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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Walk Or Bike To The Store To Avoid Parking Issues

I am not going to be doing shopping much during the holiday season because the crowds and frenzy are not really my thing.  However, there were lots of Black Friday news reports about people fighting over parking spaces, when this could have been avoided by walking or biking to the store.

If you live less than a mile from the store, then why not plan a family walk to go shopping?  Sure the stores might be a bit crowded during the holiday season, but at least you will not have to worry about fighting over a parking spot because even on regular days people can be a bit contentious about these.

A good pair of walking shoes is always a nice gift for people who are active.

Whereas I have no interest in waiting in line to buy a TV or computer, which are items that can be purchased online, I do enjoy more practical gifts like shoes.   I might treat myself to a new pair, and this is a great gift for people who are active.  A bike is also a nice gift for people who want to commute without a car.  So there are other gift options out there for the Christmas season, and walking to the store is a great way to avoid fighting over parking spaces.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Walking After Thanksgiving Dinner

Some people tell me they need to settle their stomachs by sitting down after a large meal, but I always felt the opposite.  Even though I try to portion out what I eat because even going overboard on Thanksgiving Day is not recommended, and you will feel much better if you can only eat what you truly feel hungry for.

However, rather than wanting to move around and burn off calories after this large meal, some people tell me they have to sit down afterwards.  I actually feel the opposite, and always like to get up and walk after I eat. I have been told to sit down and relax after the meal, but I always find it stifling when others tell us how to best handle things. I would always get up and start moving and go for a walk, and no one was forced to go with me.  I find it invigorating to move, which is why I am always walking or biking.

Many people up in the mountains go for meandering walks to burn off the large meal, and to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  It is so much more enjoyable than watching some sports game or repeat show on TV, and those things can be recorded these days.  So if you are feeling a bit full after your Thanksgiving dinner, a walk might be a good way  to get moving and enjoy the amazing view.
View of Highway 173 up in the San Bernardino Mountains.  I captured this image during a walk up in the mountains.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Why The Gym Is Not Required For Being In Shape

Being in shape does not mean you have to look like a fitness guru, or feel anger over some ordinary person who claims they lost a ton of weight, and posts pictures of their physique to social media. They might say provocative things about how others should strive harder to look like they do, but it is our choice if we let such comments rile us up.

All of my life I have been exceedingly active, and I have learned over the years I would rather eat balanced meals and be in shape rather than being a certain number on the scale.  Wearing a bikini on the beach is not my goal, but having toned legs really does inspire me because this helps me to bike and walk longer distances without fatigue.  I never get tired from a several mile walk, and I get an energy high from getting out there and walking and biking.

So the next time you get angry over someone telling you that you need to join a gym or weigh a certain amount to be healthy, I would just zone out.  It gets really boring when women start comparing each others physiques and talking about their weight foibles, especially when what is really going on is there is a little bit of a contest to see who is losing the most that month, week, etc.

Why not take the more solitary and economical approach to fitness and go on a walk, or buy a bike? Seriously, there is no need to spend big bucks to get fit. The truth is it is better to get into a healthy weight range, and I would rather be on the high end of that range get toned from walking and biking.  Having people tell me I look like I never eat dessert is not my goal.  Rather than get upset about the recent viral photographs people post on social media talking about their happiness over fitness and weight loss, I choose to have my own approach to physical fitness.  Even though I have been biking many days out of the week as of late, the other day I walked five miles and took pictures of a vacant field during my walking adventure.  I also spotted some stunning wild sunflowers growing in this field, and that is not something I would have seen if I had been cloistered in a gym.

Empty field with a view of the San Bernardino Mountains.

I wish I had brought my regular camera with me because the cell phone camera is just not as
vibrant, but it did suffice.

Wild sunflowers I spotted growing in the field.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Walking By The Santa Fe Depot

Last Sunday I took a walk down by the Santa Fe Depot in Redlands, and I thought about how great it would be if this train station was still in operation.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Walk And Run On The Sidewalk

As a pedestrian I often lament how drivers do not look out for us, but I will admit some travelers on foot do not practice good behavior.  During marathons streets are cut off and people are permitted to run in these, but on ordinary days runners and walkers should use the sidewalk.  The other day I spotted four people running in a row in the street when the sidewalk was nearly empty, and I found that quite amusing.  It could not be easy for drivers to navigate around these runners taking up the road, and there was no excuse for them to be in the street.

The same applies to bike riders not sharing the road respectfully.  If you are riding a bike then I would definitely go with the flow of traffic and not impede it  I have spotted a couple of bicyclists who caused a traffic jam on a windy mountain road by refusing to pull over and allow the motorists to pass.  On such roads it would just be courtesy to pull to the shoulder of the road and let faster traffic pass.  Causing a traffic jam is never a good idea, and I have heard quite a few tales about bicyclists who make driving difficult.  I used to like bike riding on flat land, but I hate riding up and down hills, and prefer to walk because I do not feel safe riding with traffic.  Also, I would not want to cause traffic jams since I know I ride a bike slower than others.

So just because there are a lot of bad drivers out there does not mean that pedestrians, runners, and bicyclists are immune.  I even read one forum where a bicyclist was commenting on how he did not care if he was impeding traffic, and how people were jealous of his toned legs, and a lot of the drivers were probably obese.  Humble much?  So I think it is great to get our exercise and be fit, but keep in mind being courtesy in the world is also an element of this.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Walking In The Late Afternoon

Yesterday I read yet another article about how you need to be efficient when it comes to working out at the gym because it takes time to get there, and just thinking about that sounds exhausting. Even if you do have a car to drive to gym that is out of the way, why would you want to make time just to do something you consider to be such a chore? Not only do you have to make time to go to the gym, but you have to pay them to work out? When I was a college student we had to pay for the university gym with our tuition, and people encouraged us to us it because of this. I guess if you are into free weights that is great, or if you are really good at playing tennis, but the only thing I was really interested in doing was using the treadmill, and I realized how boring that was for me.

 When I want to walk I prefer to be outside listening to the birds, and hearing the wind rustle through the branches of the trees. Luckily, many of the cities in California are not so built up that you can actually still enjoy a bit of nature with the urban environment. Yesterday I watched more crows playing in a field across the street, and a little chihuahua stopped by on my walk. I instructed him to go home as I was worried he might run into the busy thoroughfare.

I did not have to pay to get a bit of exercise, and I find that so inspiring. So I think it is commendable to those who want to do rigorous workout routines at the gym, but it just is not necessary to be fit. If you are a pedestrian then you can definitely be in good shape and burn a lot of calories just by getting around town, but even people who drive most of the time can benefit from going on a late afternoon walk. In the winter in places where is snows I can understand wanting to be on a treadmill, but it just does not make much sense to me on a beautiful June day like this.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Novel With Pedestrian Characters

Usually the characters of a novel are considered to be a bit boring if they are described as "pedestrian," but the leading lady and man in my story are pedestrians who travel on foot, and this mode of transportation can be quite exciting.  Why is walking, biking, or taking the bus seen as a lack of independence in the United States?  On many programs I hear people complain about how they had to drive an adult friend or family member around town, but they never thought of getting that person a bike, or showing them how to read a transit map.  Actually, being a pedestrian means you have to be very good with directions, and there is no room for error.  When you are riding the bus in Los Angeles you definitely have to be good with directions, and I have family members who love to drive that call me on how to get places.

So even though the majority of people want to drive, there are always going to be people who prefer to walk.  Many people in New York take public transit and walk all the time, and I have always thought that city's emphasis walkablity was a good thing.

If you decide to walk or bike people always ask why, but they never consider to think you just see no point to driving.  Maybe some day the falsehood that people cannot get around without a car will fade away, and I know fellow pedestrians probably get tired of people always asking when they are going to get their driver's license.  After a certain age people will finally stop asking that question, but sometimes people without have do have driver's licenses and just prefer walking over driving.  I can walk three miles in about forty minutes, so for me this is the perfect workout.  I do not have to pay for a car maintenance or a gym membership, so walking is the way to travel for me.

In many novels we have characters working on their cars or talking about their cars, but rarely do we have characters who abandon their cars in favor of walking.  My novel is not all about pedestrians in general, but I felt I wanted to write about characters I could identify with.  I remember years ago meeting one guy who said I needed to drive so he could have something to talk with me about, and then I no longer wanted to talk with him.  I have no interest in cars beyond the fact these are devices that get people places, and I know a lot of people who drive that feel the same way.  Not everyone is excited by a flashy ride, and I felt it was about time to have two leading characters that also feel this way.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Walking On City Trails

Walking on a city trail.

Use Google maps to find city trails and sidewalks for walking in your city. Many cities have wonderful places where people can walk and get fit, for free! No need to pay to use a treadmill at the gym when you can get out in nature and admire birds and flowers.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Capturing Beauty During A Sunset Walk

The other day I captured the beauty of Southern California during my sunset walk.

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