Walking Everywhere, and Anywhere!

Every now and then I will update this blog with thoughts about walking, and being a pedestrian in Southern California. As of 2014, this blog will also be featuring posts about my bicycle adventures around Southern California.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Comment On the Ellen Show I Do Not Agree With

Today I was watching the Ellen show because now that I do not have cable, I only receive over the air channels with my antennae. To be honest I usually do not watch network TV because I do not like commercials, and usually preferred to only watch movies and documentaries on HBO, which I dearly miss. Today I turned on the TV and was listening to the Ellen show for a bit, and whereas I think it is nice she gave a struggling mother a fuel efficient car to help her out, I simply had to disagree with how Ellen mentioned several times that it is not good to walk several miles everyday.

 I guess Ellen I just do not agree with Ellen on this one.   Walking is healthy, safe, and good for the environment, and many groups are encouraging kids and parents to bike and walk to school more. Ellen made a big deal about how walking a mile to and from school is way too far, but I could not help but shake my head and think I walked two miles each way when I was a school kid. Some people who like to walk and do not want to drive, and there is nothing wrong with that. Fitness experts recommend getting at least thirty minutes of exercise per day, and walking a mile to a location would be a great way to meet this minimum requirement. 

Why are some Americans so opposed to walking even short distances? Some people would rather take a tram or drive than even walk a short five minute stroll? Whenever I wanted to walk rather than take a tram from the parking lot to the front entrance of an amusement park, there were always some people in our group had a conniption fit, but I could not help but think if you are walking around a park all day, how are a few minutes from the parking lot to the entrance going to make much difference?

Some people that lecture me about walking and how I should drive are willing to pay a high gym bill, and I cannot help but think I get as much exercise as someone going to a gym several times a week, and mine is for free. So that is nice Ellen wanted to help out a mother with young kids by giving her a car, but she does not have to slight pedestrians just because she thinks walking several mile a day might seem too far. Of course this is just someone's opinion, but now more than ever with oil spills and air pollution, I am much more content with my pedestrian lifestyle. There is nothing in the year 2010 that would compel me to want to drive or buy a new car.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Filtering Water for My Walks

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I will admit I am a picky, picky when it comes to the taste of water I drink. I spent way too many years drinking bottled water, but I realized this practice is not good for environment even if I recycle the bottles. Bottled water is also more expensive than filtering water, which is a viable option for taking the chlorine and bacteria out of it. I take it a step further by boiling the water, which gives it a yummy taste. Adding a bit of lemon to boiled water after it has cooled makes it taste even better than the bottled water actually. I occasionally buy a bottle of water that I can refill to take on my walks. Purchasing a water filter is a great investment for any pedestrian or anyone who walks several miles a week.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stop Telling Me Not To Walk In The Summer Heat

I know many people hate the heat of summer and complain about it the minute they enter an air conditioned building, but the truth is I love the summer heat. I love the feeling of walking on a warm day, and I have grown weary of people suggesting I should not walk in the heat and should take the bus instead. The bus is a great form of transportation for people without cars, but I love walking whenever and wherever I can. I do not pay for gym memberships, so my pedestrian lifestyle is how I stay in shape. If the excessive summer temperatures were too excruciating for me then I would be taking the bus, and I have walked out in the low desert where it was much warmer, like say 110 degrees. To me 100 degrees is not as hot as that, and I know myself well enough to say walking in the heat is enjoyable for me. It is funny how people engage in lots of dangerous activities like drinking to excess, or smoking, but I get hounded because I enjoy walking in the summer?

Yes I know people worry about me and care about me when they say these things, but I pride myself on being savvy enough to know what is best. I often think people's lack of exercise and smoking is ridiculous, but I am not supposed to say anything about that, but smokers and people who do not exercise much are allowed to comment on my preference for pedestrianism? A bit contradictory really, especially since walking is healthy. I often know what is good for my health, and obtaining vigorous exercise is very important to me. I have no desire to ever drive, and I love walking. Why is pedestrianism so scary to some, and why do people suggest I at least get a bike or roller blade to my destinations. Those are both great forms of exercise as well, but I enjoy the pace of just walking on my own two feet. So here I am sticking up for us fellow pedestrians who love the summer and walking in it, and just suggest to those of you who chagrin us for doing so that maybe the heat does not get to us. People are savvy enough to figure out what works for them, and if the heat is too much they will take a bus.

I find it interesting people go to sweltering beaches in the summer or on hikes in national parks, but people act all concerned if you are a pedestrian walking in a city. The bottom line is walking as a mode of transportation is highly misunderstood in our modern age of the car. I love the freedom of pedestrianism, and I am an advocate of this!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yield to Pedestrians in Cross Walks

A major annoyance, and danger, for us pedestrians are vehicles that fail to yield to us in cross walks when there is a walking light. This can be quite daunting when a giant SUV leaves you marooned in the center of the street, and the cars behind it may not necessarily see you until they approach the intersection. A pedestrian should not have to shout and motion to a car to stop in the first place, and you should see when there is a walking light. It is especially scary cross California Street here in Redlands in the middle of the day during heavy traffic, which tends to be the part of the day when motorists lack manners the most and cut off pedestrians with the walking light. Many of us pedestrians wait for our turn to cross, and it is disconcerting that vehicles that are going to get to their location faster than a person on foot are in such a rush that they will go ahead at make their right turn, and not look for people crossing the street. When one vehicle refuses to yield for a pedestrian with the walking light on California Street, a long stream of these cars continue to make their right hand turns, and could care less if they put pedestrians in jeopardy. Slow down, look at the lights, and yield for pedestrian traffic!

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