Picturing a Car-Free, E-Bike Adventure

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. ~John F. Kennedy, U.S. president


How fortunate not routinely having
to travel any faster than I can pedal;
enjoying day after car-free days.
But I’ll share a little secret
about how I’ve compensated for aches,
fatigue & other blessings of another birthday:
an electric bike!

Wonderful still being able to cycle
without fear of hills or going away far
then not being able to come back easily.
Pollution-free, non-sweaty
commuting, shopping, errands
& super fun, heart pumping cardio.
Even in times like these it’s still OK
to be happy & have fun, is it not?

E-bicycles offer cost savings over a car (or second car);
as no licensing or insurance required.
There are cargo versions available, perfect
for hauling the kids or trips to the lumber yard.
Still feeling pedal-powered,
waving & ringing the bell as I go by,
connection with community.

Dear Friends, y’all are invited
to enjoy a car-free day at least once a week,
perhaps on a traditional bike, ready-made electric bike
or with a do-it-yourself bike motor kit on your old bike.
Did you know that every mile a car is driven
releases one pound of greenhouse gas
into the atmosphere increasing global warming?
Resilience is up to us, together, as a political
solution to arctic melting seems improbable.

A whole lot of info available at https://electricbikereview.com/

When you realize the Earth is so much more than simply your environment, you’ll be moved to protect her in the same way as you would yourself. This is the kind of awareness, the kind of awakening that we need, and the future of the planet depends on whether we’re able to cultivate this insight or not. The Earth and all species on Earth are in real danger. Yet if we can develop a deep relationship with the Earth, we’ll have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change our way of life. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

72 Replies to “Picturing a Car-Free, E-Bike Adventure”


        Teachers as mirrors, from whom to learn
        To rest from function, to function from rest

        Bereft in sunlight’s brightness as a candle
        Of use only in the consuming
        And the being brought to nought
        All is dust and rust
        As birds beyond the glass escape from view
        Into futures where all maybes are while I
        Remain in now where only maybe is

        Reflecting, refracting back through darker days
        Pitting the dim forgetfulness of memory
        Against the dusk, the dawn, the falling leaves
        It’s not the words at any time
        (Especially in recall)
        That count along the rosary of reverie
        But what goes on behind, within the words

        Shorestander, confusing the sea’s innocence
        With some unbidden guilt of his own
        From pure self-interest does not steal
        From self-protection does no harm
        The tides run thick and dirty whiles
        Reflecting a legion sky whose night
        Has lost the tenure of the day

        Dust on mirrors, teachers unheeded
        Oscillating from intensity to extremity
        Possessed of a prehensile tongue
        Crying wordless hymns to the living rain
        Speaking wildly waiting for an answer
        From whom is hidden nothing
        But his very blindness

        In a rolling and colourful world of waves
        Where two become three (or seem) that never were but one
        To embrace each his differentness – the alien in others, in oneself
        … That never were but one, who loves us all (forever)
        That none can deny, who are his flesh
        The body as landscape, an artwork of defiance
        Leaving a trail in the otherwise untrodden

        A line dictates and bounds a form
        To be without a form then take no line
        In silence lose all forms as ripples fade
        All expression relative reiteration of the absolute
        The centre of whom we may not speak
        For how then shall I tell of thee
        Who am to me as I?

        Whose rule is endless
        Whose pencil is revolving
        Whose lists are incomplete
        Who has not come to a conclusion
        Who is researching his autobiography
        Still silence has been dissected by better lines
        And who am I?

        Separation not for waste, for duplication; still less duplicity
        But trust in the unknown, though the watch
        Replace the spire bell, the car the cycle
        Mystery of beauty undeserving still observed
        Till lover, love and beloved are unravelled
        And a traveller may be one with his cycle and free
        From the view of things surrounding through some already window

  1. Slick ride. 🙂 I have had 9 car free years. They are only rented on vacation or to move. We are blessed with good public transport here in Europe, especially the East, where less people have the means to own a car. I hope we never have to own one again.

    1. what a wonderful
      achievement, 9 years!
      my years in Europe & Asia
      were also car free.
      Someday when the oil
      and automobile companies
      no longer own the USA
      their will be good public transit.
      Wishing you a happy cycling day 🙂

  2. “Even in times like these it’s still OK
    to be happy & have fun, is it not?”
    I think this is the most important thing –
    to fill the world with good healing energy
    Alison xox

  3. 2.5 years car free and (lax) vegetarian moving toward Vegan because livestock farming greenhouse gases are 25% of total worldwide. Love the bike idea, David. 🙂

    1. i’m very grateful knowing of your caring efforts
      for yourself and the world, robert!
      wishing you happy car-free days, when possible
      and maybe on a zippy bike 🙂

  4. I’m extremely pleased to find you.

    Since returning to an urban existence, I’ve relied almost exclusively on my two feet and public transportation. Though i’ve lived in or around the District of Columbia virtually my entire life, I am consistently astounded by sights I had missed either driving or passenging. I think a bike is the next step in my journey. My goal is to bike through some romantic, and flat, part of France or perhaps Italy next summer. This was my first visit to your blog, and won’t be my last as I look for inspiration.



    1. thanks for your kind reflection, Jon!
      i’m remembering a lot of traffic business from trips to DC in the past. wonderful, if there are safe routes for your biking commutes and adventures. searching on-line can reveal routes created by municipalities, or that others have mapped. E-bikes can offer benefits, also, but are overkill for short distances. yes, the blogging can be a valuable source of inspiration, give & take. may you be well, david 🙂

    1. it is quite beautiful
      surrounded by these
      oak California hills.
      Especially nice that there
      has been adequate rain lately.
      Wishing you happy walking,
      riding & talking 🙂

  5. I’m ready to take advantage of bike rides as soon as CitiBike makes it into our neighborhood. Meanwhile, it’s public transportation or walking.

    And, yes, not only appropriate, also necessary, to be happy now. Need to elevate the planet’s energy! 😉 xoM

    1. thanks for those kind insights, Margarita!
      i read that NYC CitiBike, only $15/month & is faster than walking, cheaper than a taxi, and more fun than the subway. Smiling to your playfully cycling among taxis 🙂

    1. thank you for kindly cycling along, susan!
      somehow i can imagine you pedaling freely, wind blowing through your hair and zipping along with an electric motor 🙂

  6. hello smilecalm its dennis the vizsla dog oh hay wow wot pritty country!!! and those luk like sum seeryus bikes!!! luk at those tires!!! those ar eeven more seeryus tires then on the mowntin bikes heer wot never leev the garadj!!! ok bye

    1. thank u dennis the vizla 4 such nise wurds! yes, rele purty round here. big tires make fur smoothe gliden down the rode. tell dadda to enjoy a ride as he never 4gets how to 🙂

  7. Thankyou for the part you play to protect and look after our beautiful earth David. Each of us can make a difference. My love for her has deepened over time and for this I am so grateful. 🍀🌿🍁🍀

  8. Thank you for taking us on your ride, David. What a thoughtful & helpful suggestion for those of us who are your older devoted fans.

  9. Looks very enjoyable, David. You’re so right we need to enjoy this earth while we are upon it. I think acknowledging the beauty and the wisdom all around us is key to our recovery, and there’s always playfulness in the mix somewhere! Otherwise, it seems we’re stepping away from the reality of what is all around us. And I am inspired to continue to find fun ways of reducing my footprint…!


    1. smiling to your lightening up on the e-bike road of enlightenment, Michael!
      i’ll be ringing the small handlebar bell & smiling when i see you zipping by
      me climbing this longest of hills, footprint-free 🙂

    1. If you’re ready, willing & able
      to pedal on an e-bike
      there are many to choose from,
      may with good value.
      The electric bike review is a good source. Perhaps there’s a local bike shop that has e-bikes to test ride.
      wishing you happy pedaling, Cate 🙂

  10. They’re a fantastic development, and uptake in parts of Europe has been excellent, whilst not so much in the hillier regions, like here in much of England. Are the batteries now good for a decent 2 or 3 hour ride with a few inclines to navigate along the way, David?

    1. Yes, Hariod, the motors and batteries have advanced, even in the past few years. Batteries with high higher amp-hours can last longer. How quickly they’re discharged certainly depends on how much pedaling effort vs motor effort is being used. But there are many models which climb mountain trails or steep city roads, like San Francisco. A couple brands I’d consider if I was over there would be Gazelle or Kalkhoff. And there must be many other brands with value I’m not aware of. Perhaps you’ll be able to take one out for a test cycle 🙂

      1. Thanks David, I did consider buying one around five years ago but concluded then that the battery technology wasn’t ripe enough. I think I’ll look into it all again, and start with the brands you mention. As I recall, there was a very good German brand when I researched it previously, and a couple of English ones that seemed promising on paper. It was only really viable for me five years ago if I took a spare battery, and even then, avoided pretty much any inclines that would demand battery assistance for these old legs. 🙂

  11. I took a ride on one of these a few months back. I went with friends, and we’d hired them to ride all over beautiful (hilly!) Dartmoor – such a joy! Don’t yet have one of my own (do a lot of walking still at the moment, though I do have use of a car right now) but would certainly consider investing in one when the time is right. Thanks for the inspiration – and yes, though I fully understand the question, and ask it myself often, I believe to be happy and have fun is not only permissible, it’s essential! We need to fill our own wells before we can administer to the thirst in the world. Love and hugs, Harula xxx

    1. i’m imagining
      wind blown hair
      as you zip up the hill, giggling, Harula!
      now i’m out the door
      to zip along, smiling
      before doing my
      primary school volunteering 🙂

  12. David, on roads such as those I’d be heading straight to the shop for that electric bike. What an ideal form of transport for so many, then allowing adventures afar. Love your photos of your trips out…feel myself standing on top of the mountain, absorbing that view, sighing…😀 Hopefully more willpower and money will be invested to make biking safer for us all – it’s a wonder when you travel in Scandinavia and see all their bike lanes, being used by many in all types of weather. Fingers crossed the UK gets there some day!😀

    1. thank you for kindly cycling along, Annika!
      my years in amsterdam were some of the most
      fun for cycling, ever! the bike lanes, the bikers
      and the flatness!
      never made it to the UK. hopefully there
      are safe passages and fun
      bike friends to out
      and play with 🙂

    1. thank you for offering
      such kind words, megxxx!
      it’s raining now, so i’m inspired
      to get out and walk rather than
      get the e-bike wet.
      may your day be well, david 🙂

  13. Getting inspired by your photos and suggestion for one car free day a week as I remember the long ago days when a bike was all the transportation I had or needed. I hadn’t thought about the no insurance part. So many benefits for us and for the earth!

    1. thank you for happily
      pedaling along, JoAnna!
      Look forward to seeing
      you on the bike path.
      Best insurance is riding
      with both hands, a mirror
      and a warm helmet 🙂

    1. i appreciate your kind endorsement, JoAnn! many find it’s easy to have one or more car free days a week when they really try. a bike or e-bike is a great healthy alternative. happy cycling! 🙂

  14. A joy to pedal along with you here, David. The scenic vistas you embrace are a testament to your love for the earth. Thank you for the important message, given with grace. I have many car-free days a week and they are oh so glorious.

    1. thank you for the kind words, Jet! so happy you’re keep yourself fit and the world healthy by getting around car free as much as possible. wishing you happy walks & cycles, david 🙂

  15. Walking, bike riding, and skating have always been liberating. Great awareness post! Thanks for sharing. The photographs exude joy and optimism. 🙂

      1. I enjoy cycling, but there’s a lot of traffic where I live and not enough sidewalks! An e-bike would definitely be something, though. 🙂

  16. Ah David, with this post you have me smiling again. I have a 30 year old mountain bike that I haven’t ridden since the early 90’s. Recently a friend tuned it up for me, and now I have to make a point of riding it again. Just for the pleasure of it. Thanks for this reminder, with a souped up version for us older folks.

    1. thanks for peddling along with this one, Bruce!
      i know you’re saving energy and keeping the environment as clean as you can. i’ve always enjoyed the cycling. the electric bike adds enough zip that i don’t feel older at all, until maybe, i get back off it 🙂

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