Friday, July 11, 2008

two mile map

My friend Eve emailed me instead of posting a comment because she's either unreasonably shy or lazy. Whatever, she needs to deal. She said:


Oops, wait, no that was a copy/paste from work. She actually said:

Your last post made me think of this:

Forty percent of urban driving is for trips that are under two miles. Easy bike-riding distance. If we can make biking safer and more pleasant, like it is in Amsterdam, we can seriously cut down on our dependence on foreign oil.

I thought she was linking to some boring article that would take 6 pages to say what she said in 2 sentences. But no! Eve's too cool to link to anything that dull! In reality, it's a site that will map a two-mile circumference from your zip code, so you can magically see all the places you can easily bike or walk to.

I absolutely love this. Wendy and I are always talking about how misleadingly small Berkeley is. Wendy's infamous for driving "totaled" cars that quite often need to be pushed or towed to their destination. So she's an expert on the AAA 5-mile tow limit, which is almost impossible to exceed in Berkeley and North Oakland.

My friend Daan, who's all into triathlons and water polo and stuff, told me he had friends who trained for a marathon each Saturday. They had big trouble finding the requisite 13 miles or more to run. So on Saturdays, he'd see them all over town and on the trails, and even taking breaks at cafes...they popped up everywhere.

Amazing to think that people used to do nothing but walk here. I sometimes wish we could simulate our environment as it was pre-1849. When I'm in Temescal, I often think about the native Americans who were steam bathing there before Europeans showed up and set up the slightly unsavory Hot Tubs of Berkeley.

Anyway, this whole thing has inspired me to get a beater bike and see if Sequoia can successfully run alongside. Okay, maybe not "this whole thing" -- in particular, Michael inspired me when he said, "You should get a beater bike and see if Sequoia..."

I haven't owned a bike since my last one was stolen years ago. Fun fact: that happened after a party I went to in SF, where a friend of mine met her husband. Last week I was at her house, celebrating her husband's birthday, and ran into a guy I had met at that same party and briefly dated what seems like eons ago. He's still biking everywhere (and restoring creeks, and being in general an asset to society) -- and seeing him reminded me of how much I used to love cycling.

Clearly, the universe is telling me I need a Schwinn.

1 comment:

Wayfarer said...

Let's go used bike shopping together. I've been thinking the same thing!

There's also this fun website about all the cool places to walk in your neighborhood, and scores the "walkability" of your 'hood.

I made it a point, of course, to send this to my new beau who seems to have a sick attachment to living in the 'burbs. My neighborhood scores 91 out of 100, his about 50! Ha!