Aug 7, 2012 2
Jan 18, 2011 2
How many people out there are keeping it real, really? How often do you meet people who don’t use computers, have no mobile phone, can carry their possessions, and travel great distances on a bicycle? Mike Joe not only embodies these qualities, but he also spends his time helping out his friends with their farming, homestead, and hosteling projects, amongst other things.
In 2009 I was cycling with a friend on the Erie Canal Bike Path when I saw a bike tourer on the trail. Having been a cycle tourer myself, I motioned to him when we all were at a road-crossing, to speak to him about his journey. Mike-Joe Jones had been cycling from the deep south that Spring, and was en route to the Deer Isle Hostel in Deer Isle, Maine, to help his friend Dennis to finish construction and run the place. Mike-Joe was smiling widely, riding with a simple bike, the metal bastkets affixed to the rear rack were full – their contents thrown in casually. His leather saddle was broken in and supple like the glove of an old ball-player. He’d clearly been riding for a very long while. Mike-Joe had been spending nearly no money on this journey, yet he would only accept a single apple from me. He had been finding much sustenance through wildly picked salads that he foraged along the trails, in addition to some kind gifts from the people he met along the way.
My encounter with Mike-Joe was short but it stayed with me for quite some time, and was for me the specific inspiration to take another bike tour.
This year I lived in Maine as a garden apprentice. Friends went to Deer Isle and Mike-Joe of course was in my thoughts. At the end of the apprenticeship I participated in the MOFGA Common Ground Country Fair. On my first day, right next to the entrance, I saw Dennis (pictured above in the rickshaw) along with his partner (also in the rickshaw). I introduced myself and told him about how I had met Mike-Joe, and he proceeded to smile and tell me that Mike-Joe was at the fair for the weekend, too. Amazing! The next day I was walking through the fairgrounds and sure enough I caught sight of the man. I am smiling now, just thinking about it. We spoke for a few minutes, and I gave him an invitation to come to Newforest for pizza cooked in our cob oven. Our conversation and getting to sit with him by the fire that evening have continued to stay with me.
I sometimes meet people who tell me that they couldn’t do what I do, or say they wish they had the ability to do what I do. They mean this, I assume, in the sense that they do not want to give up the comforts of their home and car, or something of this nature – I don’t mean to imply that I am superman or can actually do things that other people can not. For the most part, my actions and theirs are separated by will and determination, and not by physical or even monetary issues. Anyhow, Mike-Joe is one of the people who I meet and look upon with wonder and awe and inspiration.
Mike-Joe, thank you for being who you are and for doing what you do.
Sep 12, 2010 1
BTU / passenger-mile comparisons.
Car – 3512
Plane – 3261
Train – 2935 (Amtrak)
Walking – 495
Bike – 180
The biking statistic produces the equivalent of 630 miles per gallon.
These are all gross estimates. Different specific vehicles have different statistics depending on how many passengers are riding in them, and on their specific models. However, you can still get a good feel for what’s happening, here.
Statistics acquired from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_efficiency_in_transportation
How do you move?
Jul 25, 2010 6
I deliver our vegetables to Ralph’s Cafe by bicycle.
Mike and I have a casual conversation, as we make the exchanges.
Vegetable grower -> Restauranteur. Nobody in the middle. And with no fossil fuels. It’s so simple!
Mar 25, 2010 1
I ride my bike. Many of you might do the same, sometimes. However, I have also chosen to ride my bike instead of drive a car, for my mode of transportation.
The bicycle is a wonderful tool. It gets me where I need to go in a timely fashion. It gives me the opportunity to breathe in fresh air and move along a road or path without glass around me – I can really feel the world this way. The bicycle has wheels which do a lot of work for me, allowing me to carry my groceries, packages, and even a friend, in a pinch. It is also completely free to operate, does not pollute the environment while being used, and is very inexpensive. Furthermore, it brings me health, the more I use it.
Each day, I strap to the rack of the bike, a pannier, in which I carry some necessities, and some other handy things, and so I thought I’d show you what these are. Feel free to click the picture to see more detail.
[From left to right - Bicycle and pannier above]
- Windproof and waterproof jacket (worn on body)
- Tupperware container for lunch I pack, or for leftovers at a friends house
- Steel water bottle.
- Mobile phone charger
- Headlight (worn)
- Whistle (not worn – this is like a bike bell, but only more effective)
- Tire pump
- Plastic toolbag with tire levers, patch kit, and bicycle multi-tool
- Cloth napkin – I use this and the following few items so I don’t have to waste disposable ones, and they work better!
- Titanium spork
- Waterproof gloves
- Kit with toothbrush, gum massager, tongue scraper, floss and my retainers =]
- Panasonic lx3 digital camera
- 2 moleskine notebooks, pen, pencil
- Plastic bag with matches, swiss army tool, prophylactics, 1GB memory stick, vaseline, 2 sets of earplugs
- Plastic bag with eyeglass cleaning kit
For a while now I have not been living in one place, and so having all of these in my bag gives me a lot of freedom to spend the night wherever it feels right. For the record, these items take up very little space in the pannier and still give me enough room for plenty of groceries, camera gear, a laptop with a DJ soundcard, or whatever it is that I will need.
Don’t think you can’t do it by bike – you can. If this pannier fills up, there is always the other side with another empty pannier and of course I always have bungee cords on the rack, too, for even more things to haul.
Nov 30, 2009 1
I have made a choice to not use the automobile as my main mode of transportation. While I might accept rides from people in their cars, I donated mine nearly two years ago, and have been using a bicycle as my main means of getting around. It has been a wonderful experience.
Numerous future posts will be focused on the bicycle, and it’s tremendous utility, ease of use, and the benefits it has for individuals and for society as a whole.
Also, look forward to some photos showing y’all how I use the bicycle to be a practical tool for getting around, shopping for food, meeting friends, etc.