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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-03-09, 12:21 PM   #1
bdcheung
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Us vs. Cars

(click for full-res)

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"When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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Old 03-03-09, 12:32 PM   #2
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clearly humans need to replace food with gasoline. for it is far more energy and cost effective than food. there is no way i can get 31 thousand calories under five dollars USD. in addition humans are far more fuel efficient than cars and produce far less waste.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:32 PM   #3
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Cool! But I wished I produced .23 pounds of waste a day. I rarely produce "waste" at all. What's wrong with my insides?!?

Oh, and I want a gold tooth to eat my Big Macs with too. Maybe it will help me produce more "waste"!
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Old 03-03-09, 12:38 PM   #4
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I especially like the gold took on the humans grill - how can a car compete with that?
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Old 03-03-09, 12:44 PM   #5
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It's a totally unfair comparison. If a human goes by bike everywhere they would have driven, on average they're going to consume a lot more than 2000 calories per day. It's the car driving humans who are pulling down the average consumption.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:45 PM   #6
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It's not a political statement, Andy_K, just a neat graphic.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:31 PM   #7
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It's not a political statement, Andy_K, just a neat graphic.
Yes, I know. I was joking.
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Old 03-03-09, 01:33 PM   #8
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It's not a political statement, Andy_K, just a neat graphic.
Really? Did you look at the sources?
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Old 03-03-09, 01:36 PM   #9
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Really? Did you look at the sources?
I posted it in this forum in the context of an interesting graphic. I don't care what the intent of the author was, frankly.
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Old 03-03-09, 02:12 PM   #10
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I saw something the other day that mentioned that if the working population of the US pedaled generators 8 hours a day, it would only produce about .1% of all the US energy requirements.

But if everyone pedaled a bike to work just one day a week, it could cut our foreign oil imports by half.

The bottom line is that while humans may not be able to make much energy, automobiles are terribly inefficient, and waste a LOT of energy.

Edit: I found the quote and the numbers were even more divergent than I remembered.

"If every adult in the world rode a stationary bike for 8 hours a day to generate electricity, they would crank out only 80 gigawatts, still only half of 1% of our energy needs. But if each American driver cycled to work just one day a week, we could cut our Persian Gulf oil imports in half." -- Popular Science p 61, March 2009.

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Old 03-03-09, 02:17 PM   #11
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It's too bad you can't buy 27 pints of Chunky Monkey for the price of a gallon of gas. Yummm.
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Old 03-03-09, 02:36 PM   #12
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I saw something the other day that mentioned that if the working population of the US pedaled generators 8 hours a day, it would only produce about .1% of all the US energy requirements.

But if everyone pedaled a bike to work just one day a week, it could cut our foreign oil imports by half.

The bottom line is that while humans may not be able to make much energy, automobiles are terribly inefficient, and waste a LOT of energy.
That number seems way off. Foreign imports account for two thirds of the US oil supply. If biking to work one day week reduces imports by half, then two days a week would eliminate imported oil. Three days a week means no oil needed at all.

Edit: Now I see your edit. Persian Gulf imports (Saudi Arabia , Iraq, an Kuwait) account for about 25% of foreign oil so it makes more sense now.

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Old 03-03-09, 02:40 PM   #13
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It's a totally unfair comparison. If a human goes by bike everywhere they would have driven, on average they're going to consume a lot more than 2000 calories per day. It's the car driving humans who are pulling down the average consumption.
According to Bicycle Science, a human on a bike at 10 mph gets about 1000 mpg. If we ate gasoline.
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Old 03-03-09, 04:17 PM   #14
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The average adult certainly eats more than 2000 calories a day.
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Old 03-03-09, 04:19 PM   #15
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But if everyone pedaled a bike to work just one day a week, it could cut our foreign oil imports by half.
Doesn't that number ping your bs meter? It should.
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Old 03-03-09, 05:05 PM   #16
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...But if each American driver cycled to work just one day a week, we could cut our Persian Gulf oil imports in half." -- Popular Science p 61, March 2009.
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Doesn't that number ping your bs meter? It should.
That number is pretty cooked in the quoted form. It would cut only the imports from the Persian gulf area in half.
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Old 03-03-09, 06:25 PM   #17
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That number is pretty cooked in the quoted form. It would cut only the imports from the Persian gulf area in half.
I seriously doubt it would even do that. Show of hands, who believes that if for one day per week (which is less than half the average working week), all working, commuting Americans (which is a lot less than all Americans, all of whom also consume petroleum in all kinds of ways) who drive to work (and also drive outside of work, and use petroleum in other ways too) were to commute by bicycle, it would cut petroleum imports from the Persian Gulf by half?
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Old 03-03-09, 07:25 PM   #18
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The average adult certainly eats more than 2000 calories a day.
That's another problem. That being said, I can go an awful long way on 27 pints of Ben and Jerry's, not to mention the distance I get on 150 pints of Guinness.

D
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Old 03-03-09, 10:32 PM   #19
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According to Bicycle Science, a human on a bike at 10 mph gets about 1000 mpg. If we ate gasoline.
If I ate even a little gasoline, I am going nowhere, pretty sure of that
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Old 03-04-09, 12:49 AM   #20
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The average adult certainly eats more than 2000 calories a day.
But they only require 2,000 to stay healthy.
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Old 03-04-09, 12:53 AM   #21
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If I ate even a little gasoline, I am going nowhere, pretty sure of that
Ya know, we can drink alcohol which has similar energy content to ethanol which is only a bit lower than gasoline. I'm guessing that we're unable to produce significant energy from alcohol though. It's probably largely just filtered and dumped as waste.
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Old 03-04-09, 12:54 AM   #22
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That's another problem. That being said, I can go an awful long way on 27 pints of Ben and Jerry's, not to mention the distance I get on 150 pints of Guinness.

D
I'll ride a long way for a pint of Guinness. Never underestimate the caloric value of a beer craving.
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Old 03-04-09, 12:59 AM   #23
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I seriously doubt it would even do that. Show of hands, who believes that if for one day per week (which is less than half the average working week), all working, commuting Americans (which is a lot less than all Americans, all of whom also consume petroleum in all kinds of ways) who drive to work (and also drive outside of work, and use petroleum in other ways too) were to commute by bicycle, it would cut petroleum imports from the Persian Gulf by half?
I'm guessing they're misstating it. They mean that one day per week of work commuting requires the persian gulf imports. If we rode bikes we'd need oil to feed ourselves the extra food and build the extra bikes and bike related toys. I'm sure it'd be less oil.

It doesn't seem like an unreasonable figure. We don't do a lot of persian gulf importing. The reason persian gulf oil is so dangerous is that when it disappears from the global market prices sky rocket. In order to solve that we'd have to stop importing and exporting oil and have our own internal oil market.

Being able to get by on our domestic oil supply would require sweeping change in transport, heating, farming, and material production. Simply eliminating transportation oil use would still leave us short.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/p...nt/import.html
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Old 03-04-09, 07:10 AM   #24
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I seriously doubt it would even do that. Show of hands, who believes that if for one day per week (which is less than half the average working week), all working, commuting Americans (which is a lot less than all Americans, all of whom also consume petroleum in all kinds of ways) who drive to work (and also drive outside of work, and use petroleum in other ways too) were to commute by bicycle, it would cut petroleum imports from the Persian Gulf by half?
Perhaps the numbers are a bit "cooked," but not by me.

And here are a few more points to ponder.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090303/...e/awash_in_oil

Since the recession or depression or whatever we are going through, that small change in reduction of driving has caused a huge glut in the worlds oil supplies.

Even though "OPEC slashed production by more than 4 million barrels a day," storage facilities are filling up and tankers are parked, awaiting demand.

How much traffic reduction have you seen since the recession started? (supposedly 10% of the nation is out of work... is that a 10% reduction in traffic?)

The problem with the concepts provided by Popular Science is that they are just too huge to fully comprehend... so they look "cooked."

But even the marginal decrease in traffic today is enough to dramatically slow the demand for oil.

The bottom line is that not everyone has to bicycle everywhere to make a big change in both traffic and the demand for oil... just a small change can make a big difference. Imagine if cycling modal share in the US actually doubled, to something like 2% over all, or went as high as 4%. Just 4%.

Of course I'm preaching to the choir here... you folks ARE bike commuters.
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Old 03-04-09, 10:22 AM   #25
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My BS meter is spinning. This is why. Although a pint of Ben and Jerry's contains 1,160 calories it takes many more calories than that to get it into my belly. Same is true of the Filet, the Guinness, the Coke, the Big Mac, etc. I am sure that it takes less calories to produce a calorie of gasoline than it takes to produce a calorie of food. I still think that biking is awesome and efficient and all that jazz but this chart is misleading.
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