I remember back in June of 2009 when I made the decision to be CAR FREE. It was a good move.
I now have a girlfriend who has three kids and she drives a huge SUV, and needs a car, well at least she has a life style that demands it. So now there is a car in my life...but I still manage not to own one and when I am not with them I am car free.
I love living without a car. Transportation is much simpler.
Cross Country Ski
I am healthier (mentally and physically), more in touch with my community, polluting less, and saving money.
Everyday I wake up is a good day and walk out my front door ask "Do I walk or bike today?"
I hope you can enjoy this life as well.
Tell me about your life style...are you living without a car, or do you have one part time?
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
I have been car-free (d. not owning a car) or car-lite(d. owning a car but using it on a limited basis) for 14 years now.
In 2000, I realized I was living my life for the wrong reasons: just to make a lot of money, accumulate things, get others to respect me for my business success who really did not care who I was or what I did.. I was also very depressed, out of shape, and very overweight.
One day I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw-a sad, frustrated, unhealthy person.
I had always admired the people I knew who lived car-free or car-lite and thought “that is cool, maybe someday that could be me”.
In June of 2009 I decided to go car-free again, but this time for these reasons; for my health, my way to help clean the environment and respect the Earth, support my community relationships like buying only local products, and saving money by not owning a car, around $8,000 per year- per car.
In the last 14 years I have biked a minimum of 50,000+ miles most of which was for transportation, I have also walked hundreds, maybe even a few thousand miles. I have gotten more involved with alternative transportation advocacy groups, but still strongly feel the BEST way to advocate alternative transportation is to live a life where you incorporate it on a daily basis.
Now, in early in 2014 I am even more healthy than I ever been. in the last two years I lost another 80
lbs by eating more of a plant based diet. I walk more than I bike now only because I moved an live in an area where everything is two to three miles away. I still bicycle too, but have become more passionate about walking.
There are times when I wish I had a car, only for the convinence. I do love this life style and I realize, for those who live in a big city it may not even be interesting, but for the rest of us, living with out a car is a true adventure breaking all rules of the American tradition of having a car.
So, to you, want to be an Carfree
Carfree is a good way to slow the ravaged plagued society of Obesity, Pollution, and Community degradation.
Being carfree you will be healthy in your mind and body, the health of the environment, and you will engage in a positive way in your community.
How I have benefited personally living carfree?
|Bill Poindexter 2014|
Here is a short list:
Healthier both mentally and physically
Doing my part for the environment
I have many friends in my community and meet more every day.
I feel great.
I am more passionate about living and life!
Monday, January 6, 2014
I stumbled across a very interesting and charming old book, Tramping and Camping by the Walking Woolfs, written by Dwight and Stella Woolf of Kansas City, Kansas in the early part of the 20th century. It is an account of their “journey to health”, accomplished by simply walking long distances.
The book’s introduction explains it pretty well:
The unique experience of Mr. and Mrs. Dwight H. Woolf, the champion Long Distance Walkers, has awakened general interest throughout the United States.In 1909, Mr. Woolf’s doctor informed him that he would have to get out in the open and stay there, or he would die. He weighed only 107 pounds, including clothes, and was growing weaker daily. Yet he hesitated about giving up his business as a music publisher — his life work; and it seemed a little short of madness to forego all the luxuries — the so-called “comforts” — of civilization.But Mrs. Woolf, who was a brave, sensible woman, thoroughly devoted to her husband’s interests, agreed with the physician and suggested a walk to the Ozark Mountains.That was the beginning of a most remarkable series of trips through Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and up through the north Atlantic States to New York and Boston, then home to Kansas City — in the aggregate, a journey of about 10,300 miles.Yet, wherever the couple went there was really but one destination—health. Mr. Woolf gained strength and, not long after starting, was able to make twenty-five or thirty miles in a day. Clad in neat khaki uniforms, he and his wife– now the leading woman pedestrian of the world — marched from city to city, accompanied by Dolly and Don, their faithful horse and dog.The group was often surrounded by cheering crowds, or met by newspaper reporters and escorted with honor by delegations of police into the presence of mayors and other officials, who received the travelers cordially.But the “Walking Woolfs” gained something far more valuable than honor or fame; and their advice to others who have suffered from the effects of sedentary work is: “When you get into a rut walk out of it.”He who draws close to nature is rewarded in many ways, not the least of which is perfect health. The object of this book is to preach the doctrine of exercise and fresh air.
It’s fascinating to see how — even in the early days of the automobile and the heyday of the passenger train — walking for transportation was seen as “odd”, and yet something to be celebrated as well.
The Woolfs camped along the way, setting up a tent in the woods or in the yard or field of a friendly farmer. They encountered everyday kindnesses in the country they passed through, though not all were welcoming: “A woman who saw us and supposed that we were gipsies, pulled her children into the house for fear that we might steal them.”
The book begins with “Hints for Health”, and these are some good, pithy tips, as valid today as they were a hundred year ago:
Health comes first.
Get up early.
Go to bed early.
Get plenty of fresh air
Drink plenty of water.
Exercise daily in the open air.
Never be in a hurry at meal time.
It is better not to eat enough than too much.
Two meals a day are enough for persons employed at office work.
Don’t jeopardize your health to make money.
Wealthy men would give their riches for health.
Health is easy to lose and hard to gain.
There is a bright side to life if you look for it.
If you can’t think of something pleasant to talk about, be a good listener.
Don’t worry — get back to nature.
Don’t sleep with a closed window.
Open the window at the top.
Best Remedies — Fresh Air, Sunshine, Exercise, Water, Nature.
Remember — That the largest amount of your ailments come from the lack of exercise and fresh air.
What’s all this got to do with bicycling? Perhaps not much, but bicycle touring is just another form of the sort of tramping that the Woolfs enjoyed. It’s celebrated by some, met with derision or suspicion by others, and is simply incomprehensible to too many. It depends on the generosity and hospitality of the communities we pass through. And, like walking, it’s a marvelous way to see, and really experience, the countryside.
You can read the book online at archive.org, where it’s also available as a PDF download or an ebook for Kindle or Nook.
The Hutchinson News reported on one of their trips in 1912:
Tho Walking Woolfs Have Finally Reached San Diego. Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Woolf, who style themselves the “Walking Woolfs’, who passed through Hutchinson this summer, walking from Kansas City to tho Pacific coast, have finally reached their destination, San Diego, Calif. Speaking of their arrival there, the San Diego Tribune says “Walking down Fifth street about 10 o’clock this morning a man and n woman, both brown as berries and dressed in khaki on which the alkali dust clung in spots, came, head up and chest out, one on each side of a horse that was pulling a wagon plastered with cards and inscriptions of all sorts. The dog came trotting behind. They were Mr. and Mrs. Woolf, of Kansas City, Molly the horse who has tramped twelve thousand miles, and Don, the dog. They are known as the “Walking Woolfs”. When asked about his trip and the object of it, Mr. Woolf said it was mainly for health. “We left Kansas City May of this year,” Sir Woolf said. “We Walked across the Utah desert two hundred miles with great difficulty. When in the middle of the desert we smashed a wheel, which could not be remedied, and there we stuck for two weeks. We were beginning to get worried about the water and provisions when members of the Utah Construction company rescued us. “When we leave San Diego we go to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and then back to Kansas City, via Yellowstone Park.”
This article tells a little bit more of their story: “Finally, after having walked nearly 20,000 miles, Dwight, Stella, Dolly, and Don came home for good in November of 1915. From their daily journal, they published a 250-page book entitled Tramping and Camping by the Walking Woolfs. They also published a 34-card set of postcards from the numerous photos taken during their six years of walking across America. It isn’t known what happened to the Woolfs: What did they do throughout the rest of their lives? How long did they live? All of this is a mystery. But one thing is sure–they must have had some great stories to tell.”
Here’s one of their postcards:
“Tramping and Camping” is the key to nature.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
And they roll their eyes, and say cliches like, "Well, your a better person than me. I could never do that"
But truth be told- they can.
Winter cycling to me is the most fun. The extreme, often unpredictable weather, adverse road conditions, and lack of day light, make it an adventure.
Here are some things I do to make my rides and commutes safe and fun.
I am always prepared for changing weather. I carry extra clothing-shirt, gloves, neck gaiter, socks, hat, helmet cover, pants, and whatever else I may need.
Temperature drops of 30+ degrees are common in winter.
My bike is well prepared for winter. I have fenders, rear rack, and multiple lights.
Actually three lights in the front an three in the rear. May seem excessive, but it is not, being visible is very important with the low light conditions of winter. Reflectors and reflective clothing are OK, but nothing catches the eye of a driver like a blinking light. And if you can, don't go cheap on a light- it can save your life!
Lubrication-I use a generous amount of oil on my chain, gears, and derailleurs. The salts and sand are very harsh on the bike.
Obeying the laws:
Winter is a time for me to be hyper aware of my surroundings. I know the road conditions, what is in front, behind, and on my sides 100% of the time. I am also aware of options to get off the street if I have too-especially in icy conditions.
One great strategy to have, all year round, is to assume you are invisible. Too many times people are distracted, and if they are un-use to seeing cyclist, they may not be looking for you!
Peter White offers an excellent article about studded bicycle tires at Peter White Cycles
Why ride in winter? Why not ride in winter?!
Layering, layering, layering! That is the key, there is no magic one piece of clothing, and in most cases less is more. For instance in winter I usually wear, in temps of 20f to 35f, skull cap, helmet rain cover, neck gaiter, fleece gloves, two light weight wick able long sleeve shirts, a light weight wind breaker with a back vent, cycling shorts, wind pants, or micro fleece pants, wool socks, hiking boots ( I use platform pedals).
I went to platform pedals four years ago and have not looked back! They are easier to use and less
Our friends at Rivendell Bicycle Works wrote a great article on the benefits of use platform pedals called "the Shoes Ruse". I use platform pedals on all my bikes and all year round, including my long distant tours of hundreds and thousands of miles, much on gravel roads.
In mild dry cold weather I now prefer wearing wool is possible: trousers, underwear, socks, sweat, shirt, hat, gloves, neck gaiter, with a good tough boot. When wet, the one piece of high tech clothing is my Transit Jacket from Showers Pass it is hard to beat for functionality, made by cyclists, for cyclists. A little pricey at $160US, but considering the benefits, well worth it. Also great for Walking, hiking, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, running, anything outside in winter. The Adventure Cycling Association has some great gear options for you
I regulate my temperature buy the zipper on my jacket, and on my level of exertion. All this takes practice and what works for one person, may be different for another, so be patient. The only rule is: to go ride and experience it for yourself!
I have biked in blizzards, sleet, 31f degree rain, snow storms, when temps were well below zero, and all I have to say is: it is FUN...AS LONG AS YOU ARE PREPARED!
So give winter cycling for transportation a try! Here are some resources that may help.
(All pictures were found online if you are the taker, let me know.)
Monday, November 18, 2013
NPR recently featured a story on their website about how bike sales are outpacing car sales in Europe.
I hope these are real number! Thoughts?
Friday, November 15, 2013
Light & Motion Solite 250EX
From the Adventure Cycling Association
Daylight savings ends in a little over a week, and that's a sad day indeed for cyclists hoping snag a few hours in the saddle after the 9-5 grind. If you're looking for a light to extend your ride time, or perhaps keep yourself visible for those dark commutes to and from the office, the Solite 250EX from Light & Motion is a solid option worth checking out.
This light runs off a portable battery pack that is micro USB rechargeable. It takes a good eight hours to top it off, and at full charge, the Solite 250EX puts out 250 lumens for up to four hours. If you want to burn through the battery at a slower pace, there are some more economical runtime options of 8 hours at 125 lumens and 30 hours at 50 lumens. If you take this along on a camping trip, there is also a 7-lumen setting for...read more at the Adventure Cycling site...
Carfree American is a huge fan of the Adventure Cycling Association. When we first started to bicycle for transportation...14 years ago, Adventure Cycling was, and still is, the go to site for: gears reviews, how-to articles, types of bikes to ride, feature travel essays, and much more that promoted adventure cycling and it all translated well into transportational cycling, which, if you commute you are a adventure cycling guru!
You can also get a FREE COPY of Adventure Cycling Magazine, which is really fun and interesting!!!
|Click for a free copy|