Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Men

The title for this post is in referance to my claim that 'I would try my very best to have a new post, every Monday of every week'. For those of you who like to track things, this was my first failure at that. I must apploigize for that, as life stepped in my face this week and spun me around. Work desided that I only needed one day this week. So other commitments fell to the wayside.

The post that I was working on for yesterday is still in the rough stage, and I need to work on it some more. So instead of posting a rough draft, I will post a version of something that I wrote shortly after putting the pdf together for the "Human Powered Electrical-Assisted Vardo" together. Which I still need to figure out how to post for all to see, yes it is on my to-do-list. At any rate please enjoy my stand-in posting:

The Testament Of Enjoyment For Recumbent Cycling

You will start to find excuses to go cycling, after that first recumbent ride. It is so much more fun and enjoyable, after all you are sitting upright but laying back like a recliner. Nothing really hurts ~ not even a little bit. There is no pressure on wrists, groin, neck or shoulders and your back is fully supported. The only actual pain is short lived, because a whole other set of body muscles are being trained. After that it's all good fun.

There really are no down sides to recunbent cycling. The advantages are more riding and wanting to ride even more, because it is so much fun. Now since you will be riding more, you will be getting more exercise. So that will aid in better health, with out going to a boring gym to work out at. You will end up quiting those expensive health clubs, that should save quite a few of your hard earned coins. You will loose the fats and firm up in the process. A recumbent ridden bicycle, tricycle or quadracycle can be a little slower, but the time spent will aid in loosing built up and pent up stress. Also being outside in the fresh air and pedaling will aid in oxygenating your blood, and in turn clense the body of impuritys while balancing the blood pressure. All in all it sounds like a win ~ win situation to me.

The view is an added bonus. For instead of looking at the front wheel, like you would on an up-wrong. You can see it all. Where you are going. What the weather might have in store for you. What is going on all around you. Even what may be comming at you on the road, as in what the other drivers on the road are doing in your favour or not. In short you will be able to watch nature, in all of it's glory or fury. While not listening to the roar of the engine, or the smelling of the fumes ... at least not from your vehicle.

Here is a short historical note;
In the 1890's cycling was all the rage.

The advantages of lowered pollution, also noise pollution and the lowering of our combined carbine footprint.
Should also help to counter some of mankind's added stress on the environment. So let's all park those gas and diesel guzzelers, at least for a day or two. Then maybe in time as more people discover these pleasures of cycling and the advantages involoved, our world might also be able to heal.

Now by putting an outer skin on your rig, you will end up with what is called a Velomobile. The look can be almost anything that you want. Most try to look like a small type of sports car. Some may go for something like a truck. Then you can get into the wild and wacky. On the plus side inclement weather is now more of an inconvenience.

So let's all go cycling ...

Monday, February 20, 2012


That earge to move, to see what is over the horizon or at least that next hill. Mobility. We all feel that earge and also have it with in us to be mobile. But why? What do you mean "Why, What?". What I am asking us to consider for a moment is, why does mankind as a whole seem to be a mobile society?

Personally I can't point to any one factor as to why. Nor can anyone else for that matter, with any kind of certainty. That said might I suggest that we look to our genes. Scientific theory has it that we evolved from a primitive type of people that were known as hunter/gatherers. No I am not slighting any one's religion or belief system, because it does not matter which faith that you are or which Holy Book that you believe in or follow. For when "Eden" was lost to all of mankind, then maybe that is where scientific theory can actually take up the story from. That at any rate is my belief, also I have heard others explain this in a similar fashion.

OK, maybe that whole idea is just off in it's totality, because the explanation may just be simple wanderlust. I will admit this if you will, that the real reason really may never truly be known for certain. As to why we are as mobile as we are, and that is not what this blog is here to try to define either. All that I am saying is that, we humans are a mobile people and mankind as a whole is for the most part a mobile society.

Let's put that to one side for know and go with this. Since mankind is a mobile society, why not build our personal transportation's to be more economical and environmentally friendly. While helping to keep everyone using them more fit and healthy. That is what this blog is more about. Also fit and healthy people tend to save more of their hard earned coins when it comes to health care, as it should cost less for the most part.

This may shock you, it doesn't really matter to me how anyone gets from point A to point B. However might I suggest that everyone stop spending 1,000's of your hard earned coins on gas and diesel guzzlers. After all there are far more efficient machines to use. That use pedals in a circular motion to transfer personal energy into forward motion.

Now it also doesn't matter to me the number of wheels under you. One wheel, unicycle. Two wheels, bicycle. Three wheels, tricycle. Four wheels, quadracycle. Also you can choose from two seating position styles ~ the up-wrong or the recumbent.

I say up-wrong because after traveling around for a while, you start to feel like you are being split from groin to brisket. Your back hurts and fatigue sets in. Yes, I did first learn how to ride a bike on an up-wrong. Also over the years I have owned and rode many more. However my eyes have recently been opened to a far more comfortable ride, that is called a recumbent. They are not a new idea by any means, dating from the early 1900's. The up-wrongs were easier to mass-produce, so the brain washing began. But the recumbents were so comfortable and so fun to ride, that they would not go quietly into the night.

Since every generation seems to have their free thinkers, tinkerers, experimenters and those who just seem to question the status quo. Recumbents have re-emerged into the light. They are a very comfortable ride, like you are sitting in a recliner. It has pedals instead of a footrest. Being laid back allows one's head to be up right. Your back does not hurt, nor does your arse feel like it is splitting. Your feet are forward, almost like walking. It feels so natural.

Now with three gears on the pedals and nine gears on the drive wheel(s), that gives a total of 27 gears to choose from for power and speed. So in effect 30mph with pedals is possible. Oh wait, that is the speed for most city streets. Another point against fossil fuel guzzlers.

I'll be working on my own recumbent tricycle in the near future, as am working on clearing up some personal obstacles. This blog is a place to point to along with other online forums like http://www.atomiczombie.com/ That show and aid in clearing out objectionable attitudes of other people in my life. Who like to demean my efforts and tell me that I am to old to be a free thinker and a dreamer. Sometimes parents and siblings can be such a dragging weight, since their dreams have died. Sometimes I wonder if they think that mine need to do so as well. Oops, personal life is showing itself.

In conclusion How we travel from point A to point B, is for the most point a personal choice. What we use and its price tag tends to determine how hard or long that we have to work to acquire it. Also how and where we live tends to have a say in our work. As well as the quality of our life. After trying to live the "American Dream" for most of the last 58 years, I am more than ready to leave the rat race to the rats. Then follow a quieter, cheaper and slower paced life style. Mobility. Still will I have, but at my chosen pace.

So from this soap box, Happy Trails Everyone ...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valintine Dreaming

World sweetheart day is 2/14 of every year. How did this holiday get started? Well, there are many theories. One popular theory holds that the candy companies are at fault. Another claims that the floral companies are at fault. Guilty by association are the greeting card companies. Don't forget another major player in this sting for our hard earned coins, the jewelry companies. Also all of those advertising monies being spent each and every year. The ring leader here may never be truely identified. But it is how we celebrate Valentine's Day today, that has more in common with an ancient pagan fertility ritual rite of spring.

The "festival of the heart" as a matter of fact can trace it's heritage, back all of the way to around the fourth century BC. As a fertility rite of spring for the coming year, both in the fields and in the home. Valintines' Day also has some dark, brouding and bloody historical events, to add to its' reputation and repertoire, Talk about a colorful resume. If you google "origins of valintines' day", some of the listings may astound and surprise you. I really do hope that I didn't just ruin somebodies Valintines' Day now.

However it seems that everyone holds a spark of excitement, or a feeling of longing, possibly even  an explosive emotional experience that they would like to share with another. Some claim that it is the view of tight (painted on type of tight) jeans. Others think it may be the view of those flurtie shorty short shorts. Some others seem to be attracted towards an expertly applied make-up job (war paint?). The exact catalyst for each of us it as different as we are from each other, but still the reaction is the same. The light headedness, the yearning, the wanting and the desire to hold another in this roller coaster ride called Love.

It can start with the lightest of touchings, feeling almost as though feathers may be caressing and tickling while teasing the senses. As goose bumps start to raise to the occasional brushing, tantalizing feeling. The heart seems to skip a beat rather irregularly while quivering seemingly uncontrollably in anticipation, and sounding a little like a drum solo at a Rolling Stones concert. But only you can hear it while your blood rushes, poundingly, pushing, pultsatingly in a firery fury forward through your veins. Your skin feels warm to the touch from the fire within, as you shiver with anticipation. Your fingers rise as if with a vigor  of their own, to tenderly, touchingly lovingly caress the other. But you seam to hesitate, almost pulling back, not wanting to hurt or abuse or cause the other to feel as though they were being cornered. Still that yearning presses forward, as you lean in, inching slowly ever so slowly (Did time just stop?) closer. Your lips start to quiver with that anticipated touch, as your mouth seams to go dry. You can't seam to think and speech is almost a garble. Breathing feels difficult, like an anvil is on your chest. The world around seams to fade from view. As hesitantly your lips form a pucker and lightly barely touching, gently, gingerly, gaspingly perform their first true kiss. Awww!

Then reality explodes, with the force of the Big Bang Theory, as that first kiss becomes more powerful and forceful. With the feeling that you just don't ever want to let it go. Or to loose that contact high, personal touch, eternal embrace, unbelievable feeling, an emotional explosion that leaves you gasping for air. While you realize that your emotional rapture, just erupted into full view of everyone and also that you just don't care. For in that first kiss, childhood is no more than a lost moment of time. For now you have a true long view of your future, instantly laid out in your minds eye. As you dream and lustfully imagine future possibilities, all in an instant. Also that you just can't wait to show off your new creation, that first bicycle, tricycle or quadracycle that you just finished building.

What??? Oh, I see, you thought that I was discribing an emotional contact with another person. I am sorry about that, but has  anyone ever watched as guys go shopping for a new car or truck? It is almost sensual, with the passion involved. In fact I would be willing to bet that it might even be sinful, from a religious point of view. So why not while out of necessity, as we all down size to more economical forms of personal transportation, pass that emotion on to our new set of wheels. Yes I realize that some of my above paragraphs might be considered a little bit racy. But in doing so maybe I was able to draw some people into my new found passion, of trying to help my fellow mankind. As they stumble through a new to them transitional period of their lives. What can I say, other than love is in the air. So why not have a little fun with it?

At any rate Happy Valintines' Day everyone, enjoy and share it with the one that you love...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why Do We Try ...

Might just as well as say, why do we get out of bed in the morning? Oh, let's see ... to avoid bed sores? Maybe it is to get some chores done? How about the taming of that wild hunger of the bellie? To enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something? Maybe it is far more simple, like needing to drain the bladder or the bowels or both? Maybe it is a ravenous craving that is calling ~ caffeine, or tar and nicotine? I don't know, why do you try? Any and/or all of the above? Or does something else inspire and drive you forward? Please feel free to chime in.

Personally I drifted aimlessly after graduation from high school in 1973. Nothing really inspired or caught my eye as being something that I really wanted to do in or with my life. Being rather uninspired, the feeling of accomplishment has eluded me for most of my life. I got by, and did what I had to do to survive another day, week, month, year ...

I grew up on a dairy farm, while doing the mandatory kindergarden through the 12th grade of school. So yes I started working at a very tender age, childhood was questionable at best. Neither my younger brother nor I wanted any part of the family farm, so in the fall of the year that I graduated, the family farmstead went on the market. After that I drifted from place to place, state to state, job to job. Through the college of hard knocks, for the last ... let's see ... 39 years now. I did find a little passion in my ability to cook. So the restaurant industry became the interment with which to pay for my way through life.

In all of these 39 years, for one reason or another, I ended up basically living on the street, about 4 times. I admit this not for any one's sympathy, nor guilt on my part, but to illustrate a point ~ I know how to, and ways to survive when am down on my luck. I never begged on a street corner. But if some one wanted to give me a helping hand, I never refused them. How ever I made certain to run away from all of the "slave trade" of governmental "hand outs" and "programs designed to help". Because they are designed to only help one entity, big government. So with more slaves to house and feed as cheaply as possible, while stealing more and more from the tax payers. OOPS! I am sorry, but it seems that politics is drifting into the conversation again.

Now where was I? Oh yes, opportunity has finally come knocking. It also has brought along passion and the promise of the feeling for accomplishment. Or at least something to work at, that is bigger than myself at last. The ways to go about this are many, and all are clouded in the misty fog of uncertainty. But self is pushing forward to try to fill a long empty void, the need to feel passionately about something. This blog is part of that push. Along with some friends who say that "I have a way with words". To them I say thank you as I struggle onward.

OK, now I know that everyone is wondering, "What is it?" That has gotten me hooked into starting something in my 58th year of life. Well to say the least, it is to try to help my fellow mankind if I can. Maybe not everyone, but more along the lines of those who are down on their luck. Or those who see the end of a lifestyle coming at them, for what ever reason. Or those who have been pushed out of society and thrown to the wolves or to the street corner as it were. Yes, the newly down on their luck.

Thanks in a large part to http://www.atomiczombie.com/ a website that I stumbled across a couple of years ago. They offer plans on building bikes, trikes and quadracycles, from hacking up unwanted bicycles for parts, then rebuilding those parts into some things that are different, eye catching, exciting, unique and comfortable to ride. There is also a forum with the site, that has an active brother/sisterhood from around the world. Who will offer advice and aid when they can, however they can.

With the Atomic Zombie website, their forum and gallery of other people's builds, and with some imagination thrown into the mix, I should be able to help quite a few newly-down-on-their-luck people. Maybe some cheap pedal powered transportation is all that they would need. Or maybe something like, oh let's see ... a micro mini super small camper. The kind that to change your mind in, you would have to go outside to do when you are living out of one of them. Then maybe, just maybe they can learn to survive and restart their lives again.

What do I mean by a micro mini super small camper? Well ... I'm not quite sure, it just sounded like a good title and description of them. OK, all joking aside let's take a look at the modern RV industry. Camp trailers of all shapes and sizes and options, bus campers from moderate to luxurious, class-C campers and van campers, all chugging and guzzling along on gas and diesel fuel, that is getting more expensive almost every day. Why??? Or better yet, How??? How can that be called camping? Those are just a type of mobile housing, some are even complete with the latest gadgetry as well. Just because you can do a Thing, should or must you do the Thing?

Why not alter the Thing, to a small and environmentally friendly Thing? Being pedal powered mainly, with an electrical assist by using rechargeable batteries. Or if petrol powered, there are many small engines 50cc and smaller on the market. That way many of your hard earned coins, could be saved for other necessities ~ like maybe food. Also living small and close to the land, why not try mobile gardening in flower pots? After all vegetables do flower. Maybe running a snare line in the woods, to garner some fresh wild(ish) meat? Surviving off of the land, can help those who know how to do it.

Let me try to sum this all up ... You see that building on a smaller scale, and with out massive engines to feed and maintain. Then surviving is a whole lot easier. Transportation that you build yourself, or working with a builder on, can teach new skills. Also a less hectic way of life can be learned. Do you want a small camper pulled by a bicycle, tricycle or a quadracycle? Maybe it would be better for you if they were combined into one unit. The possibilities really are endless, just remember to think small and compact, for when you look in the mirror you are looking at the perfect engine ~ just maybe a little rusty ... maybe. Downsizing to the barest of essentials is the necessity for surviving hard economical times.

Be they personal or on a larger scale ...