EDITORS NOTE

Having never really thought about it, it was quite interesting to discover recently that the average walking speed for humans is around 5 km/h. On a Saturday not long ago, some friends and I took a relaxed mountain hike on the back of the Table Mountain range, and ended up covering close on 16 km – with our stops, we did the whole route in roughly five and a half hours.

My iPhone told me I’d taken 24 118 steps in total, which just seems amazing to me. Legs and feet are remarkable things. My bedtime reading at the moment has been Christopher McDougall’s bestselling book Bor...
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Having never really thought about it, it was quite interesting to discover recently that the average walking speed for humans is around 5 km/h. On a Saturday not long ago, some friends and I took a relaxed mountain hike on the back of the Table Mountain range, and ended up covering close on 16 km – with our stops, we did the whole route in roughly five and a half hours.

My iPhone told me I’d taken 24 118 steps in total, which just seems amazing to me. Legs and feet are remarkable things. My bedtime reading at the moment has been Christopher McDougall’s bestselling book Born to Run, which details how incredibly well-adapted our bodies are to walking, and more specifically, endurance running, even compared to some animal species we presume to be more proficient than us – such as horses. In terms of efficiency in stride length, humans trump horses! So, as you can see, I’m quite interested in human movement at the moment.

But maybe, with the way advances in personal transport are going, the proficiency of humans’ leg- and foot function is becoming less and less important as our species evolves. I’m talking about the emergence of e-mobility: in other words, all of the various types of innovative personal-transport devices that are being created all the time. We have electric bikes, scooters, hoverboards (which don’t actually hover, as it turns out), unicycles … the list goes on and on. In light of this, in this month’s issue, we’ve taken a closer look at a few types and brands. Although they mean less physical activity – a definite con – one cool thing about these innovative devices is that they’re bringing us closer to a sustainable solution for the problem of ‘the last mile’ in the sphere of urban transport and commuting. Public transport (if it can get its act together in our cities), might get us close to work, but it can’t always get us all the way there, which is where owning some form of e-transport might be the answer (as it seems walking isn’t too popular these days, in spite of us being so anatomically good at it).

This issue is packed with some compelling features, but I won’t drop any spoilers – rather flip over to our contents page to find out more. We had a lot of fun putting this together, and, as always, look forward to hearing your feedback.

Lastly, while on the topic of writing to us, I’d really love to hear from all of you – engage with us on the readers’ letters pages, or the Do It Your Way lifehacks and tips at the back, and you can win great prizes. It’s really not hard putting together an interesting letter with some pics, sending it off to our popularmechanics@ramsaymedia.co.za inbox, getting published, and winning a prize. It’s as simple as that.
Go on, I dare you.show less