ONCE, THE ONLY WHEELS THE NATION CARED ABOUT WERE ATTACHED TO THE CARS OF OUR DREAMS. HOWEVER, IN A BID TO BEAT THE TRAFFIC JAMS AND SEE MORE OF THE CITIES WE LIVE IN, WE’RE INCREASINGLY RECLAIMING OUR PEDESTRIANISED CITY CENTRES AND CYCLE LANES.
And the longer we’re spending as pavement, rather than road warriors, the more we’re investing in off-road essentials like prams, bikes, active wear and increasingly advanced pavement scooters.
And for those who want to enjoy life in the (not quite as) fast lane, and leave the car in the driveway a bit more often without breaking the budget, there are plenty of affordable options. Using Liverpool’s Citybike scheme, for example, you could hire a bike for just £3 a day, and similar schemes (including Manchester’s Mobikes) have been rolled out across the country.
One of the advantages of becoming a pavement warrior is that the opportunities for expressing your individuality are almost limitless. For example, when Lloyd Kahn turned 65, he decided to take up a new hobby: skateboarding. A decade later, a few injuries took him off the roads, seemingly for good, but at 81, he’s back on his board and back in the press.
If dancing’s more your style, we’re no strangers to a nice bit of impromptu street dancing in the North West. So, if you’d rather see friendly faces cycling, skateboarding or indeed dancing by (which has got to do more to raise a smile than sitting in stationary traffic!) it could be time you broke out your trainers, dusted off your Fitbit and set about reclaiming that pavement.
Of course, it can be much harder to spend as much time outdoors as you’d ideally like if you have mobility issues. However, brands like Pro Rider Mobility are on the case these days, offering well-designed and robust scooters which have been created specifically for use on pavements.
Similarly, if you have very young children, leaving the house to explore the neighbourhood can sometimes feel like a herculean task. Sadly, His & Hers doesn’t have any clever tips on co-ordinating things so that more than one child is ready to leave the house at the same time (if only!) However, on the plus side, we have noticed that pushchairs, prams and buggies have all come a very long way in the past decade.
They’re considerably more stylish, manoeuvrable and lightweight these days, but a word of caution: there’s virtually no upper limit on the price people will pay for next-generation buggies (like the popular Concord Neo Carbon Travel System, which costs an eye-watering £1,859) so you may want to do your research and have a budget in mind before you go shopping.
Once you’ve decided what kit (if any) you’ll need and have packed your umbrella (an autumn essential no matter how blue those skies appear to be when you set out!) we really hope you’ll enjoy exploring your neighbourhood. Here at His & Hers, we’re always taken aback by just how much breath-taking architecture surrounds us in the North West when we take the time to slow down, meander through town and take it all in.
Image: courtesy of Think Global Heritage