We Quit Our Jobs to Ride Our Bicycles

I heard about Jim and Shane while on a teardrop trailer gathering in northern California and just their simple Facebook name said it all: We Quit Our Jobs to Ride Our Bicycles. The bicycle tour is still going on, but once they hang up their helmets—the tiny house building will commence.

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The two men from Northern California had both been raised in mountain communities and wanted to return to the land after working for several years. The idea of quitting their jobs and riding around the U.S. on their bicycles coincided with their love of the outdoors, gardening and working with their hands.

“We were growing tired of living in the mundane and felt the need for a dramatic change,” Jim and Shane said. “The idea of traveling by bicycle was appealing to both of us from the stand point of its simplicity, its affordability and the exposure to possibilities. With traveling by bicycle, you see and experience so much more in the slow pace of pedaling than you ever could in the enclosure of a speeding car. We also were interested in exploring the country in search for new ideas and a new place to live, one that would accommodate our dream of building tiny homes.”

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Jim has an interest in small structures and Shane has a strong background in sustainable living. After stumbling across Lloyd Kahn’s book “Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter” in a small book store in San Francisco, they decided that they would build a tiny home for themselves after finishing their trip.

“Our experience with bicycle touring has solidified our interest in simple living and has taught us the virtues of getting by with just the basics,” they said. “We have a particular interest in the salvaged aspect of the Texas Tiny Homes and the ones that emphasize outdoor living and engagement with the surrounding environment.”

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Their tiny house idea has expanded further to become a tiny house community. They want to create a bicycle centered communal living space that includes several tiny homes, a common meal and meeting space, large garden and greenhouse, gray water system, bicycle powered laundry machine, and photovoltaic and water heater panels. They also want to build with salvaged materials. The men recently spent a few weeks building a greenhouse with recycled materials for a host family in Pahrump, Nev. After their pedaling tour, they will be on the lookout for a town to host their tiny house community.

“Finding a town that is willing to work with us on our idea of tiny home community has proven to be a challenge,” Jim and Shane said. “We want to find a place that is in need of affordable living and be able to provide it in the form of tiny homes.”

You can follow their tour and see their beautiful photos on their Facebook page and on TrackMyTour.com.

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Photos by Jim and Shane of We Quit Our Jobs to Ride Our Bicycles

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

 

Dragonfly Teahouse

About a year ago I read about a teahouse built of reclaimed material by the folks at Molecule Tiny Homes. The design inspired me. So, I set out to reproduce the design. This is not my first project using reclaimed wood, but it certainly is the largest. At the start my goal was to use only the highest quality reclaimed material and construction methods, but I soon added some local sustainably harvested material for the deck and sashes. I feel to a large degree this type of material fits within the ethos of the reclaimed wood philosophy.

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When it came to hardware, I also looked at reclaimed items. I spent hours scouring Ebay, and local antique and reclaimed shops. I could never quite find what I needed. So, I contacted a local Artisan-Blacksmith and we designed the hardware and he produced it. So again, I think this fits well with not running down to the big box home center and buying some cheap reproduction, but rather supporting local craftsman.

The Dragonfly Teahouse was built to last for generations and constructed with a conservation ethic. Inspired by traditional post and beam framing, using mortise and tenon joinery, the Dragonfly Teahouse also draws slightly from the Japanese style creating a powerful combination of robust elegance.

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Sourcing from southern Oregon and northern California, the Dragonfly Teahouse is built largely of reclaimed timbers from the demolition of the Klamath Falls and McCloud mills, and sustainably harvested local timber.

Both the Klamath Falls and McCloud mills were built nearly 100 years ago from large old growth trees. With tight dense grain, the deep rich color of these re-sawn Douglas Fir timbers reveal a quality of wood largely unavailable today. Many of the posts and beams reflect their rustic past with original peg and nail holes.

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Only high quality materials were sourced. All wood was finished using the highest quality non-toxic product available from Heritage Natural Finishes. Hardware was handcrafted by the Siskiyou Forge and Wild West Hardware.

The Dragonfly Teahouse creates a uniquely beautiful space for contemplation or lively conversation among friends.

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In a garden, by a pond, under a canopy of old-growth, or among a field of flowers, the Dragonfly Teahouse provides a unique experience for its guests. Whether at a wine tasting, sipping tea while reading your favorite novel, or doing your morning yoga while the sun rises over the Siskiyou Mountains, the Dragonfly Teahouse is the perfect space.

The Dragonfly Teahouse is for sale. Visit www.ShaneJ.com for more information and virtual tour.

Shane Jimerfield
ShaneJ Woodworks
Applegate Valley, Oregon
541-499-2064

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Hobbitat Spaces

Bill Thomas of Hobbitat Spaces in Maryland developed a passion for small spaces after 30 years of working in the historic restoration and custom home business. With the change in the housing market came a change in his focus of building and he began to develop small, custom homes that are constructed inside and out of the harsh Northeastern winters.

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The first Hobbitat (or “Hob”, as they are affectionately called) was constructed using materials from Bill’s grandfather’s barn, windows from his childhood cabin and other reclaimed doors and materials. Hobbitat Spaces then built 13 Hobs for Blue Moon Rising, an ecotourism retreat in western Maryland. Each of the cabins were built with recycled, reclaimed and local materials, giving them a distinct look and feel.

Hobbitat Spaces is now in the process of taking individual orders for their small, hand-crafted homes. Each of the homes are built in a shop and all utilities are contained within the building envelope under insulation. The Homes are built to Maryland State building and energy codes and take about six weeks to complete.

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Each Hobbitat contains the following:

•    A complete structural framework, built to IRC code, with a Zip system exterior wall sheathing.
•    An enclosed floor system that rests on six piers, installed before the building arrives.
•    A roof system of hand cut framing or engineered trusses designed to carry a 40 lb. /sq. ft. snow load.
•    A 30 gallon electric hot water heater.
•    A 100 amp breaker panel and wiring to conform to the current code. Many outlets and light switches as per code.
•    Andersen thermal windows. Your choice of 400 or Architectural series.
•    A complete thermal cocoon of 2 lb. foam. R-38 for ceilings  R23 for side walls and R30 in the floor system.
•    A fresh air intake system with an Airetrak 1A control for indoor air quality.
•    A plumbing system that allows you to very easily drain the building and walk away for weeks or months.
•    Panasonic brand exhaust fans.

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Photos by Hobbitat Spaces

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]