“It would be naive to think that the problems plaguing mankind today can be solved with means and methods which were applied or seemed to work in the past.” – Mikhail Gorbachev
An Event Calendar has been created as promised and placed on its own page. Just click on the”Event Calendar” tab at the top of the page, or the “Blogroll” link in the right hand side-bar.
The next event will be a cycling trip from the Catamount Travel Center (4776 Little Savannah Road- 828.293.0700 – Across from Western Carolina University) in Cullowhee, NC to the Wal-Mart Super Center in Sylva, NC. The trip will begin between 1:00 and 1:30pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012, weather permitting. Everyone interested in cycling and/or our cause is invited to attend, however please contact us by email [OldSchoolCycling at Yahoo dot Com] not later than 3:00pm EST on Saturday, January 21, 2012 to verify the start-time and to let us know you’re coming so we don’t leave without you if you plan to participate in this ride. The route, not counting any possible side trips, is a little over 4 miles.
In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.
The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building.
They walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind.
They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house, not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana.
In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.
When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.
They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But they didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.
They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?
Well, it’s another “Zero Day“, but with a twist. lol Today there was no firewood cutting, gathering, or stacking. I’m daydreaming and thinking about places to ride my bike.
My mind is full of visions of tree-lined avenues and waterside pathways. Every now and then a scene of cruising down some primary roadway, such as US-441, US-1, or even US-66 (Route 66) sneaks in. I know these are not the quiet routes I am so fond of, but their history has a significant draw to me.
I love traveling to areas that are almost lost in time because of the Interstate system, roads that once were the life-blood of this nation, only to be replaced by an Interstate, then forgotten by the average person.
There are still many of the old gas stations, cafes, and general-stores around, most of which have either been converted into some form of housing, community center, or professional offices.
These are interesting, but the most intriguing are the rare examples that have somehow managed to fight off the effects of time and still look much like they did during their heyday, often complete with antique gas pumps or overhead sign facades, and those that have been “discovered” by a preservation group which restored them to their original appearance.
In their time they were truly architectural works of art. Just like cars, they don’t make them like that anymore. Sure, they were energy wasting hogs with little or no insulation, old creaky wooden floors, no air conditioning, and screen doors which slammed shut with a loud “smack”, but they had charm. A person felt wanted and appreciated when there. The proprietors gave real customer service, and when they asked you to come back they meant it. It wasn’t just something the corporate office told them to say. The customer was treated like a friend, and in many cases they were friends, relatives, or neighbors.
Whenever I pass by, especially when I have time to stop and admire one of these places, I almost feel like I stepped out of a time machine. Nostalgia floods my body and soul. It’s almost like I’m a kid again, at least until reality (or somebody’s car horn) brings me back to my senses.
This is going to be one of the things I’ll truly enjoy about cruising around on my bike… the ease of stopping to admire representations of a by-gone era where friendliness was in abundance, and honesty was common place.
Places like these are portals back to the carefree days of my youth when worry was just something you overheard the adults talking about and nothing was out of reach or impossible to achieve because… well, just because. 🙂
If you would like to see the full-size version of the above photos, or to view a few more photos like these, please visit my Old School Cycling Facebook page .
Note: The thoughts and activities discussed in this post occurred on November 25, 2011.
It’s “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S.A. In hiker terms I took a “Zero Day” today. In other words I had a day with no specific goals nor any commitments to fulfill. A day just for myself meant only for kicking back, relaxing, and maybe some enjoyable exercise. It felt good to not have to rush. As I write this I’m listening to music by Rachmaninov, a Russian composer, conductor, and pianist who lived from 1873 to 1943. While I enjoy most genres of music, classical piano, especially when it’s accompanied by a philharmonic orchestra, is the most relaxing and inspiring. In my opinion, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s music ranks very near the top of the list.
A few minutes were taken to cut and split some firewood, not with a hydraulic splitter but with a splitting maul (a hand-held log splitter that looks a little like a single-bit axe on steroids) and the occasional use of a wedge. The exercise obtained by doing it this way is extremely beneficial plus it gives me sort of an old west feel. Some would call this work, but to me it’s relaxing and another reason to be outside. I cut my own wood from dead trees on my property, never live ones unless they’re endangering the house I’m caretaker of or power lines. For this I use a chain saw. Yes, it’s somewhat ironic I split wood by hand yet use a chain saw to get the wood into usable portions instead of my antique double-bit axe. I will occasionally use the axe when the notion strikes me, or I find my chainsaw is without fuel or chain lubricant, however the chainsaw is my tool of choice. I don’t have an explanation as to why I do one thing the “old-school” way and another thing the more modern way. I just do. Guess that’s just a part of what makes me… me! 😉
Note: The thoughts and activities discussed in this post occurred in July, 2011
A while back I watched a repeat of Texas Country Reporter on RFD TV. This episode included an interesting segment titled “Tour de Hood” where they featured a cycling group in Houston, TX that is open to anyone and everyone who wishes to spend a weekend morning cycling. They cycle ride around a different neighborhood each week for exercise and companionship. Simple, huh? On the surface it is, but the purpose, mission, and drive for this featured activity goes much deeper.
This is an unselfish endeavor. They operate only from donations. When donations are slow in arriving activities are paid for out of the organizers own pocket(s). What makes this even more amazing is that those participating do not have to bring anything, or do anything special, other than show up! Tour de Hood supplies everything to those who need this generous helping hand. No bike? No problem, it’s supplied, as is the water, food (fruit for health), and bicycle helmets. They even organize group camping trips with all necessary items, other than clothing, supplied if necessary. The camping trips take riders to various spots in Texas and range from one to three nights. Both of these activities are also planned for readers of this blog. Hopefully we will eventually be able to supply some, if not all, of the necessary items to those who would otherwise be unable to participate.
Originally the organizer of Tour de Hood, Dr. Veon McReynolds, wanted to promote healthy living. His premise was that a person doesn’t have to constantly visit a gym, but can instead make healthy living choices such as taking a weekly bike ride. This weekly activity has gradually evolved into something people from all backgrounds, ages, races, and family units can do together for a leisurely historical and beautiful ride around the neighborhoods, or “hoods” of Houston. Dr. McReynolds feels that these things are missed by most of us in this fast-paced world, much like the personal feelings I described in my Rediscovery post. Taking a bicycle ride, even a short one, can put us back in touch with these things while improving our health and over all outlook on life so why aren’t more people doing this?
If you would like to view the episode referred to above you may do so on YouTube by going to – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKCcYQQQMTo .
The information contained in this televised report really touched me. I had been searching for a way to do something for cancer victims, more specifically prostate cancer survivors such as myself, but couldn’t come up with any viable ideas. This episode provided me with the idea, and pathway, I had been searching for… promote awareness of this disease and help its victims by engaging in a healthy activity, cycling. [See Purpose] Cycling is an activity that serves to re-build the strength and stamina lost during the fight of, and recovery from, a dreaded disease while giving participants an opportunity to get their minds off fears and concerns by enjoying the sights and sounds always around them. This idea, Old School Cycling, thanks to Dr. McReynolds and Texas Country Reporter, was born! 😀 Please take a minute to visit their respective sites and either “like”, tweet, or email them a note of thanks.
Hello, and welcome to my blog. The theme here is “old school” or “shoestring budget” cycling, with a goal. This is a first for me. I’ve visited other blogs from time to time but never hosted one. Together we will trace my journey from re-discovering a much-loved activity (bicycle riding… or “cycling” as it’s called now) from more than 15 years ago (and almost 1,000 miles away from where I now live), through the realization that this activity could lead to what I feel is a much-needed service for millions of Americans, then hopefully on to the implementation of this idea/service. From that point who knows? Hope we find out together! 😉
There are really only three rules here: 1) This blog is intended for all ages so when commenting keep it G rated. 2) Stay on topic. 3) No spam or advertising. If you follow these rules you’re welcome to comment as often, or as sporadic, as you wish. If you don’t follow these two rules your comments and/or link will be deleted.
This initial post to my blog will be followed as soon as possible by an About Me page. [Now Posted] My schedule is currently rather full, or I should say haphazardly full… some days I barely have time to eat, others start out at a frenzied pace then fizzle to near-boredom. You’ll see what I mean as we go along and delve into my lifestyle and activities. For now I will be adding posts/pages as free-time permits, making a concerted effort to do so at every opportunity, so please check back often for additions. I’m not sure what all to put into the About Me page other than basic information about myself, so if anyone has a suggestion as to what should, or should not, be posted please feel free to let me know. Like I said above, this “thing” is a first for me. lol
After I post the About Me page I plan to explore more about the reasons behind starting this blog on a page to be titled “Purpose”. [Now Also Posted] I believe you’ll find this a bit more interesting than the About Me page so please check back soon.
Out of necessity, since I started this blog in August, 2011 and can’t back-date/start the entries in the late winter/early spring of this year when my journey actually began, the first few blog entries other than the “About Me” will be sort of retro entries. I’ll discuss the thought processes which occurred then as if they’re happening now. It will be obvious when I catch up to the current time.
In conclusion, as blogging is something I currently know little about, I’m open to suggestions regarding the addition of widgets, links, photos, etc to this blog. When suggesting these things please be specific, and if possible include some information about the item(s) you’re suggesting, such as how they’re implemented, what they do, and/or why you feel your suggestion would be a good addition here. Also, if you like what you read here, please let me and your fellow readers know by “liking” this blog below, and sharing it with your friends.
A Facebook page has been set up for this blog which contains photos, most of which are full-size whenever possible, and in the future a bit more information than is found here. Please visit that page when you have a chance. I’ve noticed recently (Winter 2011) that for some reason Facebook keep changing my page to “unpublished” periodically. Each time I find this I correct the problem by re-publishing it and notifying Facebook about the problem. Hopefully they will resolve the issue soon. If you try to visit the page and it’s not available please drop me a note and complain to Facebook about the problem, then check it again in a day or two.
Thanks for the time you took to read this. I hope to “see” you here again soon as you follow my adventures in the world of cycling!