Paul Kiczek's Blog (155)

Spreading the FreeWalker Gospel

Be forwarned! Getting inspired is a mixed blessing.

Many of you already know that I was originally inspired to walk extremely long distances by the Kennedy brothers back in 1963. It was a message that they carried and a can-do attitude that anything was possible that caused me to try and walk 50-miles…


Added by Paul Kiczek on February 25, 2013 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Walkonomics App Rates Walkability of a Street

Following the popularity of the Walk Score idea of rating a town based on pedestrian amenities, a new mobile and desktop app was recently released to rate more details. Where Walk Score can rate a community, Walkonomics uses a rating…


Added by Paul Kiczek on February 21, 2013 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Kids Who Walk or Bike to School Concentrate Better

A study of nearly 20,000 Danish kids between the ages of 5 and 19 found that kids who cycled or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school.

The process of getting…


Added by Paul Kiczek on February 14, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

“I am here” Days - Exploring NY, Unplugged and on Foot

There's a group of urban adventurers that have discovered what we already know.

There's something special in exploring our communities by foot. Maybe they are a little more casual in the way they meander about in New York City, but seems to me they come up with the same conclusions as we FreeWalkers have learned about walking together and…


Added by Paul Kiczek on January 25, 2013 at 10:00am — No Comments

Reflecting on the Life of Peace Pilgrim - Her 28 Year Walk

Starting out in 1953, Mildred Norman changed her name to "Peace Pilgrim" and began a walk that only ended at her death 28 years later in 1981. She walked across America many times and much of Canada. By 1964, she estimated she had walked 25,000 miles and then stopped counting. People took notice.

She gave new meaning to the word minimalist,…


Added by Paul Kiczek on January 4, 2013 at 4:30pm — 3 Comments

The Case for Walkability as an Economic Development Tool

Here's an interesting article about Lancaster, California which has suffered economic downturns but in 2008 created a "Form-based code" that zoned a devastated  downtown for promoting pedestrian traffic and businesses. Now, downtown is called "THE BLVD".

The program has been a success and now town is converting to a 100% solar powered city.…


Added by Paul Kiczek on January 4, 2013 at 3:22pm — No Comments

Why People in Cities Walk Fast

Do pedestrian walking speeds indicate a city's economic activity? It turns out there's a rather long history of research into the speed of walking in cities, and that the evidence suggests a strong connection between fleetness of foot and fatness of wallet.

For years a theory was held that the size and density of the population led to a "social…


Added by Paul Kiczek on December 18, 2012 at 1:30pm — No Comments

The Wild Parrots of Edgewater: How ya doin?

If you've walked HudsonLoop30 or the Hudson River Walkway in Edgewater, a few miles from the GWB, there's a good chance if you looked up in the trees you would see a double-take sight - Parrots flying around and in huge nests in trees. 

It turns out these are Monk parrots, the only breed of 358 parrots that can survive and thrive the harsh New Jersey winters. They do this by…


Added by Paul Kiczek on December 6, 2012 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Marchetti’s Constant and the Airport Walk

Here's an interesting article about two different ideas.

"Marchetti's Constant" is a rule applied to transportation issues. The mean amount of time people all over the world spend in everyday transit is about an hour. Based on research by Cesare Marchetti, he found that…


Added by Paul Kiczek on November 16, 2012 at 12:41pm — No Comments

Halloween is 'Deadliest Day' Of The Year For Child Pedestrians

No surprise here! But, some scary news.

Kids have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. State Farm®, the nation's leading auto insurer, teamed up with research…


Added by Paul Kiczek on October 23, 2012 at 8:07pm — No Comments

Warning: Sitting Can be Hazardous to Your Health

An Australian study found adults who spends an average of six hours a day watching TV over the course of a lifetime can expect to live 4.8 years fewer than a person who does not watch TV.

In fact, every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life…


Added by Paul Kiczek on October 23, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

International Walk to School Day

Did you know that there is an International Walk to School Day? It just occurred Oct 3rd and there was local participation in our nearby towns. Kids from the Montclair Cooperative School celebrated with students and parents marching up the sidewalks to school and will continue walking and biking throughout the month of “WALK-tober”. …


Added by Paul Kiczek on October 5, 2012 at 2:25pm — No Comments

An Unscenic Urban Walk: From Lower Manhattan to Kennedy Airport

FreeWalkers are not the only odd ones walking in unusual places as this New York Times article suggests. 

There's an annual 13-mile walk in New York City from Union Square to JFK Airport headed by Andy Maskin, a Gramercy Park resident started on a gratingly beautiful day in 2004. He was inside; he…


Added by Paul Kiczek on September 18, 2012 at 11:07am — No Comments

Middlesex Greenway Dedication

An old railroad corridor has now officially been transformed into the Middlesex Greenway. The Middlesex Greenway evolved by converting the abandoned Lehigh Valley Railroad into a 3.5-mile linear County Park Trail from Crows Mill Road in…


Added by Paul Kiczek on September 17, 2012 at 9:52pm — No Comments

Put on Your Exoskeleton and Take a Walk

Companies and research labs are working on wearable robots made to help disabled people or to make the human body superhuman. Suits for the disabled are now used in rehabilitation centers, but a day may come when they will let people take to the sidewalks, the shopping malls — and maybe…


Added by Paul Kiczek on September 14, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments

Interactive Walks Designed for the Experience

There's a new breed of walking that's growing in urban environments where curious walkers experience anything from philosophical discourse to poetry and nature - both night and day.

Groups such as Elastic City in NYC recently presented a 10…


Added by Paul Kiczek on September 12, 2012 at 10:49am — No Comments

What Motivates Americans to Exercise?

Research has pointed out that the way we frame our message to exercise may be a good part of the reason so many people give it up.

It seems that we need to create a message that exercise provides more immediate results that motivate us individually. Instead of promising results in months and…


Added by Paul Kiczek on August 31, 2012 at 2:50pm — No Comments

The Dirty Side of Walking: Banned Racewalker Admits to Doping

Does this sound familiar? But for walking?

Italian racewalking champion Alex Schwazer admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs in the run-up to the London Olympics, a potentially career-ending move that led to his exclusion from the Games.

At his first news…


Added by Paul Kiczek on August 30, 2012 at 9:18pm — No Comments

Walking Gained as the Most Common Physical Activity by U.S. Adults


Added by Paul Kiczek on August 28, 2012 at 10:21pm — No Comments

ECGA Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Lincoln Park in Jersey City

I along with FreeWalkers David Asher and Corey Storch attended a ribbon cutting ceremony with DOT officials and Mayor Healy (shown here) last Friday to celebrate the improvements between Newark and Jersey City - sometimes known as no-man's land or as we like to call it, "Intersection Hell"…


Added by Paul Kiczek on June 25, 2012 at 10:11pm — No Comments

Recent Events

Spring Ahead 2017

March 19, 2017 - Eight FreeWalkers walked the 12-miles from Trenton to Princeton on a day when winter would not let go. Snow covered trail and cold temps slowed down the trek but sun and good spirits were plentiful. 

See photos here

Roosevelt Island/Astoria 2017

March 4, 2017 - About 40 braved the mid-teens and walked across town to the tram. We explored the island and the FDR 4 Freedoms Monument and park. Eventually crossing the bridge to Queens for some middle-eastern sights, smells and tastes. Ending it all at the famous Czech Beer Hall. 

See photos here

See survey results here

Kennedy 50-Mile Walk 2017

February 4, 2017 - An event for history buffs and hardcore walkers. Our 4th walk along the C&O Canal in Maryland and West Virginia - just like Bobby Kennedy did in 1963. Chilly weather did not dampen the can-do spirit of 50 fellow walkers at our grand annual event.

Learn more>>
See photos here
See survey results here

TRAINing Walk 2017

January 28, 2017 - It's mid-winter and 75 hearty walkers show up at the Morristown train station. This year we went West to East and ended in a cozy bar called Coda. Special kudos to Madison Honda for their hospitatlity.

See photos here
See the survey results here.

Midnight March on Princeton

January 7, 2017 - The Midnight March was our first all-night walking event and first event for the new year. Six brave FreeWalkers played wannabe soldiers and stayed with the troops into daybreak.
Read the entire story here
See photos here

See the video!

Holiday Lights in Dyker Heights

December 16, 2016 - About a dozen FreeWalkers braved extreme cold and outmaneuvered rabid fans of the famous Brooklyn neighborhood. Thanks to Nakis Pericleous for leading us to the holiday kingdom.
See photos here

South Orange - Maplewood Walk & Year-end Party

December 4, 2016 - There were 35 FreeWalkers walking the grand and historic neighborhoods of South Orange and Maplewood followed by our year-end party and awards. Thanks to Risa Olinsky and David Ascher for a great day for a walk, celebration party and a start of the holiday season..
See photos here

Gobble-Gobble for MEND

November 25, 2016 - A crowd of about 40 walked off some turkey and at the same time helped the unfortunate in our communities by supporting MEND of Essex County - a food-bank charity that we support. Gobble-Gobble Walkers were asked to bring food and/or donate to help the hungry.
See photos here

Stroll & Roll - Union County

November 6, 2016 - Familes and FreeWalkers enjoyed a great fall day in Echo Lake Park, Mountainside, NJ as we got about 200 participants strolling and rolling. Kids had as much fun as adults enjoying the games, mild temps and colorful leaves on our first-ever family walking event. Thank you sponsors and Risa Olinsky and Yohana Osorio for organizing!
See photos here

Philadelphia Marathon Walk

October 30, 2016 - Charles Upkike led about 20 FreeWalkers along the route of the Philadelphia Marathon, know for its scenery - especially this time of year.

Legend of Sleepy Hollow Walk

October 30, 2016 - Rick Mohovich led about a dozen FreeWalkers around the Tarrytown area in a walk that passed through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery of Wahington Irving fame.

Tour of Brooklyn - Coney Island

October 29, 2016 - 25 FreeWalkers walked from the New City waterfront to Coney Island on our annual tour of a different section of Brooklyn each year. Always popular and interesting, we enjoyed great weather and scenery as we walked the greenway trail, including under the Verrazano Bridge. Thanks leader Nancy Jonap!
See photos here

Autumn on the Delaware Series

October 20-23, 2016 - Four consecutive days, 120 miles. Walking from York PA to Frenchtown. FreeWalkers walked in support of Jim Gregoire, a FreeWalker and man on a mission to walk the entire US East Coast. Charles Updike, FreeWalkers PA Regional director organized this series of walk to keep him company and provide a great reason to visit the Delaware River area.
See photos here

Sailung Nepal Trek

October 3-16, 2016 - Two weeks trekking te foothills of the Himalayas. Sydney Frymire of Trek of Your Life (TOYL), a FreeWalker and experienced hiker and traveler organizes trips to Nepal which include a bit of volunteerism and plenty of incredible sights.
See photos here

Lenape 34

October 10, 2016 - On Columbus Day each year we brave the wilds of Essex County and travel through five reservations, 8 parks a dozen or so towns as we walk from Millburn to Cedar Grove, Montclair and Newark as we follow the Lenape Trail for 34 miles in our most diverse walk.
See photos here

Endless Summer Walk

September 24, 2016 - Once again we tried our best to hold on to summer and made a 30-mile trek along the bayshore and oceanside from Matawan to Sandy Hook to Asbury Park. Great conditions again this year for a beautiful walk and one of our most popular.
See photos here

Tour of Boston

September 17, 2016 - Fran Price, our FreeWalker leader in Boston, put together a great tour of the highlights of Boston. We walked from South Boston to Copley Square, mostly following the water and the historic trail.
See photos here

Providence - Boston Expedition

Providence to Boston July 23 to July 29 - Loredana, Ken and Nancy have finished thier 110 mile week-long expedition on the ECGA.

Read Loredana's story on why she walks the expedition each year.

See Loredana's 7-day Photo Journal

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