Book recommendation: Freewheeling After Sixty

Sometimes seniors drive themselves everywhere, every day, then one day choose to put down their keys and never pick them up again. But that’s not the norm. What we hear are stories of people who just aren’t comfortable driving SOME places anymore, or who don’t want to drive at night, or long distances, or in traffic. Many of our members have family and friends around who help them out with rides, and still more supplement those rides with public transportation or reduced-cost rideshare services in their communities.

Mobility Matters recently gave me an amazing, comprehensive booklet on transportation options in the Bay Area. Friends, it is 60 pages long. Figuring out how to get around outside your own car is INTIMIDATING!

And then this week I was introduced to Judi Bonilla, who wrote the book Freewheeling After Sixty. How have I not seen this book before?!?! It’s the perfect guide for someone who is just starting to think about reducing their personal driving. Judi is careful to remind us that our communities—our bridge groups, churches and friends—depend on our participation and involvement…that we are INTERDEPENDENT and that the community is just as invested in you continuing to live socially as you are.

She observes that if YOU are thinking about reducing your driving, chances are the people around you are thinking the same thing—and they want to help. After all, bridge games only happen when players show up! Judi includes a beautiful script of how to ask someone for a ride for the first time. I love it because it does NOT imply that you want to give up driving entirely, but kind of tests the waters and gives you a start on piecing together transportation solutions for yourself.

I read this book in an hour, and it’s packed full of resources for anyone who:

  • Would like to brush up on their driving skills to stay sharper behind the wheel for as long as possible;
  • Would like to learn how to become eligible for rideshare or volunteer driver programs within their communities;
  • Would like to create a full-blown personal transportation program for themselves.

Judi is on a mission to educate 40,000 experienced drivers about alternative transportation options by the year 2020. Her book is for sale on Amazon; it’s $9.99 in paperback and $4.99 for the Kindle.