Town trippin’


June 15, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

I bought a bicycle a couple of years ago to use around town. I put a couple of saddle paniers on the back to carry my laptop to work and groceries home from the co-op. All set going green.

But I soon learned that I would rather walk. Our town is not that big, and if you live in town like I do, it doesn’t take long to get most anywhere here on foot. The only requirement is slowing down the mindset that time is of the essence and walking is a waste if you can get there a few minutes faster.

I didn’t like wearing a helmet, and I’d had a couple of close calls getting run over on the bike. The difference between the speed of a bike — even riding slowly and cautiously — and walking, was the difference between almost crashing, and simply stopping just in case the other person didn’t see me. And in inclement weather, biking is much more hazardous.

The only problem then became transport… of my laptop, books, food for dinner. So I scouted around for messenger bags, bought one, and it does the trick quite nicely. It is heavy packing the computer, but I figure it helps build strength as the daily walking to work, to the store, and back, keeps me in pretty good shape… especially when I’m also packing a thermos of green smoothie.

The bag is not big enough to carry a weekly grocery shop, but is big enough for a daily trip to the co-op on the way home. Fresher, healthier food, like the Europeans shop. Cool!

Most of the people walking our streets are street people. There are some skateboarders, kids on bikes, and dog walkers. Health walkers around Todd Park, sure. But mostly, walks around here are brief — from car to destination, and back to the car. I’ve been walking to work almost daily now, rain or shine, for almost two years. For me, definitely the way to go.

Cliff Paulin loves his Xtracycle.  He rides it to the office 2 times a week or so, more “if I’m feeling energitic, less when I’m lazy.  It works great given that I have a bit of a distance to cruise (3 miles from home to office).  Once I’m downtown though I’m pretty much on foot.”

If you watched the on-line movie Home, and wonder if there is something you can do personally to mitigate global climate change, these are small steps we can take: outta the car and onto the bike, the motorbike, the scooter, the skateboard, and the feet.

See you on the street?
See also Is Peeing in Pubic Green? over at Treehugger→

…and Repurpose-Driven Life
Thanks to Steve Scalmanini