Monday, September 19, 2011

World Carfree Day is Thursday the 22nd

This Thursday is World Carfree Day.

What does that mean to you? At the very least, it may be a opportune time for you to think/act responsibly and bike or walk to the places you need to go that day...maybe the store, school, bike to school with your kids, walk, bike to the gym, bike to the bus stop and take the bus to work, walk to work, bike to a restaurant...well you get the message.

Give it a try, you may just get hooked. You know the benefits.

Here in the Kansas City area,  on Thursday night, I will be attending Dinner and Bikes.

Celebrate World Car Free Day on September 22nd with an evening of dinner and bikes, and BikeWalkKC. We are delighted to be sponsoring the Kansas City stop of the Dinner and Bikes Tour. Three cyclists are touring the western states to talk about bike culture and the bike economy, and to prepare a delicious vegan dinner for our guests.

Writer Elly Blue, filmmaker Joe Biel, and travelling chef Joshua Ploeg will entertain us with photos, short films, and a great meal. This is a great opportunity to learn about bike culture in other cities and meet new folks right here at home.
Dinner and Bikes Tour Stops in Kansas City
Thursday, September 22nd, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
EventPort in the Crossroads Arts District
208 West 19th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Tickets $10 advance, $15 at the door (BikeWalkKC members get 50% discount)

More info? This is a note from Elly to me...

"Hi Bill,

Thanks a lot --
Here's our description of the event:http://

And here's a very charming write-up by our hosts in Vegas:

And then here's my write-up about Vegas... maybe something KC folks can relate to?
Looking forward to meeting you,

Thanks Elly, we are looking forward to meeting you all too!

Sometimes carfree commuting involves using
multiple modes of transportation like: Bike to the bus,
take bus, then bike to work. This just adds to the
 For me, everyday is World Carfree Day. I love this life style and talk about it every chance I get.

May people like the idea, but are not sure how to try living carfree or at the very least carlite (owning a car, but using it on a limited basis).

I am here to say it is not hard at all. You all know how to walk. And I think most of you know how to ride a bike (if not call me and I will teach you immediately!). And I am sure you all know how to ride a bus or train.

All kids live carfree and love it!
 Living carfree is alot of fun. It makes every trip you take more like an adventure, or being on vacation, seriously, it is awesome! It does take more time in many cases, but it is time well spent considering the benefits to; your health, the environment, and your community.

Kids live this way, so can you.

All you need is good pair of walking shoes. A bike, and you do not need to spend alot. Bikes are very personal, I would recommend a mountain bike...or a touring bike for your carfree lifestyle. Both are made tough and can be adjusted for your urban commutes.

I use a Trek 820 mountain bike I bought 4 years ago for $289.00, I think they are $329.00 now. I have modified it over the years, and it is my bike of choice for commuting, mountain biking, gravel riding, work outs, long distance touring, well...everything. It is an excellent bike, and very strong. I have at least 20,000 miles on it and have added stronger wheels, platform pedals, tires, tire liners, rear rack, fenders, seat, bar ends, and probably replaced most of the parts on it as over the years I have worn parts out by bicycling 365 days a year. If you have a bike use it. If you do not, get something simple, tough, inexpensive. Stay away from "comfort bikes." Go with a lower end mountain or road you go with a road bike, make sure it can handle wider tires and has the ability to hold a rack. I use Arkel racks and bags to carry my gear in.

This is my friend Thad Carson who is a mailman and
entrepreneur and full time bike commuter. Here he is running
errands with his son.

So go have some fun. If you have questions ask me hear and I will respond.

Peace, Bill

If you explore this site, you will find 20+ people who live this life style, lots of good articles and resources, and check out some of our sponsors. If find value in this site and would would like to donate we would appreciate the help!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fathers letter to his 11 year old daughter

Dear Emily,                                                     Written by Emily’s dad.

Hey Sweet Pea. I am so proud of you!

That was a great letter, now…how old are you again? ;) I appreciate your passion on the subject, and don’t worry Emily, your not going to die because of the environment. You will be fine and the Earth will be too.

Your teacher is correct that there are issues we need to deal with.

I promise you, there are people working on the problem right now. Scientists, inventors, car companies, energy companies, governments, and people like you.

I am all for your idea. Bicycling to work sounds great, and I have been thinking about it a long time. I have been driving a car for transportation since I was 15 and it is hard to change that habit. I was thinking the other day how silly it was to even drive to the grocery store like we do on Saturdays to get a week worth of groceries. Your Mom and I, and you, could bike or walk there since it is only .9 miles from our home. We could carry the groceries on our bikes, or put them in back packs, and carry bags. Wow, it is that simple and it sounds like an adventure.

Regarding you bicycling to the movies with your friends we will have to ask your Mom. I will look into that more. One thing for sure Sweet Pea, you will have to wear your helmet. And I do not want you to think I do not trust you, it is other people that concern me, like people driving and texting or talking on their cell phones.

Walking to places with your friends I am fine with, we have already talked to you about that. I think that is a really good idea. I will do more of that myself and I bet Mom will too!

I will go to the library tomorrow and get bus schedules to see what our options are for that.

I am with you on this Emily, but give a little time for the change, it may not happen as fast as you like. I am not sure what your Mom will say. Your sporting events may be a issue, especially that it is turning into fall and the days are shorter. But I guess we can figure out a way to carpool you girls together. Also, in bad weather, we will use a car at night, for safety reasons, if it is day, we will take that on a day by day basis. Again, I have to think of your safety.

I am excited for you Emily. Why don’t draw up a schedule of places you have to go and how you want to get there and bring it to me and we will plan this together with Mom.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Childs letter to parents regarding alternate transportation

Written by Emily D. an 11 year old

Dear Mom and Dad,

I learned about the environment today at school. My teacher, Mr. Kellar, told us that the future of the Earth rest on actions of the people of the Earth. He says global warming is a real threat to our existence. He had some very impressive facts and names of scientists I have never heard of, and gave us a reading list to back up his points.

Mom, Dad, I am scared. I do not want to die, and I do not want to hurt the planet.

 One of the solutions Mr. Kellar told us about is finding alternate ways for people to transport themselves. If people stopped using fossil fuels on a “unlimited” basis, there may be a chance damage done could be reversed. I believe him.

I have heard you both talking about global warming, we have seen news reports, the Earth Day special we watched on TV, and we even have some books in the house that talk about it. I even remember about Dad saying he had a environmental science class in college that talked about it?

I am confused; since Global Warming is real why do have two cars?

And…why do we use them all the time. Why do other people do the same thing when they know that one of the major contributors of global warming is car use?

Can we change as a family? Can we use alternatives for transportation, like walking, bicycling, and buses? When we are in the car I see other people who do not use cars. I think it would be good for the environment and it would save you money. Dad, if you bicycled to work you would probably loose that “spare tire” you are always talking about and Mom if you walked to work you would not have to drive to the gym everyday to work out.
My friends are asking their parents the same questions. We understand change will not happen overnight, but we know we can make change now by; walking or riding our bikes to school, carpooling to sporting events, walking to the grocery store and restaurants, staying closer to home and enjoying the parks close to home rather than driving to places we do not need to go.

Mom and Dad I love you. I want to feel safe that the world will be around when I am your age and I want my children to be safe. I am only 11, but I understand the problem.

So tomorrow, I will be riding my bike to school, I can do that everyday. In winter when there is snow, I will walk, I can do that. When I need to buy something I will walk or ride my bike to the store. My friends and I will go to the movies on the weekends and we will walk or bike there, if it is dark when we are coming home we can carpool home if we walked. If we need to go farther, we can take a bus. And I want to bicycle and walk with you two. Will you please make changes and allow me to?

(At the parents request her identity will be kept confidential)
Please share.
The parents letter will be published next.