January 4, 2008

Reason #3: Wildlife

On my bike ride home from work last night as I passed under SE 56th Street on the Pickering Trail there was an owl sitting on the ground alongside the trail who looked up and silently took off as my glowing bike went by.

I’ve seen foxes and coyotes and deer, raccoons, and possums on that and other trails around town. There are always rabbits. Great blue herons, cedar waxwings, mergansers (common and hooded), lots of different ducks and other birds are common sights and sounds on and near the trails through our town.

Walking or biking is quiet enough that these shy creatures aren’t frightened away. We have the freedom to stop and look when we catch some motion out of the corner of our eyes. These are wonderful reminders of how many wild animals peacefully share our town with us.

January 2, 2008

Reason #2: Shared streets become safer

The more people walk and bike, the safer walking and biking become for everyone.

This counter-intuitive result has been reported various places including a post on the Sightline Institute blog.

The theory is that as bike/ped numbers increase so do drivers’ expectation of encountering them. If drivers are used to seeing people on bikes or walking then they more automatically look out for them.

I like to think that not only do drivers become more cautious of walkers and bikers, they also become more likely to leave their cars parked for short errands adding further to the number of people on the streets and making it even safer for us all.

So when you get around Issaquah under your own power your example makes it both safer and easier for others to do the same.

November 12, 2007

Reason #1: Weather

There are lots of reasons to travel around our town under your own steam. For example, the weather.

There is nothing better to make you feel alive and part of the world than to be outdoors experiencing the weather. The sun warming your back. A spritz of rain on your face. Sometimes both at once! And always the movement of the air, sometimes a gentle caress, sometimes, like today, jostling and careening through the valley like a herd of buffalo.

Being out in the weather for long enough to get where you’re going gives you time to reflect on where that air has been, where that rain will go next, what that sunshine sets in motion in all the green around us.