Saturday, October 2, 2010

Walking as Transportation? Are You Crazy?

Capitol City Brewing's Oktoberfest in Shirlington is one of my favorite events of the year. The weather's often perfect like it is today, sunny & 70, so it's a great excuse to spend a fall afternoon outdoors. The longer you live in Arlington, the more old friends you bump into while you're wandering around the booths. And it's where I've discovered some excellent local beers, like Shenandoah Brewing's Old Rag Mountain Ale.

With no Metro stop in Shirlington, I usually get there by bus or carpooling with a designated driver or in a cab. But this year, I told people I was thinking about walking from new place in East Falls Church.

They reacted like I was crazy. That's so far!

Some of that is just mental geography -- since people picture things in relation to Metro & highways, they don't realize East Falls Church & Shirlington are relatively close via back routes. In fact, the W & OD Trail provides a nearly straight-line connection (and some great scenery along the way).

But it's also America's separation of exercise & transportation. The same people shocked I'd walk 5 miles for transportation will themselves run 10 miles for exercise. I mean, people drive to the gym. How crazy is that? For most people, anything over a 10 minute walk & you're supposed to drive, or at least take public transportation. It's even worse for people who grew up in the suburbs, accustomed to driving as the only option.

Oh, one more thing. As an added benefit of my long walk, I'll burn somewhere around 600 calories. I will then immediately invest those calories in beer & kielbasa. Did I mention I love Oktoberfest?
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