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  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Who is a cool or inspirational carfree person?

    I'm wondering who you all think are cool carfree people, whether public figures or somebody you know personally.

    Write a short blurb about them, and say what impact they have made on you or on the carfree world. (Or just copy something out of Wikipedia if it's a public figure.)

    I guess they don't have to be totally carfree, but they should at least have that carfree/carlight vibe.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    No one person in particular. However I find it inspiring to see what I would call ordinary everyday people going about their business on a daily basis and not using a car. Some have been car free their entire lives and live in places like Boston, New York, DC or Chicago. Others live in small towns all over the world. The other group are people that have all of a sudden realized that the car-centric lifestyle is killing them and make the conscious decision to do something about it.

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  3. #3
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    The first person who comes to mind is Bill Cunningham. He's 85, car-free and a successful professional who's been honored by his industry. He doesn't hide his bike in the closet, it's become an icon.

    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads comes to mind second.

    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  5. #5
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads comes to mind second.
    David was my first choice because of his lifelong commitment and the way he integrates cycling into his life, his work, and his art.

    From Wikipedia:

    Byrne is known for his activism in support of increased cycling and for having used a bike as his main means of transport throughout his life, especially cycling around New York. He has a regular cycling column in the New York Times and does not own a car. [35]

    Byrne says that he began cycling while he was in high school and returned to it as an adult in the late 1970s. He likes the freedom and exhilaration cycling gives him. He has written widely on cycling, including a 2009 book, Bicycle Diaries. [36] In August 2009, Byrne auctioned his Montague folding bike to raise money for the London Cycling Campaign.

    In 2008, Byrne designed a series of bicycle parking racks in the form of image outlines corresponding to the areas in which they were located, such as a dollar sign for Wall Street and an electric guitar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Byrne worked with a manufacturer that constructed the racks in exchange for the ability to sell them later as art. The racks remained on the streets for about a year.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    A third one, less well known, is Mark Martin, the founder of BRASS(Baton Rouge Area Safe Streets) in Baton Rouge. A photographic archivist for LSU.



    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  7. #7
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    An inspiration for me is Meyer Hillman, a social scientist and environmental activist in the UK. He's never had a car, and, even though he's a bit aged now, gets around everywhere in his home country and elsewhere by bicycle and public transportation. I'm also a fan of Bill Cunningham. I've admired David Byrne for other reasons, but his bicycle stance is less impressive to me, mostly because he's so puffed up about it. And ILTB impresses me, too, even though he's not car-free and is a troll on this forum in his worst moments. He's not a wuss on a bike, though, and has done some very impressive commutes in difficult conditions, and you have to respect that.

    Closer to home, I have... no one who actually inspires me. My closest friends still think I'm eccentric for not driving. Some of my co-workers have joined me in bicycle commuting, but still own and use cars on weekends (which, for families, is totally rational in the US in my opinion).

    Maybe I need to make a renewed effort to connect to the local bicycle community. I tried a few years ago with the Cascade Bicycle Club, but was put off, because it seemed to me at the time that it was either club racer types, which is obviously another mind-set altogether from utility riding, or totally political types, people who would all drive cars to meetings about advocating for more bicycle infrastructure.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    Maybe I need to make a renewed effort to connect to the local bicycle community. I tried a few years ago with the Cascade Bicycle Club, but was put off, because it seemed to me at the time that it was either club racer types, which is obviously another mind-set altogether from utility riding, or totally political types, people who would all drive cars to meetings about advocating for more bicycle infrastructure.
    Been there, done that. But the important thing is to be there. Demonstrate what a car-free life is like. It takes time, but they'll start to pick up on it. Become President.
    When I arrived in Little Rock, the bicycle advocacy was focused on making better tourist facilities like the Big Dam Bridge. I rolled my eyes but chipped in to lend my support. But now, the bridges are all done and more focus is on fixing the streets. The politicians are more behind it because the Big Dam Bridge proved that bicycles bring money into the area.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  9. #9
    cycleobsidian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    The first person who comes to mind is Bill Cunningham. He's 85, car-free and a successful professional who's been honored by his industry. He doesn't hide his bike in the closet, it's become an icon.
    I love this guy. I hope that I am like him at 85....agile, smart, productive.

    Oh. And Ralph Nader. He is car free too. What an inspiration.

  10. #10
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    Just about every French person who lives in a small village in the French countryside who has been through World War II and has lived their life walking or riding a bicycle. Every time I have been to villages like that in France and seen a little old lady or gentleman riding their bike, I am full of admiration.
    Last edited by Rowan; 02-16-14 at 12:14 AM.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post

    Maybe I need to make a renewed effort to connect to the local bicycle community. I tried a few years ago with the Cascade Bicycle Club, but was put off, because it seemed to me at the time that it was either club racer types, which is obviously another mind-set altogether from utility riding, or totally political types, people who would all drive cars to meetings about advocating for more bicycle infrastructure.
    This schism between utility/commute cycling and and performance riding is a sad development of the past couple decades. There was a time when we were all one and the same and it was a rare racer who didn't do a fair amount of utility riding.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    I've admired David Byrne for other reasons, but his bicycle stance is less impressive to me, mostly because he's so puffed up about it.

    By "puffed up" do you mean he's arrogant? I've never met the man, but he certainly doesn't come off that way in Bicycle Diaries. Is there anything he has done or said, specifically, that makes you say this about him?
    Gimme that car-free living!

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Four Women ... four strong, adventurous, intelligent, beautiful, well-travelled, and interesting women.

    I met all four through cycling forums, and have met, and cycled with, three of the four in person.

    All four have posted on Bike Forums at one time or another, although not in this sub-forum.

    2 are American (east coast), 1 is Canadian (Alberta), and 1 is French (Paris).

    They are all car-free and have been for some time ... but they don't talk about it. They just are car free.

    What they talk about is their latest randonneuring event ... their multi-month tours around Europe and elsewhere ... that they've signed up to do some racing this year.

    And they talk about their lives ... music, cats, house renovations, books, jobs, travel ...

    They are all inspirational for many reasons ... but one of the many inspirational things is how they all live full, interesting, exciting, and varied lives while being car free.

  14. #14
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Four Women ... four strong, adventurous, intelligent, beautiful, well-travelled, and interesting women.

    I met all four through cycling forums, and have met, and cycled with, three of the four in person.

    All four have posted on Bike Forums at one time or another, although not in this sub-forum.

    2 are American (east coast), 1 is Canadian (Alberta), and 1 is French (Paris).

    They are all car-free and have been for some time ... but they don't talk about it. They just are car free.

    What they talk about is their latest randonneuring event ... their multi-month tours around Europe and elsewhere ... that they've signed up to do some racing this year.

    And they talk about their lives ... music, cats, house renovations, books, jobs, travel ...

    They are all inspirational for many reasons ... but one of the many inspirational things is how they all live full, interesting, exciting, and varied lives while being car free.
    Any names or links so we can find out more about them?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  15. #15
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    Myself perhaps. I've had a huge impact on my life. More than any person alive really. And I inspire myself and impress myself every day with my dedication to being car free.

    And to think, I might never have done this. But I did and I keep at it.

    Keep fun and cop whatever attitude keeps you riding!

  16. #16
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    Geeez
    There are plenty of PO FOLKS in the USA that don't have a car.
    You must mean affluent folks who make a big deal about not having a car-despite being able to afford one
    I wonder how they travel-for whatever business they are in?
    Bike?
    Probably most of these folks you have mentioned has crossed the Atlantic ?
    Did they sail across?

  17. #17
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I am inspired by ordinary people like many people here and those I know personally.

    My friend has bi-polar disorder and for the past several decades has done all his travelling by bike, builds bikes for those who are less fortunate, and gives 100% of who and what he is when he is able to.

    I plan to gift him my extrabike if he wants it... he wants to start a small delivery service for low income folks who can't get out.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I'm wondering who you all think are cool carfree people, whether public figures or somebody you know personally.

    Write a short blurb about them, and say what impact they have made on you or on the carfree world. (Or just copy something out of Wikipedia if it's a public figure.)

    I guess they don't have to be totally carfree, but they should at least have that carfree/carlight vibe.
    Just about any homeless bike guy. Collecting cans in the morning and getting drunk in the afternoon.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ro-monster's Avatar
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    When I was about 12 years old, my father, who often gave rides to hitchhikers and sometimes invited them to our house for dinner, brought home an old African-American gentleman who was riding his bike across the country to California, where he had relatives. I think he had started his trip somewhere in the midwest, but I can't recall exactly where. We lived just outside of Denver, so he had already ridden a long way. He had literally nothing except an old bike and the clothing he was wearing.

    After dinner he played the piano for us. He had made a living playing in nightclubs in the days when they were still segregated, and played very well. In the morning my father drove him and his bike over the Rocky Mountains (a round trip of about 6 hours by car) and gave him a warm coat and gloves. I don't think this man had ever seen the Rockies, and didn't realize he would have had to cross 12,000-foot passes in sub-freezing temperatures. I sometimes wonder what became of him, and hope he made it to California safely.

    Even as a kid, I marveled at his courage in simply going out with nothing, although I don't think I could do that myself. I would at least have to carry some shelter and insulation, and a means to boil water.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pistard's Avatar
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    My grandfather, never owned a car, was a house painter, riding that bike one handed in his 60's with a ladder over the shoulder and some tools in the panniers , Strasbourg, France.

  21. #21
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Geeez
    There are plenty of PO FOLKS in the USA that don't have a car.
    You must mean affluent folks who make a big deal about not having a car-despite being able to afford one
    I wonder how they travel-for whatever business they are in?
    Bike?
    Probably most of these folks you have mentioned has crossed the Atlantic ?
    Did they sail across?
    Geeez...instead of getting all poopy and condescending, give us an example of a "PO FOLK" with an inspirational story?

    Like "Granddad" Eure, who founded and ran the Kid's Repair Program after retiring as an auto worker for GM. Kids partner 1:1 with volunteer adult mentors to earn a bike that they repaired themselves. Granddad stressed that bikes were fun for kids, but also reliable transportation. And he noticed that there were thousands of abandoned bikes all over the city, discarded only because nobody knew how to make the simple repairs that the bikes needed. Kids who completed the classes not only got the bike with helmet and lock, but a certificate and a nice graduation party.

    One thing I like about Granddad is that he thinks the experience should benefit the adult volunteer as well as the kids. Early volunteers were mostly laid-off auto workers who had good benefits but problems with boredom and lack of meaning. Some volunteers were homeless people. They earned a bike of their own by completing the repair class before working with the kids. Another cool thing was that the kids themselves could take an advanced class, then come back to work with younger kids.

    Granddad is about 90 now. I work with his son, who said he is definitely starting to slow down.

    http://www.tncp.net/Articles/tabid/1...5/Default.aspx
    Last edited by Roody; 02-16-14 at 02:53 PM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Any names or links so we can find out more about them?
    Since they don't post in this subforum ... I'd rather maintain their privacy.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Geeez...instead of getting all poopy and condescending, give us an example of a "PO FOLK" with an inspirational story?

    Like "Granddad" Eure, who founded and ran the Kid's Repair Program after retiring as an auto worker for GM. Kids partner 1:1 with volunteer adult mentors to earn a bike that they repaired themselves. Granddad stressed that bikes were fun for kids, but also reliable transportation. And he noticed that there were thousands of abandoned bikes all over the city, discarded only because nobody knew how to make the simple repairs that the bikes needed. Kids who completed the classes not only got the bike with helmet and lock, but a certificate and a nice graduation party.

    One thing I like about Granddad is that he thinks the experience should benefit the adult volunteer as well as the kids. Early volunteers were mostly laid-off auto workers who had good benefits but problems with boredom and lack of meaning. Some volunteers were homeless people. They earned a bike of their own by completing the repair class before working with the kids. Another cool thing was that the kids themselves could take an advanced class, then come back to work with younger kids.

    Granddad is about 90 now. I work with his son, who said he is definitely starting to slow down.

    http://www.tncp.net/Articles/tabid/1...5/Default.aspx

    grand dad sounds just perfect-
    He might be car free now-but I kinda doubt he is anti car-and doubt he was car free during most of his adult life.
    He is pro bike without being anti car
    Many of you-and your heroes-are anti car-
    Anti car folks never get anything done when they petition various politicians
    Even if they attempt to hide their car hate-the politicians are able to read them in a millisecond-"crank"-and politely write them off.

  24. #24
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    grand dad sounds just perfect-
    He might be car free now-but I kinda doubt he is anti car-and doubt he was car free during most of his adult life.
    He is pro bike without being anti car
    Many of you-and your heroes-are anti car-
    Anti car folks never get anything done when they petition various politicians
    Even if they attempt to hide their car hate-the politicians are able to read them in a millisecond-"crank"-and politely write them off.
    You don't know me. This is just a figment of your angry imagination. Do you have anything to offer that's positive and on-topic?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  25. #25
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    @phoebeisis Here's an example of an inspirational "pro-sustainability" politician. Enrique Penalosa was mayor of Bogota. He noticed that hundreds of children in his city were being injured and killed by cars. At the same time he could see that "PO FOLKS" (who couldn't afford cars) lacked access to jobs and education opportunities. He revolutionized public transit in Bogota, and has gone on to work for better urban planning and sustainable transit all over the world.

    Anti-car? Maybe, but more pro-sustainability and pro-social justice.
    Bitter and ineffective? Absolutely not.

    "An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport..."
    ---Enrique Peņalosa.

    http://new.ted.com/talks/enrique_pen...racy_in_action


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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