 + bike, and it reads like a "how to" on the perfect Valentine's Day if your other significant other [not the bike] likes bikes too.


Thanks to all who submitted stories/experiences, etc!!! I got a surprising number of submissions for being a relatively obscure website, and it's great to hear that some people were really interested in the hat! More contests will be held in the future so stay tuned!
Now pull on some layers and go ride your bike.