Friday, May 18, 2012

Bike To Work Week

In honor of Bike To Work Day and the end of Bike To Work Week:
Then the topic of gas prices came up. This girl was hoping that we would not see further increases in the price of gasoline this summer, since her budget was already stretched tight.

I expressed some appropriate fake sympathy, but emboldened by my secret life as Mr. Money Mustache, I decided to at least see how this unsuspecting person would respond to a taste of Mustachian advice.

This particular lady recently bought a V8-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee, and she happens to work at a company that is exactly 0.5 miles from our street. Yet she drives to work – every single day.

“You know, I only have to buy gas every 2-3 months for my car, because I just bike everywhere. With your work less than a 5 minute bike ride from here, have you ever considered walking or biking?”

“Yeah! I’ve noticed how you guys always bike, and I think that’s pretty cool”, she said. “Yeah… I should really bike to work. It’s just that, you know, I don’t really have a working bike right now”.

I’ve had nearly the same conversation with many people in recent years, so I’ve learned to remained calm on the outside when I hear excuses like this. But inside I could only scream “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE A BIKE!?!?!?“
"Man on a bicycle can go three or four times faster than the pedestrian, but uses five times less energy in the process. He carries one gram of his weight over a kilometer of flat road at an expense of only 0.15 calories. The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man’s metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well. The bicycle lifted man’s auto-mobility into a new order, beyond which progress is theoretically not possible."

"Bicycles are not only thermodynamically efficient, they are also cheap. With his much lower salary, the Chinese acquires his durable bicycle in a fraction of the working hours an American devotes to the purchase of his obsolescent car. The cost of public utilities needed to facilitate bicycle traffic versus the price of an infrastructure tailored to high speeds is proportionately even less than the price differential of the vehicles used in the two systems."
My next invention is an advanced motorcycle that weighs less than thirty pounds and costs less than three hundred dollars. Yet it has a range of over a hundred miles per day, and you never have to find a power outlet to plug it in, because its power source is – you guessed it – the cellulite stored in your ass which gets converted into muscles in your legs and calves as a side effect of the transportation!!
More recently the WorldWatch Institute published some intriguing figures on cycling. Comparing energy used per passenger-mile (calories), they found that a bicycle needed only 35 calories, whereas a car expended a whopping 1,860. Bus and trains fell about midway between, and walking still took 3 times as many calories as riding a bike the same distance....The stats also inferred that cycling contributes to a nation's health. For example, they found that only 1% of urban travel in the US was by bicycle, a country with 30.6% of adults considered obese. This contrasted with the Netherlands where 28% of urban travel was via a bike, and only 10% were obese.
When the bicycle boomed in New York City in the last few years of the 19th century, it boomed big. New York's Western Boulevard, slanting outward from Columbus Circle to Riverside Drive, transformed from a once-quiet residential street to a thoroughfare for thousands of bicycles, especially on weekends.

City cyclists used the road for sedate weekend rides, as a way to enjoy a little nature in the city, and to show off their bicycle outfits. With the advent of the automobile around the century's turn, bicycling continued, but the car edged its way in, and then smothered the bicycle movement.
Bike Boom! Almost as Many Bicycles as Cars on One New York Route (Treehugger)


  1. I started bike commuting back in 2008 when gas prices went through the roof. I don't know how much money I've saved, but I'm sure it's got to be in the 10s of thousands at this point.

  2. Smart move. I take my car too often, but I bike (like today), bus, and occasionally walk. I need to start walking in regularly, it's the cheapest way there is. Too bad my shoes are wearing out!


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