The most efficient transportation ever invented-the bicycle
With higher gas prices and global warming not to mention brow clouds many people are trying to find more efficient vehicles. With traffic increasing and parking always a hassle and costly in the city many are trying to beat the system.
I think the best way to do that and get in your gym workout is to ride a bicycle. I ride to and from work everyday all year round. It’s fun and I really laugh when I pass hundreds of cars during rush hour in my open free bicycle lane. Our city and the 6 or more that are all join in the great Phoenix area all have bicycle lanes. A few cities like Scottsdale AZ even have a greenway with bicycle trails away from the street and vehicles. They even have under passes so you never cross a street.
As an engineer I alway look at things and value them by their efficiency. A gas car with an internal combustion engine is less than 15% efficient. When you stop at a light or traffic light you idle and get negative miles per gallon. At least a hybrid improved on that. Amory Lovins at the RMI Rocky Mtn Institute calculated that a car uses 99% of it energy just to move the car. Only 1 % to move you. If you car pool with 2 it maybe 2%. The pollution is deadly, just read about people who die in a closed space from carbon monoxide. Then look at the carbon dioxide. Phew.
A diesel is not much better. It’s less than 35% efficient. The soot and pollution it makes kills us. Literally. It also idles and gets negative MPG. Braking just like a gas car causes lost energy and heat and friction in brakes causing PM10, particles 10 microns or smller in pollution. It’s still along way from efficient.
Even a new super efficient Electric Vehicle like the new Nissan LEAF which has regenerative braking and a 90% efficient electric AC motor still takes energy to move. Now were getting up to the 75-85% efficinet range but not as good as a bicycle.
For all vehicles also add how much energy it takes to make it, ship it, store it, maintaine it and fuel it. Everytime I eat I’m refueling me for a bicycle ride. Energy all adds up over and over, recycling adds more.
Some bike magazines calculated a bicyles get over 2,000 mpge. Miles per calories in a gallon of gas (60,000). That is very good but they forgot to remove the food you have to eat just to keep alive or sit and watch TV. When I ride my bicycle I actually eat less and waste less energy watching TV or typing on the PC for blogs. Then I subtract what every nees to eat each day and I come up with PERPETUAL MOTION. I bicycle 18 miles each way to work. It takes about 80-90 minutes. (I wait for lights) I have less time to use other energy and am much more awake and energetic than any of my co-workers who sit and eat and watch TV while sipping coffe to wake up.
I don’t have to join and pay to be in a health club, sit and bike on a stationary bike or waste energy driving to the gym. It adds up big time. Just try it and see how you do.
So I think a bicycle wins hands down. What do you think ?