HAVE YOU SEEN ME?

I have been applauded, photographed, jeered and cursed.

That person walking down West Chester Pike or Lansdowne Avenue playing the ukulele - that was me. I passed your car on my rollerblades on Township Line.

That was me, dressed in a rain suit, walking or riding a kick scooter with a homemade carrying pack on the front. If it was Thursday, rain or shine I was on my bike going to or coming from work.

My round trip to work totals 10 miles. The rest of the week, I average five miles a day. That is 40 miles a week and I do it 52 weeks a year.

When I can't do my alternative thing, I take public transportation. I have been doing these activities all of my adult life (I am 51 years old). We own a family car. I can drive. I have a valid driver's license. Friends and colleagues think that I am eccentric (putting it mildly). Their comments include: "You must save a lot on gas." "You must be very healthy." "Think what you are doing for the environment."

These are very good reasons for doing what I do, and I guess that they are there in the back of my mind. But ultimately I do it because it is right . . . for me. My body is meant for motion. I like variety. I don't like sitting in traffic. I don't care how long it takes to get there. I give myself time. Sweat dries. There are good eight-hour deodorants. I don't like who I become when I drive a car.

Maybe you have similar thoughts and feelings. Maybe, one of these days, you'll take a shot at walking or riding your bike to work or just on a short errand. Doctors have prescribed walking as a great form of aerobic exercise. Well, maybe, one of these days, I'll see you out here in the open air.

By the way, have you noticed the rising price of gas and of health care and other news stories related to your health?

Martin Hyde

Havertown