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aka baycat
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http://ecoworldly.com/2008/06/16/17...-the-most-popular-vehicle-in-the-world-today/

some of the list

2. Bicycling can make you healthy and hot… er… hotter.
Bicycling with even light effort (10-12 miles per hour) burns 400-500 calories an hour. To shape her legs for the Miss Universe competition, Miss Korea, Lee Ji-seon, started getting her workouts on a bicycle. Apparently, Miss Universe 2007, Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto Rico, is of a similar mind. She cycled through Mexico City in support of replacing cars with bicycles.

EcoWorldly's UK correspondant, Pem Charnley, connects bicycling with solving the obesity problem in England: "I think, in all honesty, that the UK has come to the realisation that we've collectively reached critical mass around the waistline. Every time the news reports that we're the most overweight in the European Union, pride and roars of approval sweep the land. It's all we have left since we gave Hong Kong back.

"Devon is an incredibly picturesque county," he adds, "and it seems an absolute waste to be constantly watching soccer on the TV, when outside lies the undulating greenery of England."

4. Bicycling builds social groups and better community development.
In Reggio Emilia, Italy, the "BiciBus" brings teachers, students, and parents together for bicycle commuting to and from schools.

"The BiciBus is a 'two-wheeled bus,'" writes Italy correspondant, Eva Pratesi. "It consists of a group of students who go to and come back from school guided by volunteers by bicycle (parents, grandparents, teachers…). The students go to the route with their bicycles; they wait for the volunteers and the group and go on together toward the school.

BiciBus is preceded and supported by workshops and technical analysis in the classrooms to educate to sustainable mobility, traffic safety and bicycle knowledge. It's also possible to organize school trips by bicycle an evening meetings with experts directed to the families in order to talk about health, sustainable mobility and safety."

In Australia, a similar community bicycling program offers a similar program for adults as well. Cyclists can join the "Bike Bus," a regularly scheduled commute with fixed routes and two commuting speeds: social and express.

San Francisco, California, has a third option. Though not as organized as a community bike bus program, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition can pair cyclists with "bike buddies" to share knowledge and tips or commute together to work.

12. Bicycling could save the average American at least $250,000.
According to Motor Trend and the American Institute for Economic Research, the average American car-owner can expect to pay between $240,704 and $349,968 during his driving lifetime. These figures will increase with the price of fuel and the rising cost of the vehicles themselves.

A bicycle can serve your transportation needs for commuting, shopping, and getting around town. Urbanites who are well acquainted with the frustration of paying parking tickets and towing fines will also find that bicycles are an excellent solution. Of course, you'll still need that fuel: the occasional sandwich or cup of coffee will do nicely.

13. A bicycle crash alone isn't likely to kill you.
In a sobering perspective on health, over 42,000 people die each year (1 million, worldwide) in the United States and some 2.8 million are injured as a result of automotive accidents. Another 70,000 lives are claimed each year in the United States from medical conditions associated with air pollution (3 million, worldwide). Therefore, for personal safety and the health and safety of others, giving up the car keys is extremely important. As anyone who has experienced a car accident will tell you, car crashes can happen to anyone, not just bad or drunk drivers.
 

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Slowest Rider
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Not so fast

I love riding bikes. I even bike commuted without a car for a couple years. But I'm not so sure about most of the claims, which are unfounded and overstated.

First on cost, cars may cost $250K over a lifetime, but bikes aren't free. I find my annual MTB bike gear budget is higher than my annual car budget. Road biking may be cheaper without as much maintenance, tires, etc., but it's not exactly free either.

As for fuel, biking causes me to eat more. (Well, OK, to be honest I'd eat more anyway). But compare a gallon of gas to the cost of extra food consumed. It's not completely free and depending on the burrito, the people food could be more expensive, especially per calorie, than the gasoline.

Bicycles may have zero emissions, but so do cars without a power source. The bicycle's power source may have significant emissions, especially if burrito fuel is involved.

As for making me look hot....uh, yeah.:rolleyes: But I do sometimes feel quite hot, like in our last ride at Henry Coe.
 

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BigLarry said:
As for fuel, biking causes me to eat more. (Well, OK, to be honest I'd eat more anyway). But compare a gallon of gas to the cost of extra food consumed. It's not completely free and depending on the burrito, the people food could be more expensive, especially per calorie, than the gasoline.
On fuel source: A gallon of gas has 31,000 calories so at today's prices ($4.50 per gallon) that's 0.0145 cents per calorie. A box of 10 twinkies gives about 1500 calories (at a price of $2.99) which is about 0.2 cents per calorie. So gasoline is about 14 times cheaper per calorie than mass produced people food.

For distribution there are something like 140,000 gas stations. I'd guess human food outlets would be similar. (It's taken about a century to build these infrastructures.)

As far as engines go: Both the internal combustion engine and the human body run at peak efficiencies of 20 - 30%. (Though a difference is that the human can operate near peak efficiency while a gasoline engine rarely operates at such.)

The human emissions are similar to that of a fuel cell, being primarily water, which is more environmentally friendly than burning hydrocarbons.

The major difference is the mass. Human and bike is 1/15th the mass of the average car. Much of that mass in the auto comes from the market forces where drivers want to feel safe no matter the cost.

The solutions to our transport issues can be predicted from cycling. Reduce the weight e.g. via carbon fiber bodies that have the same safety capabilities. (Proven already, problems remain in mass manufacturing.) Find a fuel source where the energy densities are near that of gasoline. (Not yet discovered.) Oh, and build out the distribution infrastructure for that fuel. (probably take 50 years minimum)
 

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rjmcmahon said:
The human emissions are similar to that of a fuel cell, being primarily water, which is more environmentally friendly than burning hydrocarbons.
Don't humans exhale CO2? Which could be seen as a pollutant contrary to what the article claims in point 15. And I'm not even speaking about methane emission because of all these energy bars... :D

IMO if you do this argument without talking about utility (hard to lets say take 2 young toddlers on a bicycle), then it's useless. And you can say that walking on foot beats the bicycle in all those categories.
 

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BigLarry said:
I love riding bikes. I even bike commuted without a car for a couple years. But I'm not so sure about most of the claims, which are unfounded and overstated.

First on cost, cars may cost $250K over a lifetime, but bikes aren't free. I find my annual MTB bike gear budget is higher than my annual car budget. Road biking may be cheaper without as much maintenance, tires, etc., but it's not exactly free either.

As for fuel, biking causes me to eat more. (Well, OK, to be honest I'd eat more anyway). But compare a gallon of gas to the cost of extra food consumed. It's not completely free and depending on the burrito, the people food could be more expensive, especially per calorie, than the gasoline.

Bicycles may have zero emissions, but so do cars without a power source. The bicycle's power source may have significant emissions, especially if burrito fuel is involved.

As for making me look hot....uh, yeah.:rolleyes: But I do sometimes feel quite hot, like in our last ride at Henry Coe.
It depends on the kind of biking you do. For example, the worse case scenario is putting your dh bikes on the roof rack for shuttling sessions.

But my city commuter, a Surly 1x1, I have put about $40 in the last 8 years. I am still using the same tires from 90's. I estimate I put 1000 miles a year on that bike, avoiding the worse kind of mileage, local city driving.

And it does depend on the food you consume. If you drink espresso for calorie replacement, the cost per gallon is probably $20, and you will need about 500 cups to get about 400 calories.
 

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Moto'n'PushBiker said:
Don't humans exhale CO2? Which could be seen as a pollutant contrary to what the article claims in point 15. And I'm not even speaking about methane emission because of all these energy bars... :D

IMO if you do this argument without talking about utility (hard to lets say take 2 young toddlers on a bicycle), then it's useless. And you can say that walking on foot beats the bicycle in all those categories.
Walking doesn't beat biking. The wheel is a marvelous invention. Combine it with Newton's first law of inertia and you get the foundation for a transportation system.

Toddlers can take mass transit too. Teenage boys don't need multi-thousand dollar status symbols (despite what they may think). Without them they still can get laid which is priority numero uno!

On C02: The human emits about 1lb per day. Burning a gallon of gasoline emits 20lbs. There are 600M cars on this planet of 6.6B. The U.S. has 300M (about one per person.) The desire to own a car is universal. Though it's electricity generation that emits the most C02 (from burning coal.) 53% of electricity in the US is from coal burning plants.

Electric motors are more *efficient* and have power curves that many consumers would prefer. The challenge is batteries where no major breakthroughs are on the horizon :-(

The next possible planet to inhabit is Mars. It would need to be terraformed to sustain human life.

Unfortunately, the solutions tend to get harder as we screw up on the previous option!
 

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Shocks?, Pegs?... Lucky!
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BigLarry said:
I love riding bikes. I even bike commuted without a car for a couple years. But I'm not so sure about most of the claims, which are unfounded and overstated.

First on cost, cars may cost $250K over a lifetime, but bikes aren't free. I find my annual MTB bike gear budget is higher than my annual car budget. Road biking may be cheaper without as much maintenance, tires, etc., but it's not exactly free either.
But commuting to work doesn't require 5,000 Carbon road rig.
A sensible townie with 10 or so gears, 28 c semi slick tires and some decent components will last infinitely with minor maintenance.
Just an oil change in a car can run more than more yearly maintenance cost on my commuter rig.

My race bikes... that's a whole 'nother story...
 

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fritzaholic said:
But commuting to work doesn't require 5,000 Carbon road rig.
A sensible townie with 10 or so gears, 28 c semi slick tires and some decent components will last infinitely with minor maintenance.
Just an oil change in a car can run more than more yearly maintenance cost on my commuter rig.

My race bikes... that's a whole 'nother story...
I think this analysis applies to more than commute bikes. Many consumer purchases have a status component. In my opinion, most overpay for status symbols (which keeps the LBS owner in business) where the value add per the physics are suspect at best.

Here is an observation along those lines.

"Consumers spend thousands every couple years on "consumables" they will lose money on (essentially a 100% loss). Many even "finance" these purchases at the ridiculous rates of credit cards, adding further to their accounting loss. The value of these goods and services to the consumer is justified/rationalized in non-accounting-based ways."

Which leads into cognitive dissonance where you'll find it extremely rare that a $5,000 purchase is perceived as a mistake after the purchase.

It's sad to me that most don't perceive the land we use and the trees that can be preserved as worth the $5K but status symbols are :-(
 
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