Just keep on pedaling

Life is like riding a bicycle –
in order to keep your balance,
you must keep moving.  ~Albert Einstein

I’m freaky excited to be a guest at my sweet friend, Libby Hickson’s blog and to join her Tour de Craft. You already know Libby as one of our super über talented designers at Catered Crop, but you may not know what a huge fan she is of the Tour de France. To celebrate the 100th Tour, Libby’s gathered a few cycling, crafting crazies, you know, like me. Sign me up! – Anything for my Libby.

So many wonderful things in my life happened on a bike. And, I’m here to brag that I can out-ride Lance Armstrong.

Check it out. On Tuesday the Associated Press released this: “[Lance] Armstrong tells the Des Moines Register that he and staffers from his Austin, Texas-based bicycle shop will ride for ‘three or four days’ in RAGBRAI, an annual event sponsored by the newspaper that runs from the Missouri to Mississippi rivers.”


Well, shoot RAGBRAI isn’t a three or four day bike ride. It’s seven days, honey.

In 1980 my girlfriend Pat and I trained in hilly Southern Indiana and then joined 8,500 bicycle riders in RAGBRAI’s invasion of the small towns from the western border of Iowa to its eastern border. I admit (not to Lance, of course) I was a little nervous about that 100 mile day and the dreaded SAG wagon.


Thankfully, the wind was to our backs so all I had really had to do was just stay on my bike and pedal for the 100-mile day. Pat and I finished the rest of the seven-day, 500-some mile ride and lived to tell about it.


Really, Lance?  “Three or four days” in RAGBRAI – what a whimp!


Tips & Techniques

The bicycle stamp I used isn’t very race like. It’s more my style – I ride to just enjoy the scenery and friends. I used yellow in honor of the Tour’s prized jersey. Because they’re attached with brads, the wheels really do spin.

I used this wonderful new-to-me Zippers Die from Papertrey Ink.

Open Zipper Die

When someone pulls on the zipper, they’ll find this sentiment.

You can Do It

Here are the rest of the ingredients.

Finished size: 5-1/2″ by 5-1/2″. Other ingredients: Stampin’ Up! retired Classic So Saffron Classic Ink and Cardstock. The vintage sequins were gifted to me by a friend. I colored some stock glitter brads with Copic Marker E49 to match the paper. I purchased the Papermania paper pack and ribbon at Stamp Salado, my favorite local scrapbook store between Dallas and Austin.

Best Route

In the spirit of full disclosure, RAGBRAI (Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) isn’t a competitive bicycle race. In 1980 one of the founders of the ride, John Karras, wrote: “It’s a Polish Wedding. It goes on for seven days with people eating, drinking, dancing, laughing, making love (I’m told), and generally having a good time. The reason it took me so long to figure it out is that I was distracted by all the bicycles.” He forgot to mention all the cookie and lemonade stands.

And, again, in the spirit of full disclosure, here’s what I looked like after staying on my bike for 100 miles.


Just keep pedaling.


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Sweet Comments

  1. Fabulous cards! I love the colours and all the little details, especially the puppies in the basket. Wonderful post too! I like to bike as well….but I don’t know if I could handle that seven day ride. I’m thinking it would take a lot of chocolate. 😉

  2. What a darling card Linda! I love the color combinations you used and that bike stamp set and dies are too cute! I live in the Des Moines area and hear all about RAGBRI all the time. That is awesome that you did the 100 miles!

    • Heather – You probably get tired of hearing about it every year, but I hope I get a chance to ride it again some day. Iowa is a beautiful state full of amazing people.

  3. Fabulous card. Fabulous story. (And your love story on Libby’s blog is even better!!). I haven’t done RAGBRAI but I have done 150 mile rides for MS. They are just the same in that they take care of you every step of the way. One year, firemen hosed us down as we rode by because it was almost 100. Other years people not even associated with the event handed out lemonade and homemade pie. They are fantastic events and worth every moment of the sore backside!!
    Kim S recently posted . . . CAS(E) this Sketch! You Make Me HappyMy Profile

  4. Thanks again for letting me share your GORGEOUS card on my blog, I love it so much! And the fact that the wheels actually turn makes it even that much better. :-) And too funny about you outriding that other wimp! 😀 100 miles in a day – you are amazing!! Love the final photo, too. :-)
    Libby recently posted . . . Tour de Craft Guest Designer – Linda McClain!My Profile

  5. What an amazing card, Linda!! I love your eye for detail and the fact that you put in so much work! Great work! Loved your biking stories too 😉

  6. Another great cycling story Linda – love it 😉
    Love your card lots too – the soft colours are so pretty and that bike stmap-die set is definitely on my wish-list! Need. It. 😉
    Ruth S recently posted . . . Card for Christmas in JulyMy Profile