Thursday, February 15, 2024

10 Things I do to distract myself on long bike trips


Bootleg Bikepacking Diary-Top 10 things I do to distract myself on a long bike ride

I am usually in a state of situational awareness, almost “trace like state of being” while riding my bike long distance, but sometimes I need distractions so I don’t fall asleep on boring stretches. 

Here are my top 10

  • Sing songs

I think singing songs is what I primarily do when I’m on bike tours, even when I’m commuting. It tends to free up the mind and allows you to be expressive as you’re riding your bicycle. And it’s especially fun when you’re in remote places you can just sing to the top of your lungs and just let it rip. Some of my favorite artist and songs are Hang me Oh, Hang Me by Dave van Ronk, and some of his other songs, Bob Dylan, fare thee well, many songs from the Eagles, but a particular favorite is dueling daltons, Neil Young – old man, James Taylor, Imagine-John Lennon, Pink Floyd. So many more.

  • Tell stories

I love telling stories and creating them sometimes I’ll just do it based on a subject I see, maybe an animal on the side of the road, maybe a bird in flight may be a story I’ve been working on. And I always love starting off like this, “far away, long ago,  there was a…“ I particularly like to anthropomorphize a story… As I’m a big proponent of nature and see everything is being alive, rather than inert because we’re all created all the same things in the universe. I know it’s deep, but that’s me.

  • Listen to something

I don’t listen to anything while I’m traveling. I go with my own internal dialogue. Also, especially if I’m in the wilderness areas I don’t want to be distracted and I want to give all my time to whatever nature I’m seeing and hearing and feeling and tasting and touching. But that being said, I know a lot of people who listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and music. And there have been instances where, like last year I was on a trip and I was somewhere on the transamerica trail just getting ready to come out of Illinois, and I camped in the middle of a thunderstorm at 11 o’clock at night by a river the Ohio river, put my tent up in a torrential downpour, completely soaked and woke up in the morning to find that there was a shelter only 50 yards away, but I couldn’t see it at night, and that morning I rode out of the wilderness area I was in, and there was a long climb, and I wanted to listen to Creedence Clearwater revival, “have you ever seen the rain…”

  • Workout mathematical problems

I’ve never been good at math. Probably because I’m just not that interested in it. I understand the basics of addition and subtraction, multiplication and division but you start going to algebra and sister. I’m running out the door. That being said, there are times when I’ve used up my brain cells in other categories that I want to sharpen my mind a little bit and distract myself and I will start doing math, but basic math.

  • Contemplating meaning of life

Now we’re talking. Philosophy, my favorite subject. As a philosopher, I'm constantly thinking about all things regarding philosophy: the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. And lately I’ve been focused on natural philosophy, which is really about natural science, especially physical science, and also natural biological systems and how everything’s related. I could go on for days about this, and most likely will another time. Suggest Alan Watts if you want practical, life affirming, well thought out philosophical meditations. I think about Time…a lot.

  • Play a game

Games are always fun. I remember when I was a little boy we would drive from Kansas City Missouri and my parents station wagon with my sisters and we were play games along the road or sing songs…”found a peanut, found a peanut”… but I remember the games one of the favorite games was look for a certain kind of car or, an inanimate object, and that was always fun. On my bike trips, I do the same thing looking for something unique, counting something, doing word games in my mind, again, anything to distract myself from the effort.

  • Replay a movie, song, story, memory, and your minds eye

So there’s actually two parts here; one is simply reliving a movie or perhaps a story or a play or maybe a book read. But then one can also go into a deeper realm of the mind, and perhaps go into the past, and think about past experiences, and how they relate to one’s life now, and that’s where you start getting into more like the vision quest, and you start growing in philosophy and different things like that as well. The place one can go doing this though can be positive but also negative and scary as well.

  • Do yoga exercises while you’re riding- cat cow, breathe, seated twist, calf stretch, lions breath

I learned a long time ago as a yoga instructor, that Yoga is not meant for just sitting in a room on a mat, you can do yoga from almost anywhere, E.G.shower, work, the bathroom, in the kitchen, as well as from a top a bicycle, just a few modifications, kind of a hybrid form of chair yoga, per se, anything to loosen up the body and get oxygen flowing… At the very least focus on your breathing.

  • Listen to somebody else’s story

I mostly travel solo, but when I do have a traveling companion, I like hearing their stories, on one of my last trips on the great divide mountain bike route between Polebridge, Montana, and Eureka, Montana. I was regaled by a friend of mine who I was traveling with for a few days, Kyle T. Randall, who is now an artist out of Portland, Maine, shared stories of his experience playing Dungeons and Dragons, and I found it fascinating, and it made the time go by very quickly.

Well, thanks for reading my writing. Tell me some of the things that you do to distract yourself on a long bike ride or running errands or out for a few months?

Peace and love from the road Bill Poindexter

Thursday, February 1, 2024

3 AM when it all comes out

 Stream of consciousness at 3 AM  January 27, 2024

3 AM, again, I came home after having met with an old friend of mine. The weather’s been weird, cloudy high 30s lotta moisture in the air -tends to wrap itself around the body, it’s one of the reasons why I like ride my bike for transportation because I feel everything, and I got home and walked into the entrance of my apartment building and I saw the disconnection notice stuck in my door. Crap -I didn’t think they were gonna turn off the electricity until the spring. Power companies, I hate the fact we need them . It’s just another false reality. We have getting energy without consequences, when I go on long-distance expeditions invariably you, or I will go on roads that are parallel to railroads you see the trains passing loaded with coal or just crap we don’t need. It’s so funny that one of our false reality is is to get an electric car or electric bike we’re really making a difference and yet we’re not it’s just greenwashing it’s crap. These are things I think of at 3 AM, but these are things that we don’t talk about, there’s a lot of things in life we don’t talk about eg going to the bathroom, picking your nose, masturbation, Farting, lusting after some body else’s wife, or husband, but we all do it right? Do you know you do? Sometimes I think I’m mad, in the crazy sense of being mad, I live life backwards like a  native American Heyoke not in the sense of walking backwards, or riding a horse backwards no it’s just living life outside the ordinary bounds of what is considered proper etiquette, proper traditional living, you know what I’m talking about, there’s just things I never really understood and I guess I see things differently, well like for instance what I’m writing right now there’s not too many people that write like this. It’s probably probably making you a little bit uncomfortable, And I don’t care- do you know why -because it’s authentic, and you know you’re drawn in because it’s interesting I mean who wakes up at 3 o’clock and talks about masturbation, well, probably a lot of people but they just don’t talk about it. I’ve been on a journey for a while a mental journey to become a better writer and I’ve been studying writers and different ways to write everything from Hemingway, to Bukowski, Steinbeck, John Buchan, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky,   Kerouac, and a bunch of others that chances are, you’ve never read, and the only reason why read them or know of them is because I like listening to audio books from a website called Librivox, it’s a place where you can listen to volunteer recordings of books that are out of print most of them are from the early 1900s, and books that without that site, I don’t think I’ve ever would’ve known. It’s almost like going into a librarian instead of going to the card index just walking down the isles of books and looking for titles that seem interesting. One that comes to mind is Diary of a Dead Officer by Arthur Graham West, the story of a man who was a soldier in World War I and the story of maturing with war, and changing his views about life. For example, he stopped believing in God, he started smoking and drinking when he didn’t before, he also realize the absurdity of war, and the book is great because it’s also a biography, talks about him growing up and then going to war because that’s what you did doing your duty and all, and he was a writer and started really writing, pretty intense poetry and overtime that poetry evolved and that’s basically what the book is about is his poetry and descriptions of war in the trenches of World War One and one day he was coming out of a trench and a snipers bullet found him. I talk of war because these days war is loosely, threaded into the media, irresponsibly, and most of you don’t understand what war is and most of you have never even been in a war or have ever had to be in any kind of situation where you had to defend yourself physically -i’ve never been in war in a war, I went to military school from the time I was 14 to 17 and I heard a lot of stories from the military instructors about their experiences in war, I joined the Marine Corps during the first Gulf War but luckily, didn’t make it through Boot Camp primarily because I decided I couldn’t kill anybody and being in my mid-20s. I wasn’t the type of recruit that the Marines wanted I asked too many questions invariably “why“ not a question somebody wants you to ask when they want you to blindly go kill people. 

We all have journeys in our life. One of my journey started when I was a little boy, I come from a big family myself, six older sisters, and two parents, who, drank and smoke too much which caused an early death, were good people, and interesting. World War II Americans caught up in the false reality of the 50s, but that’s another story. 

When I was a little boy, I would wake up in the middle of the night and going to my parents sitting room where my dad was usually -would’ve been at like two or three in the morning, and he would be smoking cigarettes and reading or writing he told me later on in life that he liked that time because it was his time and it was quiet time, and I would ask him innocently as a seven year old boy to read to me, and he instructed me to go out to the bookcase and find a book that I wanted to read And I remember vividly the books that I chose were books of adventure, some non-fiction some fiction books like Little House on the Prairie series, Wizard of Oz series, stories of the great explorers well, mostly the explorers of the Americas, like Cortez. My dad was a good reader, with a great voice. I wish I had had a tape of it. It’s one of the reasons why I like the audiobooks from Librivox and if you find a person who is a good reader, it really makes you enjoy the book better. although I read quite a bit, I’ve never been “a reader“ I always prefer somebody else to read to me. Well, I’m starting to fade, I just wanted to write this for you. I’m gonna be writing a lot more, and I’m glad of this place to be able to publish my writing. Being authentic is very important. I’ve had many experiences my life that I think you’ll find interesting and I plan to share them all as I tell you stories of my travels and adventures. Please subscribe and leave me a comment so I know you’re reading this. I don’t care if you’re paid subscriber or not if nobody pays for it I’ll figure out a way to make money to live. I did manage to get my electricity turned back on. Let’s just hope that the gas company doesn’t do the same thing I don’t really care I’m not gonna die. Thanks again for reading my writing peace and love from the road Bill Poindexter.

Bio: i’ve been a writer, my entire life, everything from poetry to fiction to non-fiction. I prefer stream of consciousness just like I was sitting down with you, and having a cup of coffee and talking about life. I live a very simple life I don’t own a car, so I bike in a walk for transportation and travel. Much of my riding is telling stories about my adventures on the road. These days I primarily travel by bicycle, and over the last 20 years, I’ve had some great adventures; riding my bike from New Mexico, up into Canada, and Los Angeles down through Baja Mexico, Kansas City, to Yorktown, Virginia, all over Colorado, Montana, Idaho, British Columbia, Kansas, Missouri, New England, some of my journeys are just overnight, bike rides, and others or multi week rides, and I carry my own camping gear, so just think of backpacking, but on a bicycle a.k.a. bikepacking, and I wrote a book called Bikepacking School and a second edition is coming out soon. And I work very hard on writing, authentically and interweaving my life experiences within my travel stories as well. And I haven’t owned a car for many years. So I live completely car free. 

And I follow my heart and live life on my own terms, as I’m sure most of you do.

Find me on for more writings and podcast

Monday, December 18, 2023

Bicycle Safety Classes

Safety 101

"Bill is a patient, thoughtful teacher and bike professional.  He helped me level up- get more knowledgeable and comfortable with my bike.  The investment was completely worth it, you invested in your bike- now invest in you and your abilities to use this bike safely, skillfully and more often." Andrea

Duration 2 hours

Location TBD

Objective: This course is to teach 

children and/or adults 

how to travel by bicycle safely. 


Part 1:

Bike check

Proper fit

Suggestions to make your ride better

Care and maintenance of bicycle

Proper riding technique

Riding at night

How to be visible even though you should 

assume no one sees you

Part 2:

I will take you out on a short bike ride and teach you how to stay safe in an urban environment

Common mistakes

Best routes

Riding through congested areas

Riding with others

Bad weather riding

Commuting strategies to:work, school, store, etc.

Cost: 2 hour course $150.00pp

Open to group rates but note time frame may be different. 

About Bill Poindexter

I have been commuting full time 

and traveling by bicycle for over 

23 years and have never had an accident.

I have not owned a car for 13 years. 

I travel by bike as well. I have ridden 

my bike all over MO and KS, 

across MO, IL, KY, VA on the 

Trans America Trail, 

also from Sante, NM 

over to the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route 

and then north to Banff, Alberta, Canada. 

I have ridden from Missoula to Banff 

as well and back. I 

have also gone from LA south

through Baja, Mexico as well 

and many trips in CO as well. 

I commute in KC about 4000-6000 miles per 

year as well. 

All of my travel trips are “self contained” 

meaning I bring my camping gear, tools, 

and food and water and camp out majority 

of the time. It is called Bikepacking.

I wrote the book, Bikepacking School 

which you can see on Amazon. I 

also teach bikepacking and guide too.

If you’re interested in traveling by bicycle

Please reach out as well. I know my stuff.

Contact Bill at: 

or call/txt (913)220-1213

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Nature story


A nature story for you 

the seedling

By Bill Poindexter

 A story inspired by Iohan, (Yo-Han), the bike wanderer and a man with kind dark eyes.


“Far away, long ago, there was a man who traveled the Earth on his bicycle and his name was, Iohan. He was of average height, had dark hair and dark eyes that looked very kind. All he wanted to do was explore the Earth and see what it was like from atop a bike.

 To earn a living he took odd jobs, one of the jobs was planting trees in an area where old trees had been cut down.  He said he enjoyed planting trees in the summer. He would walk all over Canada planting seedlings to fund his bicycling adventures. One of the seedlings grew into a fine very tall tree.

 The young tree grew and…”

Go to the site for the full story,

It is a 8 minute read 

Or listen to the audio by Aimee Hughes 



Thanks for reading my story. If you like my writing please subscribe to the site. If you’re interested in supporting my writing and journalism you can find me on Venmo. 

Peace and love 


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Dispatches from the road

 Dispatches from the road: day 4 and the rainy beginning of day 5 

by Bill Poindexter

I lay in my tent on the morning of day five of my journey having a little meditation of how grateful I am just to be alive and be able to do the things I’m doing. My friend Monica reminding me she was the one who called me the traveling monk I resonate with that very much as my spiritual belief is strong no matter what religion I meet along my journey and right now I feel very Zen like. I’m laying on a forest bed in a conservation area just outside of Wheatland Missouri I’ve been up for a while listening to the pattering of the rain -I retrieved my stove from my panniers and had a fine breakfast of oatmeal with raisins honey and banana along with copious amounts of coffee. I love the word copious don’t you? Not exactly sure of my route today and the rain is going to stop soon and the sun is supposed to come out so I think I’m gonna hang out here and read my book Provence 1970, and let everything dry out including my boots which got soaked yesterday because of the two stream crossings – thanks Mac for that info wink. I’m starting to feel stronger getting used to the heavy weight of the load I’m caring. For you Bikepacker‘s out there I’m on a surly long-haul trucker, with two front Salsa bags on anything cages and two rear expeditionary panniers from Arkle out of Canada xm-45s. 

I’m carrying water food shelter clothing couple books maps and as my kiwi friends would say a assortment of bits and bobs. Yesterday I left Mac Vorce’s home in Warsaw and hopped on the Butterfield stage coach route, on section 8 from Warsaw to Wheatland. This route is one of the hardest I’ve ever done I would compare it to the great divide mountain bike route in terms of its challenging terrain and endless ups and downs stream crossings muddy dirt roads gravel gravel and more loose gravel… Lots of solitude and very little people and very much beauty. And I rode for nine hours and ended up taking a short cut in the end to Wheatland because of a pending storm which of course never happened. I found this patch of dirt I’m laying on and slept very well last night and this morning. I’m eager to get down to the Transamerica Trail to get started heading east as that is my ultimate destination. I am laying in the tent fully caffeinated dictating this to you from my phone. I feel good. Many people yesterday gave me water as I rode by their homes. There was a little dog named little missy who befriended me and kindly ran beside me for almost 4 miles yup 4 miles until the owners niece and husband got her. Little Missy was the strongest dog or I should say is the strongest dog I’ve ever seen no matter how fast I went down the hill I would have to go slow up the next hill and I would look in my rearview mirror and she would be that little spot in the center of the mirror running to me. It was a soulful encounter between a human and an animal and there was so much beauty in that moment it brings tears to my eyes, seriously. It’s a kind reminder that we all living beings are connected.


If you like my words let me know

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Dispatches from the road

 Dispatches from the road. Some of you were here too hear about it and see some pictures from my current journey from Kansas City to Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts. I’m sending out dispatches from the road primarily on Facebook and on another blog called

So go to those two places for the most current updates and I will be sending out videos as well soon but it’s just easier to do it from the whole earth guide. Or Facebook. I’m having a great time here is kind of a recap of last few days hope you enjoy it!

Dispatches from the road:

Day 4

By Bill Poindexter

A recap of the last four days. On the 2 April I made my way out of Kansas City heading south to Louisburg Kansas to the Cedar Cove feline wildlife sanctuary where I was graciously met by Steve Klein the Director. Steve showed me around the facilities and introduced me to the animals: Lions, Tigers and wolves, Mountain lions, leopard, fox, lynx, bobcat, Who are given a second chance in life by the good people of Cedar Cove and it’s an organization need your help as well only 30 miles south of Kansas City I’ll be posting a video of my interview with Steve soon so keep an eye out and I was able to sleep on their property as well and fall asleep to the roars of lions and tigers as well as the Howells howling of the wolves, it truly amazing experience. On day three I made my way east and south east into Missouri on a southeasterly route to the Transamerica bike route which I should connect to you in a couple of days and then I will start heading straight east across Missouri into Kentucky then into Virginia to Yorktown and then north to Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts. My second day was actually a little bit rough and late in the day I was tired made my way to a Casey’s which is kind of a quick shop and talk to a woman named Cheyenne who wanted to hear about my journey and she was inspired and shared some food with me from the shop and it was her way to be part of my journey probably would never be able to do what I’m doing I can live vicariously via my story, I love that! I found a nice patch of dirt to sleep on that night in a conservation area run by the department of conservation in Missouri and got to sleep soundly in the rain by myself as there was nobody else in the whole area. On day three of my travels I left the conservation area and traversed over back roads saying places that a few people ever see, dirt roads gravel roads places where people live quiet lives and whose lives are inter-weaved with nature. I stopped at a gas station for some coffee and sat in front on the bench and table pulled my food bag from my panniers and made some oatmeal hey man William, from Springfield Missouri befriended me we had a great conversation share similar thoughts on life he wanted to hear about my story and shared some of his own stories as well he said he wanted to buy me lunch and he did actually with what he gave me I can buy quite a few lunches, again was his way to be a part of the journey, and it’s what the street is about to meet people to talk to people to look them in the eye to find the soul and I mean it the soul of America the humanities alive and well and 99% of the people are good and just want a simple life. The rest of the day I spent rolling down dusty gravel roads talking to cattle and singing songs from the 70s like from Bob Seger and the Eagles. And when I wasn’t on the dusty gravel roads I would be on the highway where cars will flyby at 80 miles an hour but fortunately I have a nice wide shoulder so I feel safe. But I do prefer the back roads of America. I made my way to Warsaw Missouri a small quaint town are very friendly people and extraordinary good food I was greeted by Mac the head of the chamber of commerce, and he let me bring my bicycle into the building and charge my phone and charger. He also offered me a place to stay in his backyard so I could pitch by Tent. And then made my way to a double cheeseburger and french fries get the hungry skillet and then to two scoops of ice cream where I’m at to retire gentleman who were diligently consuming the largest banana splits I’ve ever seen in my life! They invited me to join them we had a great conversation about life and their retirement and their families one of the man lives on Cape Cod Massachusetts which is where I’m heading on my journey well actually to Martha’s Vineyard off Cape Cod. Then I made my way back to the chamber where Mac was and again he invited me to his home I graciously took him up on it because I needed to regroup do some laundry get a shower and it’s always nice to stay with a local in a town rather than a hotel. Just then Jen Bradshaw who is a Adventure cyclist pulled up on her mountain bike. Jen and Mac work together on creating events, adventure events as well as teaching kids and their parents here in Warsaw how to ride mountain bikes and have adventures on extraordinary mountain bike trails they have created in Warsaw some of the best I’ve ever seen. I got to ride with 30 young people and their parents on Monday night in a group called kids club, it was so much fun than Mac Jan and I came back to Max place had some dinner learn more about each other I finish my laundry got my first shower in four days and here I am at 4 AM the next morning dictating this into my phone in my tent on the ground in Warsaw Missouri. I’m gonna go back to sleep for a couple hours and then get up and eat some pancakes and sausage eggs and drink copious amounts of coffee figure my route for the day with the help Mac and then roll. Didn’t take a lot of pictures today so you’re gonna have to just enjoy my words. I’ll start to getting to videos soon, mostly you know me as a writer and I do love to write. If you’d like my words in my stories let me know in the comments below! Remember you are to a part of my journey. Thanks to all those who contributed and encouraged me. You are now too many to list so so you know who you are and you know what you mean to me in this journey :-). Peace and love from the road, Bill Poindexter