Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Criticism of "Transportation Advocates."

I do not think it is OK to be a alternate transportation advocate and still drive a car most of the time. Most advocates are biking, walking, and using mass transit as much as they can and that it good, but some are not.

Seems like everyone wants a "green" world but is not willing to pay the price. Excuses are rampant in the advocacy community like a bad virus; "its too hot or cold," "I don't have time," "it might rain," " I would be all hot and sweaty," "my allergies are acting up," "there is a unhealthy air alert," blah, blah, blah.

Don't freak out, these are all excuses I use to use when I owned a car.

I am happy there are many advocates in the world that promote alternative transportation. I am very unhappy most of them are "when it is convenient/ when I feel like it" hypocrites.

It seems to me that to have the things they want, like better mass transit, bike lanes, complete streets, walkable communities, etc, that they, the advocates, are going to have to lead by example. i.e., If you want the bike lanes then you are going to need to get out and ride your bike for transportation, in all weather. Bikes lanes are silly if there are no bicyclist using them.

Why should a city government spend money on bicycle and pedestrian lanes and paths if no one is using them, or only uses them when the weather is nice?

If the advocates are walking, bicycling, and using mass transit, the more likely the cities will be to make them a reality. But the Transportation Advocates must lead the way. They our the "Captains" of the team, being the captain, they must also be the most motivated player and must lead by example. I would think the advocates would be more persuasive in their presentations if they are living the change they want to see in the world?

Credibility. How much credibility will you have  if you show up to events or meetings in a car?

I realize there are valid reasons to use cars, two sides to every view point, and legitimate excuses. I recognize this, but I say, if you, no, we, what to make the world a better place we have to lead by example. Lead full time, Advocates, not part. It won't be easy, but you can do it.

Are you really committed to your cause? Or just partially.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Tips to beat the heat from some car-free/lite friends

  • Car-free American Facebook Survey Question: What tips do you have for fellow car-free/lite comrades to beat the heat?

      • Iris Pie -I get out and do my errands in the early morning before it gets too hot, and lay low in the hottest hours of the day...
      • carfree American- I move slow.
      • Don Claus- I find I can acclimate myself to the heat somewhat. After a good ride during the hottest part of the day the other parts don't seem so hot. Although I should say that I've come close to heat stroke and most people take my advice as a good basis for what not to do.
      • Evan P Schneider- Sweating is a natural, whole-body cleanse. Cycling in the heat, therefore, is like a sauna on wheels.
      • Helen McConnell- Ride slow, drink lots of water :-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Event- One year anniverary


July 15th is my one year anniversary of being Car-Free and tenth year anniversary of living Car-Lite. I am inviting you to celebrate this day with me by spending it

Car-Free(use of no car), or Car-Lite(part time use of car, walk, or bike).

This a celebration for you, not me. You will benefit and promote : good health, cleaner environment/ less pollution, support of your community, savings money, teaching youth about responsible and alternative transportation modes, and, of course, having fun.

Learn about my life without a car and others who live life car-free/lite at

Please let me know your experiences. If you want to walk or bike with me, let me know. Wear a helmet.

Suggestions of how to spend all or part of the day:

Bike or walk (by yourself, or with your friends and family)to: work, school, camp, pool, beach, store, shopping, park, around your neighborhood, with friends, gym, any place you travel too.

So may you enjoy the day, walk or bike to all or some of the places you go. Try this life style for one day as I do for 365 days.

I will see you on the road!

Peace and Happiness

Bill (Car-Free American).

Share with your friends! You may save a life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

3 days to Car-free anniversary

I do not remember why I decided to be car-free. No agenda, no cause.

Over time I felt like I was somehow superior, like I knew some secret about how to live life. Like I was smarter than those who drove cars.

I realize now, I am not special, not smarter.

I just walk and ride a bicycle for all my transportation needs.

Every time, I go someplace I am doing something that is; healthy-mental and physical, good for the environment, good for my community, saving money, and I am happy. Every time!

I think I am living life well.



Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wise words on July 4th

"Independence Day was more than a proclamation of autonomy from Britain.... it was an announcement of human rights and liberties: the bicycle is my personal independence from foreign oil, it's my American right to choose how I get to work, how I enjoy my freedom to travel how and where I want; I would hope those driving cars would understand that right, and extend me the courtesy of enjoying it. "

Keith Gates of
(I wanted to say something profound today, but when I read Keith's statement, I thought it appropriate to share with you all. He said everything I was thinking. You can see Keith's Car-free American profile here!)

Day bicycle tour from Kansas City to Lawrence, Kansas. A photo essay

On Saturday, some cycling friends and I rode to Lawrence, Kansas. Lawrence is about 40 miles West of KC.

The town of Desoto, KS is halfway between KC and Lawrence. Desoto does not allow bicycles on the main route through their town, making it so riders have to make a hilly detour to the south.

This is the "Non motorized vehicles prohibited" sign and Mark giving Desoto the thumbs down.

Tim promoting the his US Bicycle Route System jersey, I guess Desoto will not be a part if it.

David showing off his calf!

Tim and his cool US Bicycle Route jersey.
About half to Lawrence. One of many short but steep hills.

Arriving in Lawrence, Kansas, we were greeted by this sign! Lawrence is indeed a very bike friendly community!

Some unique bike racks on the University of Kansas campus.

Rolling out of Lawrence we got caught in a storm and saught shelter for a few minutes until heading back on the road.

I met up with some Llama's on the way back. Amazing to see these animals in Kansas. They are very cool, but not nearly as interested in me as I with them.

The boys taking a moment to consider a alternate route home. The rain was light and kept us cool on this warm day. 

Having a quick snack before the last hour ride home.
Note to self: it was smart to ride a bike with fenders in the rain, but not to ride so close to bikes without fenders...notice all the dirt spots. :)

A fun ride with Mark Rainey and  David Rainey aka, The Groody Brothers who specialize in bicycle restoration, and Tim  Oberle on July 3rd, 2010. I rode my main bike, Trek steel mountain bike that weighed about 50 lbs loaded. Yup, 50. Mark was on a Trek 2200 road bike, David rode a Trek Hybrid, and Tim was on a Surly, Long Haul Trucker with 26in wheels. We all had different bikes but all were able to keep up and have fun!

Happy 4th!
Peace, Bill