Skinny Daily Post


The days are getting shorter, but there’s still a bit of daylight left even if I work late. BIKE RIDE! It puts such a smile on my face. And as I cruise around town, I’m seeing more and more people out and about on foot, bikes, skates, whatever.

And what’s interesting – at least to me – is that most of these people aren’t alone! Couples of all ages walk along, some holding hands. Girlfriends, from teens to grey-haired folks, solve the problems of the world. Whole families, Mom, Dad, children, dogs are out. Grandparents and grandchildren. Some children are in strollers; and there was one couple pulling a total of 4 children in two wagons. One group was a complete gaggle: two mothers with ALL of their children – I think I counted 8 kids ranging in age from 6 or so to early teens. The moms were in the lead, followed by the ‘powerwalking’ teens. The smaller ones were running around playing tag and giggling as they walked.

And this doesn’t count the people who are at the high school track. There are walkers and runners, and usually a pickup football game on the field. And some ambitious person running up and down the bleachers with headphones on.

Isn’t this great? If only the days would stay this long!

But in addition to the longer days, something else is at work. Perhaps most important, the town has made a huge effort over the past couple of years to repair the sidewalks. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

But bottom line, if there’s no safe route to walk a distance, few people are going to brave it [except for those track fanatics – and there’s nothing wrong with that, except that most of us would have to get into the car first]. This is a nice town for walking – pleasant neighborhoods, a couple of shopping areas where you can get a cup of coffee. But until the sidewalks were fixed, you always had to watch where you stepped or you walked in the street. And people in New Jersey aren’t the most polite drivers in the world.

We’ve discussed the need for personal responsibility in eating right and exercising, but there’s also the issue of infrastructure. Here’s a great example. I’m proud of my little town. What about yours?

8 thoughts on “Look around your neighborhood!

  1. m.a. says:

    geeze louise, and here i am thinking how much i miss those wild side walks on mountain ave!!!! you know, the ones that were jutting way up in the air and you could take your bike and mr toad on them for a wild ride.

    oh, right, i forgot…i was young and care free and a little (ok alot) more limber then. and not one bit concerned about the impact damage to my private parts because i didn’t know what the heck they were for and if i did i would have been skeeved anyway.

    special note:

    the above said words are written by a track walker….cause hey! it is waaaaaaaaaaaay easier on the knees….and hips….and um….shins….and back….and whatnot.

    fine. i’m old.


  2. stretchy says:

    my town is great for walking & has a state beach with paths etc, hiking trails up a mtn… but my friends run or workout at gyms and will drive 4 blocks into town instead of walking. –and it costs money to park in town (valet or meter is the choice). I actually had to talk a friend into walking a few blocks to check out a new chocolate shop– he wanted to drive because he’d just run 8 miles and feels “walking is boring” I was like “I think you can handle 3 blocks!” and he was like “it is 6 blocks round-trip” People love their cars I guess… I have always parked farv away from the mall entrance and walk whenever and wherever I can. We all live within easy walking distance to town– even when I’m buying a few bags of groceries I walk… even if the weather is ‘iffy’. My friends are very fit, all muscle really, so I can’t blame them for crusin’ 6 blocks in their cars. But for me the MOVING doesn’t end after the daily workout–it is an all day thing.
    My town has loads of walkers though, and the tracks are filled with seniors and little kids jogging or learning to ride a bike–that guy running in the bleacher? he is here too! I just don’t get the car thing at all. could someone please explain–I am not kidding– 3 blocks & they will drive–

  3. susan says:

    We have the most fantasic biking/walking/running/blading trail about 1.5 miles from our house. It goes 80 miles north, about 30 of them paved. It used to be a railroad track, so it’s very smooth, with no steep hills. I confess that since severely breaking my leg on it 13 month ago I don’t use it as often as I did, but it’s still a great place to ride.

  4. jessica says:

    I’m exceptionally proud of MPls — since you can really only be outdoors for about 1/3 of the year here, we Minnesotans take huge advantage of every sunny day… there are tons of lakes right in the city, and all are paved with walking / biking trails. They are all linked, so technically you could basically bike the entire city without ever having to bike on a street.

    It’s great. I love it.

  5. tony says:

    I live in a tiny town in the Arkansas Ozarks. We have two gyms (one’s a Curves), a nice walking path, a track at the school, and miles of national forest trails to hike, run, walk, or bike. I now see people walking the track or walking path, or walking along the sidewalks. Jane, you’re right, you have to have decent sidewalks or no one will use them. When I first moved here no one and I mean no one walked. The message is getting out!

  6. Jamie says:

    Walking is good for health , but try Yoga its even better .
    I am a more effecient person with greater energy after switching to Yoga .
    It has changed my life and I would love if it can change another person’s
    too .
    It makes you happy all the time .

  7. Greta says:

    Most people here walk and bike in Open Spaces. The roads near my house are all 1 lane each direction, 30-35 mph with no shoulder and no sidewalk so I feel verry vulnerable on foot or on a bike. I actually have to put my bike into my car and drive to a paved bike trail that goes for miles and miles. The trailhead is 2 miles from my house but I am afraid I’d be killed on the way there because part of it is 45mph no shoulder. The Open Space is 1 house away and we have over 3,000 acres which is adjacent to a State park so you can hike all day and neverr cross a road. Beautiful dirtt trails, rolling hills, craggy rocks, oak trees. GORGEOUS! I walk for 90-120 minutes every day out there.

  8. Jenzkind says:

    I live in a college town (large Big 10 school), so we’ve got lots of great resouces on a really pretty (and large) campus. Plus, the students are always out and about running, biking, playing tennis, fencing, etc.

    But, the town is also very health-conscious; there are maybe a dozen fitness trails plus tons of parks. The parks department is always sponsoring some kind of active event. And, we’re very close to a few state parks, nature preserves, and a national forest, so the outdoor activity possiblities are endless.

    I really love living here! 🙂

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