Google employee uses high heels, paraglider, unicycle to encourage commuting outside of cars


A Kirkland, Washington, man is challenging all of us to think about how we get from point A to point B, and he's turning a lot of heads in the process. Bruce Dawson is using a different way to get to the Kirkland Google campus each day in September. So far, he’s flown in a powered paraglider, ridden a mountain unicycle and on Friday, he walked one and a quarter miles in high heels.

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“It's for fun and there's a purpose,” Dawson said Friday before he slipped on the high heels. “Today is different. This was my wife's suggestion.”

Dawson did his first commute challenge last April, and this month, he’s using all new methods to get to work. The only time he used a car was when a friend drove him and another Google employee to work in a 1939 Roadster. 

“I think we tend to default using a car for everything, and cars are convenient,” he said. “I totally understand that, and I do drive when I need to. But I think we have so much of that default assumption that we should be always taking the car.”

He’s chronicled each day of the commute challenge on video, and you can find it on his YouTube channel. He’s using #CommuteChallenge on social media.

Dawson is trying to line up a horse for one day next week and is also getting an assist from a friend with disabilities.

“See what it's like to get around in a wheelchair with a friend of mine who's in a chair,” Dawson said. “We're going to commute to work together in wheelchairs.”

His final commute outside of a car will be something practical most people can do; riding his bike. As he arrived on the Google campus on Friday morning, he was more than happy to take off the high heels.

“A few blisters, a good workout,” Dawson said. “But I'm very glad to be at work now.”


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