Active Commuting in Omaha

9

SEPTEMBER, 2016

Well, we did it.

We traded in both of our vehicles and bought a new truck. We are now a One Vehicle Couple as of last weekend. We talked about doing this after our wedding (a mere 15 days away!) but there was a great deal we couldn't pass up, so it happened a little sooner than planned.

I've grown tired of the yakkity-schmackity of car ownership. The maintenance. The taxes. The insurance. Yawn. Double yawn. My sweetie and I are crazy close to work. He's a mile from his office downtown and I'm a mile and half from mine. Walkable. Bikeable. Bus-able. And here's the silly thing: The parking lot where I parked my car is right next to the bus stop. When I would go out to my car to leave for work, a city bus would pull up right next to me. Zoinks!

My epiphany was; "Hey! I could be on that bus!"

Have Pink Tires, Will Travel!

Weeks ago, I planned on taking the bus to work a few days a week to test drive how it would go. But I was dragging my feet. Why? I guess, even though I'm all car-yakkity-schmackity, I didn't want to lose the autonomy of leaving for work when I wanted to leave for work. I run in the mornings and didn't want to put a kink in that routine. And, well, I still harbor a childhood fear of missing the bus. I was the kid with the Osmond lunchbox, running to catch the bus ... the lunchbox would open and unleash all the round foods to roll out all over the place. If Donny Osmond only knew the humiliation I endured he'd write a song about it.

One day at work, a Wellcom representative came to talk to us about active commuting. Wellcom helps worksites become healthier, together - creating a happier, healthier worksite. Here's a link to learn more: http://www.elevatingwellness.org/welcome.html

Active commuting to work is pretty much what it sounds like: you get yourself to your workplace in a more active way other than driving a car. It can be biking or putting your bike on the bus and doing a bike/ride combo. It can be taking the bus which means you'll walk to and from the bus stop. It can be simply walking. I guess you could skip if you want to. Remember the woman who became an internet sensation by prancing? Yes, that would count, too. Active commuting not only keeps your commute green, but adds physical activity to your day and no traffic jams mean less stress. Bonus!

"I decided to walk home at the end of the day to get in a little more exercise. The walk home really helps decompress from the day. Bonus again!"

The thing that hit me from the presentation was that you don't have to do it every day. Active commuting every day can sound overwhelming...but the idea is to incorporate an active means of getting about town at least once a week. Most importantly, the message was just give it a try. Give it a go. See how it goes! It's not for everyone, but it might be for you.

So, the next day I took the bus. Talk about easy-sneezy. It's right outside our condo entrance. I left the driving to the pro, put in my ear buds to listen to some jazz and it was all good. I have to walk only about a block from the bus stop to the office door. I decided to walk home at the end of the day to get in a little more exercise. The walk home really helps decompress from the day. Bonus again!

Omaha Bike Map.

Remember the old Metro Bus maps? Whadda mess! You needed a magic decoder ring to figure them out. Their new online info is concise and easy to follow. Check it out: http://www.ometro.com/

The dealie-o is that living here in our fabulous building makes this type of commuting easy. We're close to everything. Public transportation is right outside our door. You can easily walk or bike for food, fun, or work. Location. Location. Location.

Give active commuting a try and let me know how it goes!