Running While Black

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

This post initially was entitled “Person vs. Two Pickups, a Pistol and a Rifle,” until I saw a Wikipedia page dedicated to “Running while black.” One of its footnotes cites an article, Running while Black: Why we are not all in this together, in which the author, Dewayne R. Stallworth, states something that must haunt many black runners:

As an educated black man who enjoys taking contemplative runs in my neighborhood, I must confess that I leave my home with the thought that I may not return (and this is before Arbery’s killing). I think about my attire — would this shirt cause someone to think I am a burglar.

Jogging as a black person in the US is a thing. Being black imposes new risks on top of the usual difficulties with urban running: effort, breathing bad air, possible sprained ankle, collision with cars….[1] Driving in the US is also a thing. It imposes new risks to the environment, pedestrians, bikers, and animals. Where the two meet in this post is the power differential that automobiles offer. Cars and trucks make it not only easy, but extremely easy to injure nature and society with almost no effort at all.[2]
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Covidiocy, Covidity, Covitality

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

I was pretty sure I had invented all those words, but that’s not the case. Covidiocy refers to people who make inane statements or perform inane actions relative to covid-19. Covidity refers to having a proclivity toward respecting the guidelines for slowing down the spread of the virus. Covidity has its own Facebook page. Covitality predates covid-19. It is a kind of therapy for adolescents (especially). It phonetically contrasts with co-dependence. In Person vs. Automobile, however, I give it a new meaning.
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Person Meets Police

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

This is “person meets police” not “person vs. police,” please note.

Tuesday, April 2, I discovered late in the morning that I had a business meeting in Denver. The only bus that would get me there on time is the “LD2,” a regional bus that happens to skip my home town. So I decided to run out to highway 287 to catch it, which isn’t a big deal or a long run (about a mile), except that there was no bus stop where I expected one.

So I began to run south along the wide-shouldered highway toward the real bus stop, a mile away. Meanwhile, time was running out, so when cars came by, I turned around and stuck out my thumb, hoping someone would give me a short ride to the next stop.

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Why We Run in the Street (a picture story)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

This post is a public service announcement. With a web log named “Person versus Automobile,” I owe drivers an explanation of why I still risk running in the street. In this respect, there is no antagonism, only competing risks.

There’s a slight analogy here: as far as I know, my father avoided crosswalks because they provided false security. Whenever I feel I may trip on the sidewalk (if it exists), I shift to the street, assuming it’s empty.

Ok, on with the picture story.

Sometimes the sidewalk ends suddenly...happens a lot where I live.
Sometimes the sidewalk ends suddenly…happens a lot where I live.

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We Almost Drove Over My Real Estate Agent

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

When it was over, I gasped, and said, “We almost drove over my real estate agent!”

Hannah looked at the split-rail fence that had put her Subaru to a final stop. Little damage done.

The wintry day was sunny and the roads were mostly dry. We had just turned onto Marshall Road, outside of Boulder, speed limit 25.  

As we rounded a corner, I saw a woman running on the opposite side of the road, facing traffic, as one should do. She was blond, young and… 

“It’s Sally!” I thought—my real estate agent who had helped me sell my house in Coal Creek Canyon. Suddenly that thought gave way to, “Dang it, we’re sliding toward her!”

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