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?