Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Complete Streets are reality in Kansas City, Missouri!

Wed. 3/31/10. I rode to the Heart of America bridge ground breaking with a group of  great carfree/ lite folks. We met in Westport, made our way to City Hall, hooked up with some more riders,  and went to the event. This event is the ground breaking for a complete bike/pedestrian crossing over the Missouri River. For more info and the complete story you can go to the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation

Here is a short pictorial Journal: Enjoy :)

We met at 9am, led by Eric Rogers and Laurie Chipman

on our waya perfect day, 70s, sunny, windystopped at City Hall for a pic and to wait for othersmaking our way through downtown the Mayor supports cyclists and pedestriansMr. Brent Hugh, of the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation.

My helmet is off to all of you who sacrifice your time for those of us who want and need complete streets for our transportation needs! I bow to you...thank you!

Complete Streets!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eric Rogers - a carlite commuter profile

Tell me a little bit about you (name, age, occupation, carfree or carlite, where you live).

"My name is Eric Rogers. I am a thirty-something resident of Midtown Kansas City, Missouri. My wife and I have a car-lite household. We made a conscious choice to live in a compact neighborhood that is near our jobs, has good transit service, and has all the essentials within walking and/or biking distance."

"I am web developer by trade, and I am also heavily involved in bike/ped advocacy on the boards of Let's Go KC and the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation. Part of that work includes organizing Kansas City's Bike Week events and the Car-Free Challenge program."
When did you start using a bicycle for commuting?

"I started bicycling for transportation around 1996, and got really serious about it around 2000."

What inspired you to start?

"My first job out of college didn't pay much, so bicycling and transit were good ways to avoid paying for parking. Plus, bicycling kept me in decent shape without the expense of a gym membership. Kansas City is a beautiful city with great architecture, interesting urban neighborhoods, and lots of trees. This makes for great bicycling that is never boring."

What is a day in your bicycling life like?

"I currently live about 12 blocks from work, so I actually walk to work more than bike. These days most of my bicycling is for non-work errands to the grocery store, library, hardware store, etc."

Do you recommend cycling to friends/family members/others? Have any taken you up on it?

"Several of my co-workers and friends have started bicycling for transportation in recent years, and I'd like to think I played at least a small part in some of those decisions. "
What kind of bike are you currently riding?

"My main bike is a mid-range hybrid road bike. I am not a racer or long distance touring cyclist, so I just need a bike that reliably gets me from Point A to Point B. I also have a folding bike that is very handy for traveling. I often take it on the train to Chicago, St. Louis, etc."

In your opinion, what’s the best part about cycling?

"Experiencing my city in a very intimate way, while getting a great workout."

What’s the worst?

"Our climate and terrain. Missouri has unpredictable weather in both winter and summer. And the hills confirm that Kansas City definitely isn't in Kansas. These are things that cyclists have to adapt to over time. And I think they make us hardier cyclists than people in flat cities with mild weather."

What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting/ considering commuting by bike?

1. "You don't necessarily have to bike to work. The average commute in the KC region is 20 miles, so bike commuting isn't always a good option. However, most of the non-work trips we take are under five miles - so it's really easy to bike for errands like shopping and such."
2. "Find compatriots, both newbie and experience commuters, to share experiences and advice."

3. "Don't automatically try cycling on the same roads you would drive to work. Kansas City is a grid city, so it's easy to find low-traffic side streets just a block or two away from the main arterial streets you are used to driving. Do a trial run on Saturday when traffic is light."

Anything else you would like to add?

"First, start small by going to a store or restaurant. Work up to longer trips and try leaving your car parked for an entire weekend."

"Second, take a hard look at where you choose to live and work. How far apart are the two? Does the neighborhood have sidewalks, crosswalks, tree cover, and an interesting streetscape? Are there services within a 10 minute walk or bike ride? Are there transit routes that go where you need to go and run frequently enough to be convenient? These things all effect your ability to live car-free/lite, and the quality of that life."

To learn more about Eric and the great work he has done for cycling and transportation go to:

Friday, March 26, 2010

beautiful day

the way I see it, since the good Lord made it such a beautiful day, there is only one thing to do: go for a bicycle ride!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Noah Dunker-carfree American profile

Tell me a little bit about you (name, age, occupation, carfree or carlite, where you live).

"I'm Noah Dunker. I'm 30 and currently unemployed, but I've made a career of information security and it looks like I'll be back in the game again shortly. I'm car-lite, and use my bicycle whenever it's practical to do so, which is almost always. I live in Lenexa, KS and I'm lucky to have so many things very close to home."

When did you start using a bicycle for commuting?

"In September of 2006, my car started acting up in such a way that it was not safe to drive it. The part I needed was on national back-order and I couldn't find it anywhere. I used some of my money to buy a cheap bicycle to get to and from the nearest bus stop, about 3 miles away from home. By the time I got the parts to fix my car, I was already hooked. As it got colder, I watched most cyclists hang up their bikes, while others, like Keith Gates, continued to ride, even in the snow. I wanted to be like that. "

What is a day in your bicycling life like?

"I use my bikes and the public transit system to get around. I do most of the grocery shopping for my family on my bike. I ride for trips to the post office, pharmacy, restaurants, and the like. I really don't go out too often just for recreation alone. I seem to get quite a few miles in just going to the nearby places that all my neighbors drive to. "

Do you recommend cycling to friends/family members/others? Have any taken you up on it?

"I occasionally suggest it to my friends and family, but I would never force the issue. I ride because it's fun and healthy. A few people I know have occasionally ridden to work after seeing me do it. "

What kind of bike are you currently riding?

"I've got two bikes of my own right now. One of the first bikes I bought when I got back into cycling was a Diamondback mountain bike, and I still have it. It's mostly used during winter. In May of 2007, I sold a car to buy a Trek 1200 road bike, which is my primary ride. I occasionally get other bicycles in to review them. This is cool, because it lets me get a feel for all kinds of different bicycles. Right now, I'm testing a heavy-duty bike inspired by European utility bicycles."

In your opinion, what’s the best part about cycling?

"To me, it all boils down to efficiency. It's almost miraculous how efficient a person (plus cargo) on a bike is when it comes to how much can be moved, and how far with so little energy used."

What’s the worst?

"Rainy days near freezing are the worst. I'd rather ride my bike in below-zero temperatures, or a blizzard, or a 100-degree day than ride in the rain when it's below 40 degrees outside, but I always make it through just fine."

What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting/ considering commuting by bike?

1)" It's all about the route. A good route to your destination will make your commute much more enjoyable and less stressful."

2) "You don't need to spend a lot on your bike, but don't get one from the toy aisle. Many bike shops sell inexpensive used bikes that have been tuned up and repaired. These are usually a good deal."

3) "Comfort is king. Make sure your bike is adjusted properly, and wear bike shorts (even if they're under normal clothes) if you have a longer commute. It makes all the difference in the world."

Anything else you would like to add?

"Get out and bike your drive! You just might like it! "

See Noah's world class blog on Bike Commuting

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peace, love, and bicycles

Traveling by bike is an adventure, whether you are going on a trip across America or to the store. I went to the store, in the rain. A short but wet trip. Spring is here, I can smell it in the air. Go ride your bike, live, dream, enjoy life.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


last snow???

I woke up to snow! Yesterday it was 60f and today I have to trudge in the white stuff, sure it is beatiful, but I am ready for the warmth of Spring. People were gawking at me walking along in the snow with my treking poles. Of course,  it could have been the fact I had shorts on, but it was 30f, low wind, so shorts wore well.

I am feeling the pull of the mountains, either the Rockies or the Sierra's, makes no difference I have hiked them both. I took an Outward Bound trip, have you ever done that? I great organization! I did 22 days in the Sierra Nevada at Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park for hiking, alpine mountaineering, and rock climbing.

I hope you are walking and biking everywhere you go!

PS Let me know if you like the logo!


Friday, March 19, 2010

why do we put up with it?

questions to car owners?

We know that auto CO2 is a major contributor to global warming and is poisoning our planet-so why are we allowing the car companies to keep building CO2 producing autos when they have the technology to have zero emission cars/autos?

Friday, March 12, 2010

friday fun-10 reasons to ride a bike for transport?

some fun from friends,

but we never got to 10 ...maybe YOU can add more.

carfreeAmerican asks: top ten reasons to ride a bike for transportation: 1. ?
(our FaceBook page)

Ben says :
It's a great way to stay in shape!
Yesterday at 12:40pm ·

Virgilio patriotically says:
Yesterday at 12:42pm ·

Ben ad
Yesterday at 12:46pm ·

Noah of KC Bike Commuting says:
Free parking pretty much anywhere!
Yesterday at 1:11pm ·

Randy Rasa of Kansas Cyclist can come up with three!
1. Fun 2. Frugal 3. Fitness
Yesterday at 1:39pm ·

F.C. Watts has the most insightful:
Everbody looks sexier on a bike!

Think of any others, then let those creative juices flow and add more!

Have a happy friday and peace !

Thursday, March 11, 2010

morning commute: 40f, windy, light sprinkles

A good ride, sick of this cold stuff, longing for the Spring to get here! Time change this weekend!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

new logo-what do you think?

Logo design from Jeanne Barnhill
I think she has captured what it means to be carfree and an American. I am interested in your thoughts. The carfreeAmerican project is about a the promotion of living carfree or carlite in America.
Why the emphasis on America? Mostly because cars and America are synonomous. I think carfreeAmerican are a oxymoron---no not moron.
Also there is so much hooey that the Europeans somehow are smarter than we Americans are when it comes to the carfree/ carlite lifestyle. Well sure in someplaces they maybe ahead, but I am confident we Americans can and will take up the benefits of the being carfreeAmericans.
Why do I put the word carfreeAmerican all together? I am breaking all sorts of rules I know, but that is why, I want it to look different, special, cool, and groovy. To me carfreeAmerican is one word and being carfree or carlite we can change the world by having ; healthier lifestyle, cleaner environment, and more fun. You are a carfreeAmerican!
So, let me know what you think of the logo, the movement, the project. We are in this together and a work in progress. I tend to ramble.
Bill Poindexter, carfreeAmerican

Monday, March 8, 2010

Keith Gates- carfreeAmerican Profile

Tell me a little bit about you (name, age, occupation, carfree or carlite, where you live).
"I’m Keith Gates, a 37-year old car-light bicycle commuter working as a staff manager and systems analyst in Olathe, Kansas. My family and I currently own and operate only one car, instead of the usual two. This has, literally, cut our automobile expenses in half. It’s not without its challenges, of course, but it’s very rewarding."

When did you start using a bicycle for commuting?
"Regularly in 1998. Sporadically from 1996-1997"

What inspired you to start?
"Initially, a broken down car. After some time, I embraced recreational and competitive cycling, and commuting was a way to add mileage and training, without adding much time."

What is a day in your bicycling life like?
"The bicycle ride is the best way to start and finish a work-day. I rise early, shower and suit up, and take it easy on the way to the office. In the afternoon, I can increase the intensity and enjoy a shower once I get home."

Do you recommend cycling to friends/family members/others? Have any taken you up on it?
"A good friend of mine finally dropped the car keys after a little nudging, and he’s been commuting regularly for nearly five years now."

What kind of bike are you currently riding?
"Older road bike, with fenders and a rear rack."

In your opinion, what’s the best part about cycling?
"Everything you put into it, it pays back. Cars don’t do that."

What’s the worst?
"Heavy snowfall. It’s difficult when weather says “no” to riding, but it can provide a much-needed break for your legs."

What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting/ considering commuting by bike?
"Just TRY. So many battles are surrendered before they begin. Research, plan, ask around – then pack your clothes and give it a shot. ANYONE can do it, with ANY bike."

Anything else you would like to add?
"It’s always a thrill to arrive somewhere by bicycle, especially if you thought it was “impossible”."

(see more of Keith on his inspiring and informational blog )

Friday, March 5, 2010

Profile of a carfree American- Tammy Strobel, Portland, Oregon

Tell me a little bit about you (name, age, occupation, carfree or carlite, where you live).
"I'm Tammy Strobel; I'm an independent consultant and blog daily at I'm car-free and live in Portland, Oregon. When not working on RowdyKittens, I can be found outside taking photos, walking or riding my bike. :)"

When did you start using a bicycle for commuting?
"I started using my bike as my main method of transportation about 2 years ago to save money, improve my health and reduce my environmental impact. Saving money was a huge priority for us. On average we save about $8,000 a year by not owning a car."

What inspired you to start?
"Dee Williams’ tiny house and the idea of a simpler life inspired us to try something new. Simple living challenged us to eliminate our unnecessary stuff and to prioritize our life goals."

What is a day in your bicycling life like?
"Everyday is different. Now that I'm an independent consultant, I work from home. So I usually end up riding around town to different coffee shops. There is always something new and fun to see. "

Do you recommend cycling to friends/family members/others? Have any taken you up on it?
"I just finished writing my first ebook on car-free living and I hope the book will inspire people to start commuting on 2 wheels. Or go car-lite. :)"

What kind of bike are you currently riding?
"Right now I ride a Surly Long Haul Trucker and it's perfect for me. I can haul lots of groceries around town and still go fast. :)"

In your opinion, what’s the best part about cycling?
"I love being outside and pedaling by restaurants. The smells are incredible. "

What’s the worst?
"Mean drivers and pouring rain."

What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting/ considering commuting by bike?
"1. Wear a helmet. 2. Follow the rules of the road. 3. And make sure your bike fits appropriately. There is nothing worse that a bike that doesn't fit. "

Anything else you would like to add?
"2 things: 1. Overcoming the fear of change 2. the importance of community involvement. My wish is to address the fear of change on everyone's mind. It's so easy to be hindered by fear. I think it's important to remember that anything is possible. When we sold our cars we didn't get much support from friends and family members. We were told that our decision was crazy and austere. It was hard getting negative feedback from family and friends. But I'm glad we ditched the cars. We're healthier and happier. :) Connecting with your community is incredibly important. I hope more and more cities will follow Portland's lead and develop policies that cater to bikes. But that won't happen without active citizens. We all have to do our part."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

my day on a bicycle

Great rides today. Got up and rode (25f degrees and I wore shorts) to Sharps Rest. in Brookside for some fine Johnny Cakes and philosophizing with my friend Bob. Bob and I came up with a creative design for a garden/ planter for the front of a bicycle so people can have flowers growing on their bike and enjoy nature even more upclose! No kidding. :)

(INTERESTING SIDE STORY: I have known Bob for a about 12 years, he is a very talented artist. Three years ago his car gave out and he started to ride a bike(Huffy peice of crud) for transportation. He asked my advice about the carfree lifestyle and wanted my input on what type of bike he should have. I know things were a bit tight for him at the time and offered to by a bike for him in exchange for one of his paintings. I got him a rig and I got a fabulous painting! Everyone was happy. Bob was carfree for a couple of years and now is carlite.)

Then rode to Star Bux in PV, worked out in front for a couple of hours, but alot of folks stopped by and wanted to chat, so I finished up the day by riding home and working out of the house. Then, went for a 25 mile ride out south on the greenway trail, it was great riding in the wooded areas again. Stopped off at Bike America on the way home and got some more flyers to hand out for the Tweed Ride on April 3rd. A real nice day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

random- Journal entry 11/18/2007

I ride…my bike, and I got to tell you it is not necessarily because I want to in bad weather, it is because I feel an obligation to the planet. Really, it is not that I am particularly doing it for other humans….no, it is because I am doing it for the planet and what is going to happen in the future….the future if we do not do something to stop global warming, how could I come up with a product to help make the change….hmmm I like the symbol of the bicycle to promote world peace…that if everyone rode a bike they would be happier, healthier, better for the planet, more community oriented ……(from personal journal 11/18/2007)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Book Review- Simply Car-free eBook

carfreeAmerican Book Review-
Simply Car-free eBook,
by Tammy Strobel
A talented writer, Tammy Strobel recently completed her first book, Simply Car-free. A story of how she and her husband, Logan Smith, transitioned from a “traditional American middle class lifestyle" to a more favorable way of living.
“The book is a series of small guides that will help you transition to a car-free lifestyle,” she states at the beginning of the book. The flavor of the book resembles a friend writing letters with brilliant pieces of advice which made even this seasoned carfree American craving more.

Little things like learning about the term, “affluenza,” or the section on “carfree grocery shopping” are fun, humorous, insightful, and to the point. I welcome the lack of fluff in this book; Strobel focused on the quality of the material, rather than quantity of pages and at 80 pages makes this a quick read indeed.

Strobel is knowledgeable, insightful, but has no problem with steering the reader toward an expert opinion via links: like the Rivendell article, The Shoes Ruse.

Strobel encourages people, all people, to try the carfree lifestyle. Benefits you will experience: better health, financial security, environmental awareness, self awareness, sense of community, and a simple lifestyle.
I wish I had Simply Car-free in my library when I started my carfree journey ten years ago it would have made my transition much easier and less painful!

I highly recommend this book!

Simply Car-Free went on sale Monday, March 1. The price is $9.95 for the first 500 people who download the book; thereafter the price will go up to $12.99. The first 3 chapters are available to preview prior to purchasing the book.

Bill Poindexter a carfree company.

Monday, March 1, 2010

carfreeAmerican profile- Evan P Schneider, editor of Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac

Tell me a little bit about you (name, age, occupation, carfree or carlite, where you live).
"Evan P Schneider, 31, writer, editor of Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac, carfree, Oregon."

When did you start using a bicycle for commuting?
"When I was 11 years old, I would jump atop my neon green Trek Radical Jazz mountain bike and ride from my family’s house on a dusty country road several miles into town. This town was a very, very small town in which I would usually go buy a candy bar at Suzie’s Market then play some hoops in some friend’s driveway then ride home before dark for dinner."

What inspired you to start?
"Pure necessity. My mother made it explicitly clear that she wasn’t going to drive me all over the countryside—especially during the beauty of the summer months—so if I was going to do anything out on that prairie, I was going to have to get there myself."

What is a day in your bicycling life like?
"Moist. My wheels make a pleasant hum passing over wet roads. On many rides, I inadvertently go fast. I say inadvertently because I usually set out by saying to myself, “I’m going to go ahead and just take this one easy,” but then something revs up in me and I see that I’m really going for it. Sometimes the air is thick and the pedaling is inexplicably hard, as if I’m pulling the Earth behind me by a rubber band. Other days it’s almost effortless. I don’t know what makes the days different, though. They just are."

Do you recommend cycling to friends/family members/others? Have any taken you up on it?
"I hardly ever recommend cycling in conversations with people. That’s not the way people come to things, I don’t think, by someone preaching about how great it is. If people ask me what it’s like to only ever travel by bike, I’ll tell them, but usually, I just let people mind their own transportational business."

What kind of bike are you currently riding?
"A Dawes Galaxy singlespeed conversion. It’s an older bike, but I’m not sure from what era. Probably from the ’70s or ’80s, but to be honest I have no idea. It’s green with some beautiful white lug work, though."

In your opinion, what’s the best part about cycling?
"The smells through which I get to pedal routinely. Fireplace smoke. Pizza parlor smell. Train yard smell. Coffee, roasting. Laundry smell billowing from the vents on the sides of apartment complexes. The smell of almost snow. I never get tired of all the different smells."

What’s the worst?
"Locking up and unlocking and then relocking, but wait, no, here I go unlocking again."

What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting/considering commuting by bike?
" 1) Wear a helmet. 2) Always have bike lights. 3) Don’t carry too much stuff."

Anything else you want to add?

"Riding your bicycle everywhere is not as hard as you think. Truly, it’s not. It’s just a rhythm that you fall into like anything else. Be safe, though. And smart. The world needs smart people."

Morning commute-25f- no pants!

No pants. Being 25f degrees you might say "Bill your crazy!", but being carfree and in the elements all winter the body adapts, not to mention I have enough fat and muscle to keep me warm. I walked a different route this morning, on a busier road. I had to laugh as people were staring at me as I was walking-"Look at that guy, he's not wearing pants!" I imagined them saying, then would laugh out loud at myself. I love walking to the office! more birds are singing songs as Spring is approaching.Peace.