Saturday, July 7, 2018

Scott Pruitt is out!

My heart leapt a little as I read the news.

No, I don't think the world is an instantly better place, but once in a while it's nice to see the obviously corrupt being deposed by their own actions.

But it wasn't his blatant attacks on the health of our planet and all of those who live here that brought him down. It was his lifestyle of graft and deception that did it.

Actually, the president lauded the fine work he's done in his short time in office. Ugh!

So, no, I don't think we'll see any EPA improvement.  I just think the next guy will be a little smarter and show a little more discretion.

But it's still nice to see a really bad guy take himself down.

May we live in a healthier world we work together to create.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I rode the bike today...

(Shots from several commutes over the last few weeks)

It was a beautiful morning! Very little traffic. A cool (but light) breeze. The bike was working well. My knees were working well. I rode a few miles on Sunday. I rode to work on Monday. I hope to ride tomorrow.

My wife and I saw an OmniMax movie last night - part of the BBC Blue Planet series. And it had astounding footage of all kinds of creatures. And it offered up some optimism for the future; however, like all modern nature documentaries, the ever-present villain was man-made environmental destruction.

They're too small to see here, but there's a cow bird,
a snowy egret, and a green heron in this one.

And that makes the bike rides even better. Every time a person chooses to travel by bike (in place of a single-occupant car) we all breathe a little better. I know it's very simplistic, but my greatest hope in all of this is to have thousands of people making incrementally better choices about petroleum and plastics and pollution. I know that would have a massively greater impact than just this one dork joyfully riding a bike as often as possible.

The view over the handlebars this morning
May you joyfully make a positive impact!

Monday, June 11, 2018

That Cargo Bike Thing (With pics and questions)

[Dual-posted on Mesquite Hugger and 2Wheels Maybe]

Cargo bike obsession - normally, I figure it's just me being an eco-dork. But lately it seems so much bigger than that.

Cargo bikes siren sing to me for a lot of practical and impractical reasons.

The biggest three are
  1. I want to do my best to go car-free/petroleum free
  2. I want to spread the word (and a cargo bike would invite a lot of questions!)
  3. I want to live healthier - both physically and financially.
and a cargo bike should help with all three.

Number 3 with a bullet! (by MH standards)

Recently, though, a lot of you have been stopping by to check out cargo bike posts. Back in October, I wrote a post about a pretty simple way to build your own cargo bike. Most posts around here have an initial response of twenty to thirty clicks and then quickly die down to a click or two per week or month. And then they fizzle out. But not this one!

A long john / bakfeits / box bike from DIYBiking
Nope, that's not the case with this DIY cargo bike post. It's been visited more than 100 times in the last month. For a low-rent blog like this one, that's pretty darned impressive!

A midtail from Benno Bikes

So, what's the deal? Why do you keep looking at cargo bike posts? What's the attraction? No, really - what is it? I would really like to know. And it seems the same for y'all.

A trio of lovely Yuba longtails

So, (Yes, I know - I'm a glutton for punishment.) I put together a little survey so maybe we can a better idea of where this thing is going.

A Schwinn trike from this week's Craigslist
(Not a lot of cargo bike action here in Lubbock)

It's just a few questions on a Google Form. It's nothing personal - no names or emails. I'll leave it open for about 6 moths with a monthly update (on the 2Wheels Maybe blog).

A reverse trike from Urban Tribe (Straight outta Denton, TX)
A cycle truck by Virtue Cycle

The Tern (+Xtracycle) Cargo Node folding cargo bike

Turn-key and DIY cargo bikes from Xtracycle
So here it is. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on bikes that haul!

As always, thank you for reading (and for filling out the survey)! May your bike haul you to a better life!
PS. Would you like to have your cargo bike stories or photos featured on 2WheelsMaybe? If so, please shoot us an email through the contact box on either blog.

Friday, May 25, 2018

More Mansfield, Texas Pics - Linear Park and Nature Park

We'll Start with the Walnut Creek Linear Park:

Click here for a little birdsong 

Lots of great bridges

Loads of cool fungi

Next up is the Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park

A trail to a beautiful place

Click below to see this hawk flying away with breakfast

Hey, it's Mesquite Hugger - I had to include it!


If you find yourself in Mansfield, they have some great places to get away without even leaving town. May you find yourself surrounded with natural beauty!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Simpleton Seeking Less - Sort of...

My office mate has been going home at lunchtime lately and watching Hoarders. Then she starts purging -  clearing out closets and corners and boxes that were never unpacked. It's become a bit of a hobby for her, and, while I have no desire to watch Hoarders, I understand the drive for less stuff.

It comes up once in a while around here – the idea (not the reality) of less stuff. I am owned by stuff more than I own stuff. And it’s a bit overwhelming. It may be because most of my stuff is partially broken, but I don’t completely believe that.

I grew up believing that a bigger house and a nicer car and more shiny stuff were natural pursuits. I’ve spent the last decade getting over that. But I grew up in a DIY family which means that shiny stuff is supposed to start out as non-shiny stuff and you are supposed to shine it up before you can enjoy it. And what I was slow to learn is that it's the shining the stuff up that makes it worthwhile - having shiny stuff is not nearly so satisfying. My biggest project regret is that I focused on the acquiring rather than the building. When you get down to it, a lot of this blog is about seeking new projects in times when I'm not working projects

So, in wealthier times I found myself bringing lots of projects home. LOTS of projects. And in the meantime, life has gotten busier. And I'm finding the stuff less and less important compared to the people and the responsibilities.

So, there has been a little progress in the purge:
a few scooters have left
the Mercedes wagon (intended to run on veggie oil)
the old Econoline (intended to be electric and solar powered)
the electric pickup project rolled away (on someone else's trailer)
the garden is much smaller this year
the worn out old Dodge left and was replaced with a used but nicer hybrid (I now drive in luxury!)

There're still things needing to leave:
my high school hotrod
the electric boxster
the Voloci electric cycle
a lot of bicycles
lots of stuff in boxes
Vespa parts

And there are projects that I still hope to finish/upgrade
more power/speed for the electric Vespa (28mph is just rough in Lubbock traffic)
the electric pigeon
solar charger in the garage
the electric minibike (which never quite worked)
the electric klunker (which is so close!) 
the electric Motobecane (which is so close!)
a functional folding bike for travel
a less messy backyard for family relaxation
better rain capture/utilization

and there are more projects that I want to pursue
solar/battery building (darn you, Micah Toll!)
learning how to utilize a Raspberry Pi / Arduino
learn to sit quietly without yearning for a phone/tv/music/distraction

But mostly these days, I want to spend time with my wife, the family, the dogs, and the handful of friends that I'm blessed with. I want to spend more time in study, in worship, and in being thankful. And I want to find ways to encourage environmental stewardship. I'll let you know if I get any of it sorted out.

Maybe I need to find a show about project hoarders.

May you get it all figured out and have a wonderful day/year/life!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Brief Walk in Mansfield, TX

On a work trip this week, I snuck out of the hotel for a quick walk. Here are some photos:

A huggable mesquite!

 May you sneak away often!