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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    IHT article of gas costs/ Bike commute culture.

    Below is a link to an interesting article about cars, petroleum, and biking as an alternative means of transportation. Since some national governments are hopelessly deadlocked in the car is king culture; some cities who can't cope with car gridlock have taken to their own means to promote bike commuting. Actions like London and Bogota , Colombia place fees upon using cars during peak times. Copenhagen is so determined to lessen gridlock, they actually provide commuters with free bikes.
    Only US town mentioned is Chicago. Seoul actually demolished a freeway to turn it into bike paths and parks.
    Interesting comments. Mayor of Bogota says in twenty years, switching to bikes would buy one family a house, due to the savings. London merchants were initially worried that punishing cars would reduce sales. Wrong. Increased mobility by commuters enhanced merchant's sales. Mayor of London says as bikes obtain a 'critical mass' resistance to cycling diminishes, bikes are accepted, cars slow down and there are fewer traffic fatilities, due to less miles driven and safer practices by motorists. The mayor said traffic fatalities have halves as bike mileage has doubled.
    In the US many feel cyclists have no rights to transportation monies. Because they don't pay gas taxes.
    A study in Netherlands said even though 25% of commutes are on bike. Bike lanes gets only 6% of the funding.Wish the US would even fund alternative transportation at a 6% figure.
    Negatives. Beijing's bike commute population has fallen 66% as they turn to the car, at the costs of ever increasing petroleum costs and climate change.
    Unexpected faccts. Danes commute on bike 936 KM a year. Dutch 848 and US- 40 KM. Thought the Dutch were the worlds greaterst bikers.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/05/...ess/wbbike.php

  2. #2
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I wondered why there awas no info on the Japanese (or other Asian nations for that matter) distances.

    I knew the Italians, French and English distances were not as great as the Germans, Swedes and Belgians but it does show just how far back the US (and presumably, Canadians and Australians) are in using bikes compared to other countries.

    That would explain different priorities in using and viewing bicycles being used (the old, bicycles are dangerous argument)

  3. #3
    gravity speed freek
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    three of my gravity bikes,

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    these are GPVs or gravity powered vehicles, for whatever reason gravity bikes - be they racers or cruisers are what tickle my fancy, i will have a few more to post by the end of the summer. fast eddie outty

    www.freewebs.com/gravityracing/

    kcgravityracers@yahoo.com

  4. #4
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    A big motorcycle magizine did research on the price of running a car vs one of those honda scooters (like 50 or 100cc) vs a bike on a very long trip. Like some 200 miles.

    The scooter won... why?

    It has much better gas milage than the car, it uses almost NO gas, and it uses no energy besides that gas and gets you there pretty quick.

    The bike didnt win because you are the motor and on that trip the cyclist had to buy water, some power bars, ect ect... when you factor in the cost of fuel, bicycles still are not on top completly because human "fuel" can cost just as much as motor vehicle fuel when you really factor it out.

  5. #5
    yes
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    ^??? I'd like to see that article. Can you think of any more info to help me find it? Magazine, approximate date, keywords, etc.?

  6. #6
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    Its in one of the two magizines I just got, eather cycle world, or sport rider I will definitly look it up for you.

    I had one of those honda's scooters so I can definitly comply with the results `1 gallon of gas can take you like across the state and back I swear.

  7. #7
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    There's a flaw in the analyses that claim bike travel is more expensive than motor-powered travel. They're comparing a cyclist who feeds herself vs. a starving motorist. In reality, the motorist also needs to eat, and frequently consumes more calories than he needs in a day out of boredom or fatigue. The cyclist on the other hand, thanks to the appetite-suppressing function of exercise, may be eating fewer calories than she needs.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  8. #8
    yes
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    ^ I would say that the obvious flaw may be in paying for water and power bars. Water is basically free, and power bars are an expensive form of calories.
    One has to add extra calories for cycling if no weight gain/loss is assumed. However, the possibly hidden assumption is that the cyclist would not be excercising otherwise, or his/her non-cycling excercise remains constant. It also neglects the medical benefits of excercise, which will eventually translate into cost savings.
    And team katana - thanks for looking it up. I'll check back for the reference.

  9. #9
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    I didnt get around to finding it, was busy with the kids and calling the LBS for my bike.

    I see it two fold.

    On a long trip the scooter is cheaper since you get there faster and without exerting alot of energy.
    If your one of those people were "time is money" then its a even better deal ^^

    On a short trip, like say a 3 mile trip to work and back. You wouldnt have to make a stop halfway to "refuel" yourself with food and the time diffrence depending on the area wouldnt be so significant.

    Definitly powerbars are expensive, they were just trying to prove a point in this certain case just how efficant one of those scooters are, it was not a super in depth analysis of efficantcy mile for mile.

    And of course as with all serveys or studies, there are always exceptions, and they are always selective in one way or another.

  10. #10
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Regarding the scooter, I wonder if they counted in insurance, registration, depreciation, and maintenance?

    If we are to rapidly draw down our usage of fossil fuels, scooters might be a good stand-in while waiting for mass transit and other solutions to develop.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  11. #11
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    Regarding the scooter, I wonder if they counted in insurance, registration, depreciation, and maintenance?
    To go agaisnt that I tell you this:

    You are not required to have insurance on a motorcycle or scooter atleast not here in Florida.
    Registration is like 40$
    Maintence is cheaper on it than my mountain bike, and infact I bought it cheaper too!
    650$ for my "entry level" hardtail, I got the scooter for 400$ from a private seller and it never needed ANY maintnece those things just run forever.

  12. #12
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ?????
    To go agaisnt that I tell you this:

    You are not required to have insurance on a motorcycle or scooter atleast not here in Florida.
    Registration is like 40$
    Maintence is cheaper on it than my mountain bike, and infact I bought it cheaper too!
    650$ for my "entry level" hardtail, I got the scooter for 400$ from a private seller and it never needed ANY maintnece those things just run forever.
    One of the good things about bikes in this state is that it doesn't need registration, insurance, etc. I'm pretty sure even mopeds are required to have that here, which may be why I never see them.

    So scooters are more reliable than their motorcycle brethren? Seems like everyone I know with a motorcycle is constantly doing work on them.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    One of the good things about bikes in this state is that it doesn't need registration, insurance, etc. I'm pretty sure even mopeds are required to have that here, which may be why I never see them.

    So scooters are more reliable than their motorcycle brethren? Seems like everyone I know with a motorcycle is constantly doing work on them.
    Depends. I have an old 64 vespa 125 and its about reliable as a law mower. I mean, it runs something in the neighborhood of 125 mpg, but sometimes its a bit hard to get the thing started. But, that being said, its nearly impossible to destroy the engine as long as it doesnt seize.

    I still prefer bikes just because they practically need no maintenance. Now, are scooters more reliable motorcycles? I say sure, my vespa had 70,000km on the speedo (which is nuts for a vespa). You can go a long time without every really replacing anything as long as nothing was wrong with it to begin with. But as far as not having to register or insure it, I'd go with an e-bike (if I actually had that much money lying around for one). Since its an electric assisted motor, it still is considered a bike in most states.

  14. #14
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    Yeah but consider an e-bike gets about 20 miles until the battery dies. Why buy a vehicle that won't get you out of the city? Might as well ride a bike for city transportation.

  15. #15
    Amateur Hack
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    hmm.... 20 miles til the battery dies.... 11 miles to work... "free" electricity at work...

    I'm pretty happy with my e-bike. I'd agree that for purely city riding (shorter distances), a regular bike would be better (I have a beater for short trips), but for a fixed length, daily commute from just outside the city, an e-bike stacks up pretty well. And my human motor can't go much more than 20 miles before its battery dies also. especially at the end of the week.

  16. #16
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    you should look into going on rides with me and my friend. He was talking last night about biking to Houston. He's never gone more than 10miles at a time (and me no more than 100). So I suggested we ride out to Bastrop, San Marcos or other close towns in order for him to train and figure out what distance really is like.

  17. #17
    Amateur Hack
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    If only I had the time for rec rides nowadays.... Biking to Houston sounds pretty tough. The MS 150 takes 2 days to cover that distance. Longest I've ever ridden was 62 miles (hill country classic) and that whooped me pretty good. I'm in much worse shape now than I was then.

  18. #18
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _dhan_
    hmm.... 20 miles til the battery dies.... 11 miles to work... "free" electricity at work...

    I'm pretty happy with my e-bike. I'd agree that for purely city riding (shorter distances), a regular bike would be better (I have a beater for short trips), but for a fixed length, daily commute from just outside the city, an e-bike stacks up pretty well. And my human motor can't go much more than 20 miles before its battery dies also. especially at the end of the week.
    Does the e-bike help much with hills? I was thinking of it more in terms of getting a boost up difficult hills and then biking sweat-free the rest of the route.

    I was also thinking something like that would be good so my spouse could keep up with me on longish (20 mile) rides. Wish I could have gotten her to try it at the earth day festival.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
    This is like losing a war every year, except without the parades.

  19. #19
    Amateur Hack
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS
    Does the e-bike help much with hills? I was thinking of it more in terms of getting a boost up difficult hills and then biking sweat-free the rest of the route.

    I was also thinking something like that would be good so my spouse could keep up with me on longish (20 mile) rides. Wish I could have gotten her to try it at the earth day festival.
    frankly, it's not all that different on the hills for me. I still want my exercise, but also want to go car-lighter than I have been, using the motor to help when I'm loaded with groceries. I'm usually not in a rush to get anywhere, so it all works out.

    I got a pretty weak kit (on purpose). The BD24-10 from werelectrified.com. In the process, I turned my 20# single-speed mtb conversion into a ~55#er. You have to remember that the extra weight makes even a slight incline much more painful. Acceleration using only leg power is pretty sluggish. However, with the motor going, I can go faster than I can pedal to keep up with it. I've got a pretty low gearing. 34:16 was the magic gear, if I remember correctly. more expensive nimh batteries would bring the weight down considerably (maybe 10# less?).

    I have test ridden other e-bikes that are set up for more juice. I was almost thrown off the back of the first one I tried because it was much more powerful than I imagined and I wasn't prepared. Those definitly make short work of any hill you throw at it. The only way to tell is to find one and test ride it.

    Of course kits with more juice also drain the batteries faster. I haven't tested the limits of my batteries, but they usually have an advertised range of around 20 miles depending on the battery size, so the longer rides are pushing the limits. Range is extended through the use of legs. Due to the range factor alone, I would not recommend an e-bike for your wife's use case.

  20. #20
    Yet another vegan biker
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    There's a flaw in the analyses that claim bike travel is more expensive than motor-powered travel. They're comparing a cyclist who feeds herself vs. a starving motorist. In reality, the motorist also needs to eat, and frequently consumes more calories than he needs in a day out of boredom or fatigue. The cyclist on the other hand, thanks to the appetite-suppressing function of exercise, may be eating fewer calories than she needs.


    OK. Sure, a cyclist burns more calories. But that doesn't mean he consumes more calories than the meathead driving a hummer, it just means that the hummerhead gets a fat behind and a pot belly.

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