Walk2work2010 - Walker profiles

TELL US YOUR STORY - email your walk to work story to walk2work@livingstreets.org.nz                                                        

Walking to work you have time to smell the roses - and more, as one walker found out

"Walking to work down Cuba Street the florist was giving away free flowers so I had a lovely lily on my desk all week from my work to work." (Ping Sim, Greater Wellington City Council) 

Participants of the Walk2work 2010 events said: 'I like to walk to work because . . . '

* It's refreshing, gives me time to think and prepare for the day ahead. It's free, burns calories and energises me!

* Amazing things just miraculously seem to happen. Like today, I was just given free coffee and live music. Yesterday I met and talked to a Tibetan monk. Walking's great!

* It wakes me up before work and gives me a chance to smile at other early morning Auckland folk

* From the money I have saved in bus fares, I have bought electric guitars for my son and myself

* It is a win-win-win. I get fit, there's one less car on the road, it is enjoyable and it is free!

* It's a good way to get exercise and enjoy the sunshine when the rest of the day is spent inside

* It gives me exercise and saves $ on gym fees

* It's a good way to get the blood pumping in the morning

* W alking to work is great,

A lovely way to start the day.

L istening to my Ipod,

K eeping fit and healthy.

I am travelling sustainably!

N ice to smile and wave at the 'regulars' I see.

G oing to keep this up!

* I LOVE IT! It leaves me feeling fresh and energized. It gives me time to think and prepare for the day ahead. It is time for me, my time-out. To top it all off is also free and burns calories!

* My eyes notice small seasonal changes, my ears hear birdsong, my heart likes the gentle workout, my legs enjoy the steady rhythm, and my mind feels the stresses of life ebbing away with each happy step

* I feel invigorated by the fresh morning air instead of merely getting in ones car and adding to all the noise and outrageous congestion on the packed to the rafters Northern Motorway

* It leaves my vehicle in the garage saving me money while I benefit my health and keep in touch with my neighbourhood

* I didn't get to be so gorgeous driving a car

 We asked some questions to some people who walk2work regularly.  Here are their stories:

Name: Luke Gayton

How long does it take you to walk to work?

40 minutes. My way to work is an exciting trip that leads me through bushy views and dawn choruses at Stoke Street, a skip down Hanson Street, a pit stop at Four Square, a zigzag at the waterfront and quite a few crossings.

Do you walk alone or with others?

I commute alone, but I exercise at lunchtime with my colleagues at NZ Customs Service, and on the weekends with my walking group Scenic Walkers.

What is on your mind when you walk?

An upcoming toastmasters speech, mind-bending work puzzles, and sometimes I’m gloriously not thinking at all!

What is your favourite walking song?

“The happy wanderer” by Frank Weir. I love to go a wandering… It sums me up to a tee!

If you could improve your locally walking route, what would you ask from the council?

The crossing on John Street – it could be shifted downhill 15 metres, as heaps of people are crossing near there. Or maybe another crossing at the mouth of Hutchinson as I’ve had near misses crossing Hutchinson due to cars whizzing out to join the stream.

The blocks of concrete at the end of Kumutoto wharf are obstructing pedestrians. And it would be great if I could cross straight over to the petrol station on Whitmore St somehow. 


Name: Roger Burra

Organisation: Opus:

Describe your walk to work?

I either cycle or walk to and from work. My favorite route from CBD to Kilbirnie is along the waterfront and up Roseneath Street. Along the Crescent and Grafton Road I get nice views across the harbour and of all the fancy houses. If I’m very lucky, one of my friends who lives in Hataitai is able to give me a tea break on the way. It takes about an hour, provided I don’t get the tea break. 

What is your dream walk?

My fantasy walk would be to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It is not as tall as Mount Everest, but I think I have more of a chance to conquer it!

What is your favourite walking song?

Monty Python’s “I’m a lumberjack”. I find it easy to make up new lyrics when I can’t remember the words.

What are you thinking about when you walk?

I like to think about the future, planning ahead, and working out what sort of person I want to be.

If you could improve your locally walking route, what would you ask from the council?

Every now and again I walk through the Mount Victoria Tunnel.  The vehicle emissions usually bring on a mild asthma attack. I’d really like it if NZTA made it more pleasant to walk from the CBD to Hataitai.


Name: Lily Linton
Organisation: Living Streets
What is your favourite walking song?

as a song *about* walking I quite like 'Walkabout' by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. When walking music helps to set the pace, fast or slow.  

Describe your walk to work?
I prefer to walk home from work than the other way around. I live a bit too far away to do both! but I try to vary my walk and especially like variations that include a view, or a park. My favourite walks include a view of the sea, or a beautiful, surprising or thoughtful piece of urban art, taking the long way sometimes to explore.

What are you thinking about when you walk?
I think about everything when I walk! It's my thinking time. I sometimes stop to write because I get ideas when out and about in the world. Quite often I use the time to make plans, or to catch up on music. Walking from Berhampore into town for work takes about 45mins, I often shorten it by catching the bus, avoiding the boring, busy part of Adelaide road and walking the last bit through the interesting side streets in the city. I've come across some beautiful hidden buildings that way. I love how on foot you can find small fascinating things that make you smile, that you just don't catch from a moving vehicle. And you can stop anytime you like - there's great freedom of movement, much more than any other kind of transport. It's easy to be spontaneously drawn aside, by friends, delicious smells and bright colours. 

If you could improve your locally walking route, what would you ask from the council?

I'd like to see more trees and shelter along Adelaide road. It is quite a long dry blustery place and each bus stop seems tempting but a long way away as a result.  



Name: Vincent Dickie

Organisation: Living Streets

Describe your walk to work?

It takes me 35 minutes to walk to work.  I walk through the lovely old streets and parks of Auckland's Grey Lynn, Ponsonby and Freemans Bay with their classic villas and bungalows and I often see friends and people I know from the community.

What is your dream walk?

My favourite walk was over 700km's long when I walked the ancient pilgrim's trail in Spain known as 'el Camino Santiago'.  It gave me a detailed insight into Spain's past and present: people's celebrations and commiserations, new cities, ancient villages, busy roads and peaceful mountain trails. I would love to walk a trail that winds through New Zealand someday. 

Do you walk alone or with others?
I often walk alone to work and on hiking trails as I find it gives me time to process my ideas, thoughts and feelings.  

What is your favourite walking song?

My favourite song for casual walking is the hum of crickets.  If I'm in a hurry, a band like Kora on my MP3 player might get me there faster!

What are you thinking about when you walk?

I process ideas, thoughts and feelings when I walk.  Some of my best inspiration has come about whilst I've been walking.

If you could improve your locally walking route, what would you ask from the council?

if I had one change i could make it would be to place pedestrian crossings before all give way signs at all intersections - like they have in Canada/USA.



*The opinions expressed are those of the individuals and not necessarily of the company they are working for.







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Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

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