Airport Bike & Updates

Great bike video, and some updates on Natril Gear, my granola stand, and our quest for a home of our own!  

Well I’ve had quite a busy week!  I guess that’s what happens after you take a break, huh?

Fortunately, I’ve been making my way through the busyness.  Unfortunately, most of my busyness has very little to do with Natril Gear.  Natril Gear progress has slowed to a crawl lately…but more on that later.  

I don’t have much to report right now – just some updates – but I did want to share a video with you.  The video is called "Riding a bicycle in an airport", and I love it!

Yay for bicycle enthusiasts!  I want to meet these guys.

And now for some updates on things you may be wondering about: 

1 – My hobby – "April's Kitchen" (my granola stand at the farmer’s market):

To remind you what's going on: I decided to take on a hobby to help me unwind and relax from working on Natril Gear. The inspiration for my hobby of choice came from Nathan one day when he said to me that my homemade granola is so good I should sell it!  I thought it sounded like fun, so I decided to try my luck at the Historic West Main Street Farmer’s Market in Fort Wayne, IN.  In my excitement for the market's opening day last Friday, I bought a LOT of granola ingredients!

I went over to my mother- and father-in-law's house because they have a great kitchen, and started cooking.  It went pretty well, except for one baking dish full of hot granola that slipped out of my hands and spilled all over the oven…

When it was all said and done, I bagged up 50 pounds of granola to sell, and my mother-in-law Julia and I set up our little booth at the market.  I had two different kinds, 1) "Happy Hubby" – Nathan's favorite, and 2) "Gimme Some Of That!" – one of my favorites.

It was the opening day of the market, and we anxiously waited for our first customers…and we waited…and we waited.  We were both surprised at how slow it was. The market goes from 3-8pm, and it was slow aaalllllllll day.  Fortunately, a guy with a miniature horse was right by us, and he was fun to watch.  Here's a picture of Julia sitting at the granola stand and the miniature horse across the way.

By the time 8pm came around, I'd only sold seven pounds of granola.  That meant I had 43 pounds left over!!  Ah!  Julia had brought some muffins to sell, and she only sold two bags herself!  I was ready to call it quits on my granola stand, and look for a new hobby, but after talking to some of the other vendors, we learned that the market picks up as more produce comes into season.  All that was in season last Friday was Rhubarb.  Julia said we should stick it out and try it for the whole summer, and, mostly out of curiosity, I agreed.   So Julia and I are going to sign a 24 week contract this Friday – here's hoping the next 23 weeks get better!

If you’re in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area, come see my booth (and don’t let my lack of sales make you think my granola isn’t good or something – it ROCKS!).

2 – Natril Gear:

Nathan's still working on making our prototype panniers.  The first sewing machine broke, so he’s working on sewing machine #2.   He’s been working on these bags for a little over a month now, and he’s making slow progress.  This is due to several things, one of which is that he has a full-time job, so he’s crunched for time.  It's kind-of frustrating, but we're learning more about how each other works, and that's good.  Here're three of the bags with three different closure systems that Nathan just added: D-ring, buckle, and carabineer.  What do you think?  Which closure system do you prefer?

When Nathan's done with the bags, I’ll take them out, get feedback, decide which one(s) we want to sell, contract with a manufacturer to have them made, and then push them out to the market.  (Exciting!)  In the meantime, I'm finding random things to do, but mostly I'm just waiting for the bags to be ready.  Right now, I’m wrapping up the last of our incorporation process.  The only thing left to is to finish working my way through our 33 page “Operating Agreement”.  I’m reading all the fine print and asking my lawyer lots of questions to make sure I understand and agree with everything it says.  It’s boring and interesting all at the same time.

And, my second piece of news about Natril Gear is that I just got my first ever smart phone!  Nathan and I always got the free phones before, so this is a MAJOR upgrade.  We only got one though, because they're pretty expensive and require an expensive monthly plan to operate.  The one we got will be mine (yay!).  We think a smart phone could really help us as we launch Natril Gear, so that's why we decided to bite the bullet.  However, I've been spending a decent part of my days just learning how to use the thing lately…  Seriously, it's like a computer!

3 – Our house hunt:

This is more of a personal note, but it DOES affect our business because we’re planning on having a home office.  If you didn’t know, and you may not have, Nathan and I are currently renting a room from a friend.  While it’s a good short-term housing solution, it’s a little tough to try and start a business this way.  Here's a picture of Nathan working on our panniers in our office/sewing room/bedroom:

We’ve been looking for a house to buy for about a month and a half now, and just last week, we thought we found “the one”!  After the home inspection yesterday though, we ended up deciding not to buy it.  Here’s a summary of how bad the home inspection went: When the water was turned on, it came through the ceiling in TWO places.  The home needs a new hot water heater, a new furnace, two new a/c units, a new circuit breaker, new garage door openers, new plumbing, a new roof, and many new windows (among other things). It has knob-and-tube wiring, galvanized plumbing, water is leaking through the roof in like 10 places, and the current furnace is letting carbon monoxide into the home (that can kill you!).  GEEZ!!  We thought the house looked fine when we put our offer in – thank goodness for home inspectors!

The results of the inspection were a big disappointment for us, but at least it was a pretty clear “closed door” from  God.  I would say “slammed door” really.

Those are my updates for now.  Hope you're having a great day!  And by the way, now that spring/summer is finally starting to settle in across the country, a great way to soak up the sunshine is – of course – to go ride your bike!  Happy pedaling.  🙂

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