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Several years ago, I decided to see how feasible it would be to change my daily mode of transportation from car to bicycle.  Living in a rural area makes for great recreational riding, but creates challenges for hauling groceries and “stuff”, as well as getting to appointments and places in town.  For the time being, I am using this blog is to chronicle my experiences of biking and trying to live a little bit ‘greener’ – through words and photos … including the advantages and the pitfalls, things seen along the way, and riding adventures from here to there.

Want to know a little more?  Well, I am now 49 50 51 years old, happily married since 1985, mother of four amazing young men.  We are an active, outdoor-loving family – we enjoy cycling, snow skiing, hiking, and camping.  I also like to swim, knit, read, journal/draw, and play around with several other hand-crafts.  Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family – we are a rather nutty bunch most of the time, and it is always a laughter-filled adventure.

I ride a “collection” of bicycles: a Specialized Dolce road bike (customized), a Surly Long Haul Trucker/Xtracycle customization, a Globe Live3, a Specialized Hardrock mountain bike, and occasionally an eZip Trailz electric bike.    The Dolce and the Xtracycle see most of the action.

People have asked me about my camera(s) and my photography.  Although I have sold (and otherwise shared/published/bartered) a few shots with a few interested parties, I consider myself a dedicated hobbyist only.  However, the images that appear here and on my Flickr are protected by Copyright; if you’d like a copy something, please just ask.  My cameras include a Canon 7D, a Lumix DMC-ZS1, a Leica D-Lux 4 and an iPhone.  I won’t go into my lens selection, but I am a fan of Canon’s L-series Prime lenses.

I do still own a car, despite my wish to be able to live car-free.  My pretty efficient little Toyota MR2 Spyder along with my Vespa allow me get to places I can’t make it to by bike, and transport other people (at least the ones not willing to ride on the back of my Xtracycle).

Where am I? Well, let’s just say rural southeastern Tennessee – living on the “Funny Farm” with the family, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 goats, unknown number of turtles, and a few too many dumb ducks.  That’s my story.

41 Comments Post a comment
  1. 05/4/2009

    Nice site, nice name! This will be fun. 🙂

    Reply
  2. 06/1/2009

    Great idea! To be car-free, that is. I gave up my car last Fall after not riding it at all throughout Spring and Summer. Of course, I live in an urban setting…not so much hassle to get to commercial areas. My kids – a nearly 17 y.o. and a nearly 3 y.o. The older rides everywhere too; the wee one is on the bike with me.

    I look forward to reading your blogs!

    Reply
    • 06/1/2009

      Thanks Liz! I love hearing/reading about others trading car for bike. And nice to have you have 3 yr. old for company/passenger! 🙂

      Reply
  3. 08/10/2009

    Excellent site! I love the “shebicycles Leaderboard”…. the 2 dogs, 1 rabbit, 5 goats, the unknown number of turtles, and a few too many dumb ducks.” My in-laws have an organic farm in west-central Wisconsin. Chickens, guinea hens, sheep, cows…along with several cats, a dog and who-knows-what-else. All of them, including the family, co-exist happily save for the day the lone ram in the bunch got…aggressive. I swear I heard one of the sheep say “Would someone please tell Herman we’re not impressed. The whole intimidation thing is just tiresome.”

    …or something like that. 🙂

    Reply
  4. 10/6/2009
    Mark Sansait

    Thanks for creating this blog. Xtracycle posted a link to your site from Facebook. My family are not entirely car free yet but I enjoy not having to make car payments, insurance, etc. I added an electric assist on my Xtracycle to make bike trips with my son a little easier when taking him to school or running errands. I also bought a motor scooter instead of a second car for days that I need to get to work quicker. We live north of San Diego which makes it possible to ride two wheels all year round.

    Reply
    • 10/7/2009

      Thank you! It sounds like your plan of action is great. It always encourages me to find others who are finding ways to incorporate alternate and sustainable forms of transportation into their daily routines; bikes alone, bikes plus public transportation, bikes plus scooters – it all works. There are so many combinations of modes of travel that are great alternatives to multiple cars. I know you live in a great place to ride – I have a cousin in SanDiego. Lucky you!!

      Happy riding – appreciate hearing from you!

      Reply
  5. 12/16/2009

    Great site…loved the oxfam /the helmet- need time to read more….felt familiar- I started biking 4 years ago to most things. live in four season climate and a city not at all like amsterdam so there are struggles but I love it and it has been a big part of change for me. So I’ll come back and read here often, me thinks. THanks for taking the time and reaching out!

    Reply
    • 12/16/2009

      And thanks for reading and your kind comments – always love the company of others attempting the same things by bike. Pedal on! 😀

      Reply
  6. 04/13/2010
    michael sicurello

    NICE blog!

    I started riding a bike to “everywhere” 2 years ago… I live 2.5 miles from the nearest mass transit.

    In Tucson the riding is mostly urban with occasional open desert sprints through sand and cacti.

    The temps run from 28 to 108… so a weather check is always part of the routine.

    Our mass transit system makes it easy to cover 30+ miles in a day.. even when its 105.

    My car is covered in dust and the battery is usually dead.

    Its interesting to compare how central the car is in the life of the average person… with how empowering and just plain fun getting around on a bike is.

    Buddha is right!

    Reply
    • 04/17/2010

      Thank you so much for visiting … sounds like you have a great ride, although the temps sound pretty intense :-0 I loved what you said about cycling being both empowering and just plain fun … exactly! Happy riding!

      Reply
  7. 05/27/2010

    Excellent site! I love the “shebicycles Leaderboard”…. the 2 dogs, 1 rabbit, 5 goats, the unknown number of turtles, and a few too many dumb ducks.” My in-laws have an organic farm in west-central Wisconsin. Chickens, guinea hens, sheep, cows…along with several cats, a dog and who-knows-what-else. All of them, including the family, co-exist happily save for the day the lone ram in the bunch got…aggressive. I swear I heard one of the sheep say “Would someone please tell Herman we’re not impressed. The whole intimidation thing is just tiresome.”
    +1

    Reply
  8. 06/14/2010

    LOVE your blog. I am new here and have enjoyed reading.

    Reply
  9. 07/31/2010

    WOW…again! Ok, I will expand my previous YOU ROCK, to YOU GUYS ROCK! Really is a refreshing story of you and your family. Being surrounded and bombarded by so much negativity and “yuppyism” in my area, it sounds like you and your family have your priorities in a little better order and live a simpler kind of life?? HAPPILY MARRIED WITH 4 TEENAGE BOYS..that alone seems like a rarity these days.
    Love your biking challenge.
    Kudos and wish you and your family all the best!!
    PEACE. LOVE. HAPPINESS.

    Doug AKA Porkchop

    BTW…”a novice attempt with photography” seems a gross understatement!! Your work is amazing!!!!

    idea: wouldn’t be cool if we could start some sort of photo swap? I saw you liked Simons work and wanted a print. I would love one of yours hanging in my home. Maybe someone would like one of mine…hhmmm

    Reply
  10. 09/6/2010

    Lovely site! Adding to my blogroll for sure! Sounds like we have a lot in common. 🙂

    Reply
    • 09/7/2010

      Thank you so much … you have no idea how much I love EcoVelo, and your photo site as well. I have been stopped in my tracks so many times, in awe of your photos and your beautiful bikes. Most grateful to you for stopping by.

      Reply
  11. 10/25/2010

    Hi,
    Great blog site!

    Got to tell you, I traveled by your area many times(late ’80’s & early ’90’s) on my motorcycle, headed to Louisiana where my borther used to live. He now live over the mountains in Maggie Valley, N.C!. Increadible area!
    This gig is nealry 3 y.o. I had always been “into” bicycles, even worked in a bike shop in the early “80’s.

    Brave move on your part to ween off the car. We meet so many people here that use “Zipcar and own several bikes, commuter, road and perhaps a winter beater.
    So if your ever in the area please stop by and say hey. If any of the boys head to school up this way, send them by we’ll set them up right!

    Cheers!

    Reply
  12. 03/1/2012
    Alex L.

    Hi,

    I found your blog through Freshly Pressed (congrats!). I really like how you use your bike(s) in your photos as a symbolic “protagonist” for your adventures. Great idea and well done!

    -Alex

    Reply
  13. 03/1/2012
    denirmm

    I’m from Brazil and I also found your blog through WordPress Freshly Pressed.
    Haven’t enough time to read all of your posts, but I see lot of photos, amazing photos!! And Buddha quote makes a difference. 🙂
    Now I’m going to subscribe by email, for sure!
    Congrats!

    Denir

    Reply
  14. 03/1/2012

    Should I tell you that I love your blog because I never really learned to ride a bike!! I did for a short time but never again. I’m older than you are. I can’t swim either! I grew up in rural KY…
    Great photos..

    Reply
  15. 03/1/2012

    Thank you for sharing your bike adventures. I also gave up my car, but I don’t know that I would have done that so readily if I didn’t live in a downtown area. I’m looking forward to reading more!

    Reply
  16. 03/2/2012

    So glad to see this in Freshly Pressed and discover your blog. Apart from the great idea of documenting cycling journeys (instead of opting for the car) I love the sound of your ‘Funny Farm’! I am a cyclist too and live in London so have to dodge big buses, other crazy cyclists and pedestrians who never look out for cyclists! Grrr! The black and white photos in your gallery are beautiful! I look forward to reading more!

    Reply
  17. 03/2/2012

    love your site! I wish I could spend more time on bike! Weather here and my job prohibit my riding to weekends only. I have a Surly LHT- my only rideable bike, but it is pretty perfect for both trails and streets. I have a vintage Schwinn (is quite photogenic too), but it is pretty much an around-the-block bike. Nice lens work- I shoot Nikon but I love what Canon lenses do!

    Reply
  18. 03/2/2012

    What an inspiration! Thanks for creating a blog and sharing your experiences with us.

    Reply
  19. 03/2/2012

    You go girl! Kudos.

    Reply
  20. 03/2/2012
    ashleyrobinson

    I’m liking the look of your blog – I will definitely come back and read some more! I have a Surly too, the cross-check, and have been living mostly car free ever since I struck out on my own after high school (about 8 years ago now). Hopefully some of your knitting projects are lurking on the blog as well – I’ve just started to knit and really am excited about it. Looking forward to reading more about your bicycling adventures 🙂

    Reply
  21. 03/4/2012
    Julien

    Very beautiful site. I love bicycle, I loved your photography. Thanks! (I follow…)

    Reply
  22. 03/4/2012

    The funny farm that makes me smile. Sounds like your enjoying your life, your family, taking photos, riding bikes, and blogging. Happy Trails to you. :+)

    Reply
  23. 03/5/2012

    I adore your blog and what you have done – it is simply wonderful and very inspiring! I would love to do more on my bicycle, just waiting for the kids to grow up a little….:)

    Reply
  24. 03/5/2012

    Awesome challenge! I really admire you. I love bicycling and walking. that way you see more stuff. love your photographs too!

    Reply
  25. 03/15/2012
    Fresh from my desk...

    Hi~

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award http://freshfrommydesk.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/versatile-blogger-award/

    You are doing some awesome things in the world. Thanks for sharing

    Warmly,
    Laura

    Reply
  26. 04/22/2012

    Tu página es realmente estupenda. El tema es muy bueno, la bicicleta es una forma de vida y tu la vives a plenitud. Las fotografías son de mucha calidad estética y técnica, te felicito. Un placer leerte y ver tus imágenes.
    Desde Chile, Marcelo.

    Reply
  27. 04/26/2012

    love your bike photography–really great stuff.

    Reply
  28. 06/11/2012

    Congratulations on your blog and how you use your bike to get out there and take pictures! A great way to travel!

    Reply
  29. 06/21/2012

    Great site and some lovely pictures. I’d love to ride more and drive less, but with two small children and work taking my husband to places with no efficient public transport link, we needs the car.

    Reply
  30. 07/29/2012
    Blake A. Burge

    I really like your pictures! I am new to wordpress and just started my own blog. I am using the same theme and wondering how you are getting the comments to show up below the posts? Also, for someone new to biking, what would you recommend as a good entry level road bike?

    Reply
  31. 08/20/2012
    judy

    Really nice site, and it is *always* good to see fellow travelers 🙂 joining the car free/less life. (Personal note: car free since 1978 and counting.) Enjoy the journey

    Reply
  32. 11/19/2012

    I like the tag line for your blog. Very fitting. Keep on blogging and cycling! Happy journeys in life and learning.

    Reply
  33. 11/20/2012

    Hi there – I recently discovered your blog as I delve more deeply into the car-lite lifestyle. Looking forward to learning more through your experiences documented here. Thanks.

    Reply
  34. 12/30/2012

    Hi, I have nominated you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”, which you can read about here, and I hope you keep up the beautiful pics & posts about riding 🙂
    http://cupcaketravels.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/a-blog-award-thankyou/

    Reply
  35. 02/18/2013

    Very interesting site and great shots. I have just started to use the same theme as well however can’t figger out how to add photos to galleries or homepage. I followed the instructions but am just stupid and am doing something not right 🙂

    Reply

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