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Thread: Walking

  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Walking seems to be a great alternative exercise during cycling "off" days. Seems like it gives me a similar feeling
    of freedom and enjoyment, but allows me a little recovery from pushing on my bike. Also, I think it helps my back,
    abdomen, and leg muscles not as much used by cycling. Kinda nice.

    Pete Clark

  2. #2
    TriBob
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    I also like to take a walk after a several hours after a long ride to keep my legs from getting tight.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cambronne's Avatar
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    Last year, I took my latest ladyfriend home to see my part of the world.

    She is from Atlanta, GA, land of motorised gridlock, where NOBODY walks. (And if you're running, it's likely that you have a stolen TV or VCR on your shoulder.)
    I asked her once, why, if all of the roads in Fulton County are paved, does everyone drive 'round in high-stepping, ready-for-central-Africa 4X4 SUVs? She explained that mall parking was every bit as challenging as running the gauntlet in a herd of rhinos.

    So, after a hellish plane flight, a depressing RER ride through the "banlieux difficiles," and a bit of eating & sleeping at my brother's digs, we hit the streets to see the sights... and right away, my girl noticed that A) all of the women in Paris have great legs, and B) slim is definitely "in." She wondered why... I said, "you'll soon see."

    Ten hours later, after the obligatory three block powerwalk, run the Metro stairs, stand in the train, run some more stairs, and another three block powerwalk... repeat as necessary... my ladyfriend's musculature had the consistency of week old spaghetti.

    "Does nobody drive, here?" she innocently asked. "No," I replied. "See, Paris has some three million residents, and perhaps ten available parking spaces. So, one buys a car, drives 'round until he finds a space, and parks it.
    If he has any sense, he leaves it there until he either sells it or a pre-teen gang comes by and torches it."

    (Several days later, she stood at the base of Montmartre, looked up the looooong staircase to Sacre Coeur... and said "F**k no. I'll buy a postcard instead.")

    "Paris," I told her, "is the best fitness club in the world."

    During our stay, she became quite proficient at spotting American tourists. They were the fat ones.

  4. #4
    aka Sir MaddyX MadCat's Avatar
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    I could so live out my days in a place like that Cambronne. Here in Edmonton Canada everyone drives because they whynes about the cold. I hope I never have to buy a car and I dream of a place where I won't look like a freak or impoverished without a car.

  5. #5
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Walking is one of the most natural exercises and almost everyone can do it. The only equipment you need are the right shoes. And the feeling it gives me is mildly like cycling. Just being outdoors makes it worthwhile.

    For a long time before I got the bright idea to ride my bike to work, walking was my choice. I think walking strengthened my heart and blood vessles, preparing the way for cycling later on. Now I use walking as an alternative on light exercise days. Just like eating a balanced meal, I am discovering that a variety of exercises which strengthen different parts of my body are important for a balanced exercise program. I may try rowing, as well, for my upper body. Why not have ALL the fun?

    But cycling is still my basic foundational heart/lung/leg exercise, my favorite.

    If we had more American urban areas like Paris (see Cambronne's previous post--priceless), in which people primarily walked everywhere instead of driving, the effect would be very positive. Instead of empty sidwalks (or no sidewalks) along barren stretches of road crowded with anonymous steel and glass vehicles ("Honey, did you see what that Chevy just did?"),
    strewn with empty paper cups and trash, we would have crowded sidwalk cafes and shops, with the smell of fresh food wafting through the air, and a symphony of sounds, voices and live music. O.K., we do have that in lots of places. It sure beats the huge malls and road rage, replacing it with open spaces and people's faces.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 03-31-01 at 09:45 AM.

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    What is the smallest distance that is viable to cycle, rather than walk.
    I have a bunch of shops 3 mins walk around the corner, that is not worth braking out the bike for.
    I've been walking 1/2 hr into work whilst recovering from a winter of colds and flu, but Im ready to start cycling again now, yipeeee

  7. #7
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Of course I'm dreaming, but...

    Cycling and walking are ideal urban transportation modes. I'm not for banning cars at all, but (I said I was dreaming) what if people voluntarily left their cars at home and mounted bikes or put on walking shoes? The urban centers would become cleaner, quieter, safer and a more attractive place to go.

    Back to reality: in many places, distances preclude anything but driving for the majority. And lack of physical conditioning from this state of affairs makes cycling and walking that much more unrealistic.

    If population centers can be designed around automobile use, thus ensuring future automobile dependency, they can be designed for human powered transport, encouraging walking and cycling. There is no natural law dictating the superiority of car use over less wasteful means. The dominance of the automobile is not necessarily best, nor is it inevitable. It was engineered by urban planners. It was a deliberate choice, thought to be most advantagous to all.

    Now entrenched, this archaic system is self-perpetuating. But far-sighted people need not accept the status quo. Although there are many powerful interests who would resist any changes, there are others who would profit from them. What if retail merchants could realize a higher profit from higher density urban development (more people on the sidewalk equals more sales; more food and entertainment on the street equals more people spending more time along the sidewalk; nearby residential development equals more return customers).
    What if this is what people really wanted and were weary with the wasted time driving a full hour just to shop at a mall in a distant location?

    Oh, well, I'm just thinking. Maybe that was just a "flash" dream...

  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I generally walk any distance that I don't think is worthy of riding my bike for (i.e. any round trip under about 5km). Quite often around here I can walk the distances faster than people drive them anyway. Somehow I don't see their logic.

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  9. #9
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Chris-Man,

    Then they will b**** about being unable to shed those pounds! Tsk, tsk...

  10. #10
    Senior Member technogirl's Avatar
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    I agree, Pete, walking is great stuff! My last mini-vacation, we went to San Francisco. When I go and visit there, I never rent a car...everything is so close, and really the City is quite small anyway. We walked about 4 or 5 miles from our hotel to the Pier, and we didn't take a cab. I think we took the bus once during our trip, but we walked everywhere. It was great seeing the different sites there. You usually don't get to see those things from a car or bus.

    In the mornings, I usually go out for a run before the City start's waking up, and I can see the different shops, restaurants, and little places, that I wouldn't have seen within a vehicle. Later on during the day, I'd stop by and check out the restaurant or shop. It kind of gives me a mental map of where I want to go later.

  11. #11
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Man, that's good. That's why I think that you miss out on so much when your hurrying in a car from your home to work, or to a shopping mall (they all look the same, don't they...both the malls and the homes)! Someone needs to revise that plan...

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    I think one of the reasons people don't walk much is because they're in such a hurry. Being a home owner, I find myself at the local Lowes store 2 or 3 times a week, usually just to look around and get prices on stuff. So, I try to walk there from work during my lunch hour whenever I can. It's a 3 mile round trip, so by the time I've walked there, walked around in the store for a while, and walked back it takes about 1hr 15min. If I drive, I can accomplish the same thing in less than 30min. So, it depends on how busy I am at work, etc, whether I have the time to walk.

    Another thing that would help is if they (the city planners and such) would make it safer and more convenient to walk. The walk to Lowes has a 1/2 mile stretch with no sidewalks. So, I have to walk on the shoulder of the road. I tried avoiding this by cutting along the back side of a church's property, but that didn't work out because there were kids from their Christian church out for recess and they started harassing me! Can you believe that!? They started yelling at me from 200 ft. They didn't use foul language, but it still bothered me that "Christian" school kids would act that way and that the teachers would allow it. People can really be annoying at times, which is why I live in the country where there are fewer people.

    By the way, while I'm on the subject of annoying people, the cyclist that I've referred to in earlier posts that ride on the rural roads in my area are sometimes quite irritating. They get in groups and carry on conversations at the top of their lungs so they can hear each other over the wind noise. They often use foul language like "that was a h*** of a ..." or "how the f***did you do that ...", which really irritates me, especially if I'm out in the yard playing with my 4 year old twins!

  13. #13
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Danny Y
    Another thing that would help is if they (the city planners and such) would make it safer and more convenient to walk. The walk to Lowes has a 1/2 mile stretch with no sidewalks. So, I have to walk on the shoulder of the road.
    I agree. Walking to the store is so beneficial and relaxing, unless you have to step over trash and roadside junk to get there! Whatever happened to tight-knit communities in which everyone knew each other and you could walk to the store for a soda-pop, following quiet, tree-lined streets and passing neighbors along the way? Nowadays it seems like everyone drives and lives completely indoors. Sometimes my neighborhood look like a ghost town!

    Joke: a couple of kids ask their dad to take them to a friend's home. Dad replies, "Why, that is only two blocks away! Don't you children know what your two feet are for?"

    "Yes," replied one. "One is for the accelerator, the other is for the brake."

  14. #14
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    I always like to walk after a hard ride to stretch out my legs. One time I didn't and a few hours later...Ouch

  15. #15
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    I suppose I am a little different. I love to drive so afer a good ride I'll get in my car and absolutely rip it around!! For me its a bigger adrenaline rush than riding!

    Dan

  16. #16
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    Dan, Dan, Dan.... you are WAAAAAAAYYY different.

  17. #17
    Love Me....Love My Bike! aerobat's Avatar
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    I find some walking after a long ride is good as well. There was something in a recent fitness magazine that pointed out how two workouts in a day were beneficial. The second one didn't have to be anything extreme, but just enough to get the heart rate up slightly. A walk after riding would just fill the bill.
    Danny brings up a good point. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we're doing, we don't realize how it affects others. Even though as cyclists we're enjoying what we're doing and maybe are pretty laid back about it, we should make sure we're not infringing on others by swearing or anything else that annoys people around us.
    "...perhaps the world needs a little more Canada" - Jean Chretian, 2003.

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