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I call your segway, raise you a bicycle

Figures from Bicycling Science 2nd ed., Whitt and Wilson, MIT Press 1994, p186:

Road bicycle plus rider
4mph 8.4 kcal/km 2440mpg
10mph 15.6 kcal/km 1310mpg
15mph 24.4 kcal/km 840mpg

(source: http://odograph.com/?p=334)
 

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I did the math for my electric assist recumbent commuter bike vs. the Insight, and the extra water cost (Poland Spring from Costco) is indeed a big factor. It's a little more than the cost of electricity to charge the batteries. I only save about 30 cents per daily commute on the bike!

If you consider all of the initial purchase price, registration, and maintenance costs, the bike looks a bit better, but not as much as I would have hoped.

To me, this means that the Insight is probably one of the best, year round commuting options in terms of efficiency - better than motorcycles.

In good weather, I still prefer the bike; 'top's down, great scenery and all that.
 

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I'm having second thoughts about my previous message posting :roll:
Costs can be misleading, and are not necessarily representative of overall energy efficiency and ecological impact.
As an example, gasoline in Venezuela (government subsidized) is about 12 cents per gallon. The price of potable water (per unit volume) there is many times more.

Human powered bicycles are inherently much more efficient than cars.

I remember reading in the 70's about the most efficient means of movement.
If I recall correctly, a Boeing 747 was slightly more efficient than a bicycle in terms of mass moved per unit distance per unit of energy consumed. However, the most efficient entity overall was the flea. It uses a biological "spring" for stored energy. In a sense, the flea is a hybrid!
 

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Of course you'd have to factor the cost of food into the bike cost per mile, and that's subject to a lot of variation. Run your motor on beans and brown rice, and it's pretty cheap. OTOH, try calculating your cost per mile if you frequently eat in expensive restaurants :)

But of course, refueling is usually a lot more enjoyable than pumping gas :)
 

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How could we have overlooked it? Flea power may be the wave of the future. Although I pity the poor kitty cat who has to host the little critters. ;)
I have seen a few Segways in use around the Penn State University campus.
I can't envision using one on my daily commute to PSU, I think the SUV's may find me on a Segway as just a bump in the road.. I will stick to my Insight. (Or should we all start riding 747's)
I have used my bike occasionally for commute...I have a night time return so it is a bit too risky for me to bike routinely. Anyway, try spring water for your next bicycle ride if you have a potable spring water source. My sister has the best spring water in Central PA :D and for me it is free.
 

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james said:
Run your motor on beans...
Ah, we forgot about the emmisions side of the equation.:)

> One person cycling produces as much CO2 (80g/km) as a Honda Insight car.
> Four people cycling produce more CO2 (320g/km) than the majority of
> SUVs.
 

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Surely you need to deduct the normal amount of CO2 they would be producing, so only counting the extra CO2 produced by the effort of cycling? ;)
 

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psuinsight wrote:

"Flea power may be the wave of the future"

Perhaps not, but the little bugs provide an effective demonstration of the inherent efficiency of the "pulse and glide" concept.

James wrote:

"Run your motor on beans and brown rice"

Perhaps we should also be concerned about the ecological impact of bicyclists that are powered by such things? If I'm not mistaken, methane is a much more effective greenhouse gas than CO2.

At the Tour de Sol event, the vehicle from Western Washington University was powered by biomethane gas (processed underground at a dairy farm).

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/272 ... wer30.html

There was an article about this project on Good Morning America last Memorial Day. Their fuel economy is about 17 miles per cow per day!
 

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"> One person cycling produces as much CO2 (80g/km) as a Honda Insight car.

Absolutely wrong, if you're looking at the CO2 as greenhouse gas aspect. The CO2 produced by the cyclist (or by any other animal as part of its metabolism) is part of the carbon cycle: the plants that utlimately made the food took the CO2 out of the air, using energy from sunlight. The animal that eats the food just returns that same CO2.

The gas you burn in your Insight produces ADDITIONAL CO2, from the carbon in the fossil fuel that were laid down hundreds of millions of years ago. That's why ethanol and biodiesel are carbon-neutral, because they're grown.
 

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That makes absolute sense for all the hunter gatherers out there. Sadly, todays food uses a lot of petroleum for transport, harvesting, and planting in addition to the energy and oil that goes into the fertiliser, pesticides, irrigation, and the energy to warehouse, process, package and merchandise the product. If ethanol from corn is essentially energy neutral, imagine how energy exhaustive meat products are! :shock: Think how much less oil would be used if everyone was the ideal weight and vegetarian. ;)

That said, we need to eat to live, and a well exercised body is more energy efficient. In this sense riding the bicycle is probably an excellent choice, especially compared to running on a powered treadmill, in a dedicated building, that you have to drive to get to!!!

Had a great chili bean medley and rice for dinner. :D
 
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