Showing posts with label elly blue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elly blue. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Carfree American story

Carfree American story,

 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”.

Living in a car-centric suburb of Kansas City I, like most people, drove everywhere. I personally had two cars. I thrived on the fact that someone would compliment me on the cars I owned, “wow nice car, congratulations” they would say as though I just did something incredibly noble. The truth was the car was completely unnecessary for my life: I lived a block away from a grocery story, I worked out my home most of the time. I could easily bike and walk to most my destinations.

My life was filled with endless “I wants” with little considerations of what I needed-the American Dream-like eat when your not hungry, drink when you are not thirsty, buy things you do not need, if you want it-then get it as you only live once. I needed change!

I started to walk for exercise. I gave up; cars, house, and much of the junk I did not need. After a few months I dropped 50 lbs and bought a bicycle. I got rid of the last car and became car-free. Over the two and half years I spent time writing about my experiences and about changes being made in my life. I became a yoga and Pilate’s instructor, and worked in a gym and eventually lost 140 pounds.

I kept a journal of my experiences and noting what it was like to live a car-free life in a city and suburb that was not car-free friendly; poor sidewalks, no bike lanes, little mass-transit, drivers not use to cyclists, my family even gave me grief. On the other side, there were many friends who were supportive of my life style choice and a lot of people were interested in it.

In 2004 I ended up taking a new job, and a short time later starting a business. I gave into pressure from my family to get a car (even just for emergencies they said) and become car-lite. For the next six years I became car-lite and missed the car-free life. I kept riding my bike and walking most places. Even car-lite I rode thousands of miles a year for transportation purposes.

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
advocate, go walk or ride your bike and let people see you do it. As Gandhi said,

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

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!

I hope you enjoy this site. Please let me know your thoughts or ideas on how to make this site or the world a better place. I you are living a carfree life style or want to let me know and I will share your story!

Be Healthy!


Bill Poindexter

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!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Amie Lamb, a carfree story in Reno, Nevada.

Amie let us know she recently had a anniversary, carfree for a year! I sent her a note of congratulations and asked her to share her story for us:

Honestly, earlier in the decade, I didn't have a car in Portland for 6 years (out of high school) and got around by bike. A Trek 7600 multi-track, she has been most faithful. Mostly it was because I was too poor and stubborn to get a car. And I felt like a bad ass riding those hills every day. Riding up Broadway and beating the lights is so much fun. Riding over the Sylvan Hills is just brutal.

Then I moved to eastern Nevada for a few years to work as a geologist. I broke my carless streak there. Except for recreational riders, people on bicycles were generally thought to be riding because (1) they have had their license revoked, (2) they have no friends to give them rides, or (3) their cars are broken. There was tangible social pressure to not commute by bike. Weird, really. People refused to ride to work because they were scared of what their coworkers would think. Bizarre.

After three years there, I moved to Reno to go to grad school. I've been in Reno for over a year, and my car broke down last November. I could have replaced it or done more repairs, but got rid of it instead.

The arch-plan was become carless again! by (1) letting the car break down and get rid of it (2) emplace infrastructure to make it easy for me to not drive and save time. I reasoned that I would rent cars occasionally when I needed them to go on trips to the field. Also, I intentionally found a neighborhood with everything I needed within easy human-propelled distance (work, the co-op, parks, downtown, bus lines, yoga studio, etc.) Downtown is less than a mile away, the co-op is a 10 minute walk, yoga across the street, school is 2 miles away, even good restaurants and bars are a stone's throw away. And I haven't replaced the car yet, (though honestly I was wishing for one in the really cold and snowy winter last year.)

Cool picture of Amie, well, Amie's, look closely.
(photo by Melissa Test)
 So that's the story. I love riding, it makes me happy. I like the wheels rolling and that smile that spreads across your face, I like not being sealed from the outside elements, and that extra blood rush/flow, warm quadriceps, and breathlessness from pushing up a hill. And not having to drive around the block to find parking. The motivation to start biking has become equally pleasure and principle -- that fact that cars generate the most CO2 in the first three miles of driving (while the engine is warming up to max combustion), and the average commute is that long. It feels selfish to poison the environment for convenience. That is a 15-20 minute bike ride vs a 10 minute drive, plus parking...

As a side note, I really think that a lot more people would go carless if there were infrastructure for it. Because it's a pain in the butt to do it here, compared to Portland. Better educated (commuting) populace, better trains and buses (my friend actually was on a greyhound last month where someone died of an overdose, and I myself will never suffer the indignity and unpleasantness of a Greyhound ride again). The habits of people to just jump in their cars is a well-ingrained and convenient ritual, that doesn't really even gain a whole lot for them in the long run. I'm sure you know the laundry list -- more disconnected, higher bills, dirtier air, weenier, etc. So, bike riding and walking.

As a second side note, fortunately, as a city, Reno is really active in the bike advocacy arena. Elly Blue and Joe Biel came through town with the Portland biking story during their Bikestravaganza tour, and I had the opportunity to organize the event. It was really, really heartening. A lot of people came to the forefront who are active and passionate about improving cycling in Reno, and it was a fabulous experience.

Thanks for putting up a page and being an advocate.


Great story! Thanks for sharing Amie! If you want to learn more about whats going on in bike advocacy in Reno check out the Reno Metro Bicycle Advocacy Group or Metrobaggers as they call themselves.