Monday, June 15, 2009

Jersey Goodness and" Share the Road"

I saw the best jersey the other day! Tour de France yellow, nifty pockets, and a bold, arrow-adorned slogan saying “3 Feet Please”. I loved it. However, lately most of the traffic has been extremely nice about my sharing the road – thoughtful and giving me plenty of space (You know who you are. Hug yourself). They don't need a reminder. The remaining 10% continue to whiz by with inches to spare, often honking loudly enough to startle me into swerving, and often swearing out the window to inform me that my presence on their road is an affront. They won't care about my three feet – my very presence is apparently a mortal offense.

So, as happens on long rides, I envisioned another jersey: “Legally on Road”? Or how about: “State Law-Abiding”? Maybe: “Monitored by Police Camera?” No, that would be false advertising. If it wouldn't slow me down and entangle me with oncoming cars at lights, I'd trail a banner, a lá Jersey Shore: “State Law: I'm Supposed to Be On the Road!! See CT Title 14 Chapter 248, Section 14-286!!” A girl can dream.

While looking up that law so I could tell you about it, I discovered that Connecticut has, as a part of its Safe Routes to School Initiative, launched a "Share the Road" campaign, which among other things enshrined the three feet in state law. I'm thrilled, except that the press release is a month old and I had no idea the campaign was on. If I didn't notice, how to transmit this news to that 10%?

Start here:

After you've sent the image along to whoever might be interested, check out the “Learn More” link. All the stuff I've been scouring the internet for, neatly collected on a state-run website.

The image I want on my jersey would be: “So Happy Together”. Anyone reading this good at silk-screening?

And because the 3 Feet Please jersey is pretty great, you can find it here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Walking around in pain for fashion

So I was in New York City the other day. Even though it was cloudy and cool, it was great to walk around and people-watch a bit. You'd think I'd learn to suspend vanity and just wear my tourist sneakers, but I don't learn, and I have blisters from my flip-flops.

Why don't women take care of their feet? There we were in a city where everyone walks, and women were teetering around in high heels or padding around in ballet flats - and flat or not, those things have no support at all. I could have saved myself a world of pain (and my husband a world of whining) if I had been willing to sacrifice fashion and wear my not-cute, not-trendy Brooks athletic shoes, the Oscar winners of arch support.

Poorly designed footwear, especially high heels, helps produce bunions, plantar fascitis, heel spurs, you name it. And then you end up not being able to walk, let alone create a life that doesn't depend on cars.

Let me tell you, the men I saw were not tipping and clacking with their behinds thrust out (a postural side-effect of high heels). And they were even wearing nice shoes that matched their expensive business suits.

So, other women, I ask you this: when do we send teetering heels into history along with the corset? Compare the damage the one does to the damage of the other. Wear flat, comfortable shoes with a killer outfit.

And guys: if you really, truly want to see a world with fewer cars, more walking and biking, and healthier people, act turned off by stiletto heels. Even if you think they're hot.