Welcome to Life on GentleCycle

To live gently in the world

Welcome Gentle Readers,

We are Susan Carey and Jamie Wyant

Susan and Jamie

We are Susan Carey and Jamie Wyant.  The basic idea of Life on Gentle Cycle started when we realized that we enjoyed slow, quiet, self-organized, semi-planned bicycle touring — an approach we called gentle cycling. We still have a few cycling posts that you can find here.

When we retired in 2017 it was like changing the setting on a washing machine from “Agitate and Spin'' to "Gentle Cycle.”  We sold our Salem, Oregon home and most of our possessions and moved with five elderly pets to Valencia, Spain. You can read more about moving to and living in Valencia here. That was retirement phase one.

Retirement phase two began as, one by one, our senior pets set aside the burdens of daily life.  We decided to explore Western Europe with one daypack, one suitcase. We aren't travel writers, so there really isn't much, but the posts from the months we spent in the Alpujarra region of southern Spain living  in the village of Mairena are here.  All of our Gentle Journey posts are assembled here. 

Because paths can and do fork in ways no man or woman can ever truly grasp, for that is the way the world has been made.
Guy Gavriel Kay, Under Heaven
After a lot of long, hard thinking, and three years rambling, as nice as it has been (and it really has been the best time of our lives), have come to an end.  Over the years we've been exploring new places, different ways of living, and our own inner selves, the idea that gentle living can – and should be – more than an easy-going retirement has infused our thinking. We missed having something truly meaningful to dedicate ourselves to. Something outside ourselves that adds purpose to our attempt to live gently in the world.

What does living gently mean for us?

We think living gently means living aware that with each choice we make we are writing our signature on the face of the earth. It means looking at our own lives while asking: “Should we live life differently? And, if so, how should we begin?”

Early in 2022, after reading Dr Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die (Flatiron Books, 2015) we modified our vegan diets by eliminating industrial processed vegan products and intentionally including a much greater variety of whole vegetables, fruits, pulses and nuts. We didn’t stop there though.

Shifting the focus of our attention during the daily tasks of food buying and preparation rekindled Jamie’s enthusiasm for ecosystem thinking. He began to envision our itinerant household as a tiny part of the global ecosystem.

At the same time, Susan’s deepening interest in yoga practice awakened an appreciation of the  union of mind, body, spirit that yoga engenders.

As we compared notes and shared our thinking, we began to see the way, to see how we could live with intention and  find our way to an ethically consistent way of living.

And Now for Something Completely Different  – Monty Python Film Title

Over the next few months we will shift the emphasis of Living on GentleCycle.  We will be exploring ways to integrate our dedication to:

  • Nonviolent sustenance,
  • Age appropriate yoga and other physical activities,
  • Growing self knowledge through meditation and inner exploration, creative arts, and collaboration with others,
  • Growing our knowledge and awareness of the world around us through continuous learning, gentle travel, and community participation.

By living gently in the coming years we might actually clean up our own messy contribution to mindless consumerism and maybe balance the account.

Our Companions Are Gone But Not Forgotten

Susan spent the last 16 years of her career at Willamette Humane Society in Salem, Oregon. Not surprisingly, the companion animals who accompanied us to Spain came from the pool of animals, unwanted, abandoned and discarded by others.  Lucky for us -- these were the best friends and teachers we've had.
Rico our companion cat of 19 years


Lizzie the best dog ever


Teej our hamndsome companion of 21 years


Living respectfully with companion animals taught us that there’s no real boundary between us and the world -- no moral distinction between our welfare and the welfare of all beings.