Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why am I carfree?

Funny, seems like the reasons change.

One day I am carfree;
 for the environment,
another to save money,
better health,
to be cool,
be closer to my community,
to spite the auto industry and oil companies,
to save the world,
I love to bike and walk,
 and I am sure more reasons.

There is no one reason.

Over the years the reasons seem to blend. Changing day by day. That is OK, because they all make sense.
At least they make sense to me.

The first time I considered life without a car was when I met Helen. She worked in a bookstore in Prairie Village. She lived a mile from the store. She did not own a car. She would walk or bike everyday to her job. She was not particularly fit looking. A middle age woman, average body type, and she wore jeans and a t-shirt. She did not ride for any reason. "Not owning a car," she said, "just makes sense for me."

Sometimes we do things for reasons.

Sometimes the reason is; it just makes sense.

Monday, May 24, 2010

some thoughts regarding National Bike Month.

I saw; a teenage girl whiz by on a road bike, elderly man ride to the store on a city bike, and another elderly man on a road bike. But that is it this morning!

I hope the people who rode their bikes for transportation during bike month- and bike week- keep riding.

It is one thing to ride for Bike Month, it is another thing to ride because you make a conscious decision to change . Whether you are seeking; better health, saving money, cleaner environment, or just plain fun, I would like to encourage you to ride your bike for transportation, or walk.

Do not take the mass transit unless you need to.

You are important to the world. We need your help to make it a better place. Ride your bike, walk, enjoy life. If we want to see change, from all people, we must be the change we want to see.

As I write this, I saw two more cyclists riding by,  both for transportation a woman going to the store, and a man in street clothes. Oh, and there is another, coming to the store on his road bike.
So come on people. Today we ride, tomorrow...we ride, we ride.

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why are you carlite or carfree?


I think it is an important question to ask.

Health, environment, community, or selfish enjoyment?

Let me know!

Peace, Bill

world from carfree eyes

Through carfree eyes
the bike mechanic

the out of towner


funeral in the rain

peace, Bill

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bike Week tip- find a mentor when you first start cycling

Most mentors are older, two of mine are younger. Bill Marshall and Shadd Smith. Both are good friends and are racers. 

In the picture Shadd is in the middle and Bill on on the right, this is a trip to Moab they were on.

When I met them back in 2001, it was at the Star Bucks in Prairie Village. I was just starting to commute full time and at that time was carfree too.

Even though Bill and Shadd were elite cyclists, they would always take the time to chat with me. If I had questions about cycling they would answer them. And they would always encourage me.                 

At that time I was about 50lbs heavier than I am now, and I remember thinking how cool it was that these too guys, younger than I, would mentor me.

The advice I received was great-tips on equipment, pedals, types of bikes, bit fit, how to ride in traffic, places to ride and stories of their rides. All helped formed me into the cyclist I am now.

So, find a mentor, someone with alot of experience. Cycling, although very simple in many ways, has alot of complexity to it, especially if you are commuting by bike. Knowing someone who is willing to share their experience can make you a safer cyclist and make your riding more enjoyable, especially as your confidence grows.

Thanks Bill and Shadd!

Peace, Bill P

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Revolve Inc fundraiser tonight!

Revolve is a non profit that is focuses on safety programs and bike education for children and adults. This is a great cause, I will be there at 6pm and hope you will too!!!!

FaceBook link:!/event.php?eid=114156665286198&index=1

Kansas City's cycling nonprofit Cranks it Up a notch in a Bike Week fundraiser to celebrate cycling.

Here is what your $10 donation to the Cause gets you:

Up Close & Personal with women's pro racer and former Kansas City resident, Kelly Fisher-Benjamin. Kelly will be signing posters and bringing signed Colavita/Baci jerseys for the auction.

A chance to bid on these fabulously framed items:
Paris-Roubaix posters signed by Eddy Merckx (3)
Jelly Belly team poster signed by MO native Brad Huff
Signed photo of Brooke Miller: 2008 Road & Crit National Champion
Signed photo of Alison Starnes: Team Tibco
Tour of MO jersey signed by George Hincapie

Pizza provided by Spin Pizza

6:30PM to 8:30PM

Family Bicycles

7140 Wornall Rd, KCMO 64114

RSVP please!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bike week interview

Fox 4 Interview with Bill Poindexter

KANSAS CITY, MO - The Kansas City metro area is so spread out, and have so few bike lanes, it's not exactly the most bike-friendly place to live. But as Bike Week kicks off in Kansas City, one metro man says that he didn't just give up his car for a week, he's been car-free for a whole year.

Bill Poindexter says that he's living proof that not only is it possible to get around the city on bike, it's actually pretty fun.

"Last year I rode around 9,000 miles," said Poindexter. "I just said to myself 'Why do you need this car? You're not using it, it's a waste of money'."

Poindexter says that Kansas City are usually friendly, but he'd like area to have more bike lanes.

"If we had a city where more bike lanes were available, I think more people we would be comfortable using bike lanes," said Poindexter.

Metro bicycle advocacy groups say that they are pushing for changes to make the area more bike-friendly, but until then cyclists should focus on safety.

"It's very important for people to take bike safety in their own hands, like wearing a helmet and riding in a predictable manner," said Sarah Shipley of the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation. "Those things are important to bike safety."

The average commute in Kansas City is around 20 miles, so bicycle advocates don't expect everyone to switch to cycling full-time. But advocates say that there are ways for people to change their daily habits.

"If you can carpool, ride share, walk, take the bus, we just want you out of your car and moving," said Shipley.

Poindexter says that in the 10 years he's been cycling, he's lost 130 pounds. He also says that he loves doing his part to help the environment. But the real reason that he says he does it?

"The main reason I do it is fun," said Poindexter. "It's like being a kid again."

Carfree tip- straight lines

For all cyclists-ride your bike in a straight line please.

Riding in a straight line allows the you to be predictable to motorists.

Always ride with traffic, dont veer off into turning lanes unless you are going to turn.

Think of yourself as a driver of the bike.

Cycling is all about being safe and having fun!!!

Peace, Bill

see Bill on Fox 4 News tonight at 6pm.

Friday, May 14, 2010


This is a chance for you to try alternate transportation-walk, bike, bus, even car-share or car pooling.

Please forward this to all your friends-Try the CAR-FREE life for one week. Sign up for the Car-Free challenge!

How many car trips can you replace with bicycling, walking, or riding the bus?

The Car-Free Challenge is a friendly competition that encourages Kansas Citians to reduce the number of trips that we take by ourselves in our automobiles. Great prizes are available for the folks that log the most miles and/or the most trips. If this is your first time we even have a special category just for you.

Come back here every day to log your trips and how many miles you went car-free. We'll show you how much gas money you are saving and how much pollution you are keeping out of the air.

Wanna carpool? While it's not really car-free, we'll still let you count any trip where you aren't in the car all by yourself.

Form a team with your friends or co-workers. Or go solo.

Just go car free


Bill (aka Carfree American)

Carfree American will be available for anyone who needs advice or who wants someone to ride with them. I will teach adults and children. If you want advice or guidance feel free to call or txt me- 913 220 1213 or email me at

Carfree is FUN! Just ask a kid!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekend pictures from my travels

 thoughts and pictures i captured this weekend while walking or cycling

                                                                               night riding

Saturday sunset
horse sculpture made out of dead branches


my world, peace

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Brain Injury Association donates helmets to my neighbors

Kate Kershaw, Program Development Coordinator for Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, ,  donates four helmets to my neighbors, the Duffy's. The kids ages 5, 7, 8 and 9 months have brand new bicycle helmets.
                                                                                                                     Kate dropping off helmets


The Duffy's and their new helmets!                                                                                                                

I asked for a wild and crazy pose and they gave it! :)
Love the rock t-shirts.

These kids ride their bikes allot! Nice helmets kids!

Ride your bike, wear a helmet.

Peace, Bill

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

pictures and stories as seen through carfree eyes

See the world from my eyes...
This is Dave on a grocery ride, he lives in Prairie Village. He is now car-lite. Today he told me he fills up his gas tank, at the most, once a month. I love it that he looks so happy! Right on Dave!
This is one of the first electric cars by Porshe, in 1900. The hubs actually generate electricity. 1900! I have three words for the auto industry, wtf. Source, This months magazine, The Economist.

Mother and daughter out for a ride. If you notice we are using the the side walks as this road, 75th and metcalf area is heavily traveled. Therefore it is wiser for the urban cyclists to temporarily use the sidewalk for safety reasons. Just remember pedestrians have the right of way.

Paper airplane contest. Two neighbor kids, Maggie 5, and Meara 7, learned how to make paper airplanes yesterday so I had a contest for the best looking plane and had them put the planes in my spokes so I could judge. Notice how they drew bikes and wheels on the planes. So cute!

I love riding my bike for fun and transportation. Almost every evening, no matter how much I have rode during the day, I go for a bike.  
People ask me, " You ride during the day, and at night, don't you get tired of riding your bike?" 

Do I look tired? This last picture is me crossing a bridge on Tomahawk Greenway Trail at dusk. The expression on my face is pure-joy.
See you on the road! Peace, Bill

Monday, May 3, 2010

Walking is sexy too

 I love walking. I would walk everywhere if I could. Just me and my feet.No equipment needed. The benefits of walking are numerous.One of my favorite things to do is ride my bike to a park and then go for a hike. Being a carfree blog, most of the posts here tend to be about cycling for transportation, but walking is the easiest way to travel.

Walking is the slowest too. If you are not in a hurry it may be your ideal way to move. When I walk I usually carry a small backpack. I wear loose fitting comfortable clothes. The same shoes as I do when I bike for transportation-Keen sandals in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, and hiking boots in the Winter or when I am on hikes in the woods.

Thomas Jefferson, who suffered from depression, said he felt the best when he walked three hours a day. Walking is indeed the best medicine one can take.
Fun, free, simple. Walking is the most natural way to move.

My love of walking/ hiking stems from my first hiking trip in Colorado as a child. In my twenties, I picked up a book, The Complete Walker, by Colin Fletcher. If you have not read this book, actually it is more of a guide for hikers and the type of equipment that is best to use on a hiking trip, you should go out and buy it now! His style of writing is fun, humorous, direct, and wraps around a genuine love for walking. He died a few years ago, most believe his life was cut short after he was struck from behind  by a car while he was on a walk. He recovered, but was never the same because of the head injury sustained and died a few years later. Whether your a walker, hiker, bicycle tourist who camps, you will benefit from reading his book.

In my opinion life is best lived at the pace of the walker. Secondly as a touring cyclist. Lastly in mass transit. I feel I waste life/time if I am in a car.
                                                                 So, go for a walk.
There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like
a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast.
- Paul Scott  Mower

I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.
- G. M. Trevelyan

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Walking would teach people the quality that youngsters
find so hard to learn - patience.
- Edward P. Weston

Peace, Bill

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pictures and stories from the road of a car-free American week of 4/26-5/2/10

Good things happen to those who live the car-free or car-lite life. Here are some of my experiences this week. Enjoy. 

This is my friend Art. I bumped into him early in the week. He is car-lite, uses his bike for transportation most of the year. He told me I inspired him, to ride a bike for transportation, in 2003. He has been riding ever since. His first bike was a Trek 800 he bought at a Church Bazaar for $25. He still rides it. 

I was riding on Tomahawk Creek Greenway Trail yesterday and came upon an 86 year old man who passed out on the trail. Myself and a small group of other cyclists assisted him, but quickly realized we needed to call 911. The Leawood Fire Dept was there in a matter of minutes. They brought an ATV-
as you can see it is very cool.

The elderly man, Woody, ended up being fine. He just had heat exhaustion.

After the incident, the Leawood Police asked myself and two other cyclists to lead them off the trail so as not to alarm other cyclists or pedestrians.

One must stay hydrated, don't ya know.

This is my neighbors bike, Hal. He and his wife Vickie are retired and avid cyclists They love riding these old Sears Free Spirit bikes. They go down to Galveston, TX every winter and ride these.
They bought them at a garage sale for $5.00

I love the name of the bike: Free Spirit

This little girl is in in her new home as a result of me being car-free. She was abandoned last fall and had been living with a family in Prairie Village, but they would not let her in their home, so she had to live in a garage during the winter.

I passed the house everyday while walking or biking. She would come to me and say hi. I would  feed and play with her. I am still working on a name for her.

                                                                            Here is a father and son on a Sunday tradition.    They bike every Sunday to the grocery store.          I think that is so cool!
                                                                     Thanks for reading my blog and looking at the pictures!
Peace, Bill