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Walking Bucky

You learn a lot about a Badger when try to walk with him across the Terrace. For example; he really likes large dogs, but gets upset when students are trying to study. Go behind the scenes with Badger Insider staffers as they try to keep Bucky moving.

Seven one-hundredths of a mile: this is the distance from the door of the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) building on North Lake Street to the big yellow chair on the Memorial Union Terrace: a distance that would take the average American one minute and 21 seconds to cover — assuming the average American walking pace is 3.1 miles per hour (which, according to the Internet, it is).

But what we at WAA have discovered is that Bucky Badger is nowhere near average (obviously, right?), particularly when it comes to walking. He struts with a peculiar gait that differs vastly from his fellow Mustelidae — namely, he’s on two legs. But even with his bipedal nature, he moves with a trajectory less akin to a grown person and more like a toddler. At Disneyland. Hopped up on Pixy Stix.

Which is why it took our Bucky Badger a little longer than 81 seconds to walk the .07 miles from our office to the Terrace for Badger Insider’s summer cover shoot. Like … 44 times longer. It took Bucky 20 minutes, on the button.

Okay, yes: Bucky covered more than .07 miles if we consider his zig-zag-double-back path. But his point-to-point walking pace clocks in at a dismal .21 miles per hour. Which means it would take him 4.75 hours to go one mile, nearly 15 hours to complete a 5K race, and more than 5 days to complete a marathon.

You may say he moves at a “snail’s pace,” but you would be wrong. The fastest speed ever recorded for a snail was .053 miles per hour. This particular snail, a British fellow named Archie, set the record while competing in the 1995 World Snail Racing Championships. Bucky moves marginally faster than a Galápagos tortoise’s pace — an average of .16 miles per hour which, coincidentally, is the top speed of a three-toed sloth. Where Bucky gets beat out for speed is by the gentlest of giants: the 1,300-pound manatee, which clips along at a rousing pace between three and five miles per hour. (The average speeds of these animals are shown in the graphic above.)

Regardless, after meeting numerous babies, posing for probably an entire SD card’s worth of photos, and harassing a handful of sensible studiers, Bucky finally made it to the photo shoot. Was it worth the wait? You’ll have to watch for your summer edition of Badger Insider to find out.

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