Photo courtesy of bikeportland.org
Ironically I am incapable of biking to work today. The inguinal hernia repair is healing nicely though. I have of course biked to work many many days, through rain, sleet, snow. This day isn’t so much for the cycle commuters as it is for advocacy. If you haven’t biked today, every day is a new opportunity to start!
Ironically I saw this article on Boing Boing. The question was raised that it may actually take more energy in food to fuel the cyclist than it would to fuel a car.
I, just like Mr. Green from the Sierra Club call bullshit on this car vs bike argument.
Even if cyclists consumed %20 percent more calories each. The oil and gas each cyclist would use in driving themselves alone, not to mention repairs, all of the oil needed to make the plastic and tires for new cars, the emissions of those cars far outweighs food shipments to centralized distribution on trucks, planes, ships, and trains.
It may sound like an emotional argument, but it seems pretty plain to see when even in a small city like Kalamazoo. All of my co-workers drive to work alone, burning gas in new cars.
If you look at the numbers at the US Department of Labor Site you will see the total percentage of the population that is employed. Of course this doesn’t even count all of the non-documented immigrant workers in the US who are possibly driving to work alone too. We are consuming 9,253,000 barrels of oil a day for cars.
If we were to cut that even in half from a consumer standpoint it would put a serious dent in the amount of oil consumed. If everyone needed say %20 percent more calories based on a higher activity level could this really even equal the amount of oil needed to drive a car for a year on a daily commute? I don’t think so.
If I had to pick a future, I would pick one where suburban sprawl is eliminated, open spaces are preserved, people cycle and walk to work, buses and trains are used for longer distances, cars are run on alternative energy (non-fossil fuel), and Newcastle wins the FA Cup, The Smiths get back together and I Kayak Surf full time.
Cycling to work has so many advantages. US Oil Consumption is a big part of it, but, at this point Oil Prices are predicted to rise to $200.00 USD a barrel for the next year making gas over $4.00 a gallon. I know I will be able to weather that easily by cycling. But this has been a lifestyle choice. Living close to work, being physically active, and also very into cycling has been a good thing for me. Why not give it a shot!
At $200/barrel filling our cars will be the least of our worries – it will have an exponential negative effect at every penny over $150. I’m gardening vegetables this year for the first time. I’m also setting up my basement for winter crops.
I’ve found growing stuff to be very enjoyable too and I recommend it. Though I’m going about it in a very scientific way and you won’t find me crawling around the ground pulling weeds or tilling soil, I do it all at waist level with my own mix of soil.
I really assumed after seeing me ride my bike throughout the year and walking into the shop with a smile and looking fit some others would start to ride too. But it hasn’t happened yet even though some show interest and even live within a couple of miles.
Oh, yesterday I had a tailwind of about 15mph and while crossing a bridge on the sidewalk (because the road is rough) over the K-zoo a big gravel truck passed along side of me so I hammered down to get into his tail rotor and kept pace with him in a 35mph zone. I didn’t have my computer on so I don’t know how fast I was going but we passed cars that were in the center lane one of which did a double-take (this section is level to slightly uphill). Anyway that’s some fast road biking excitement you can look forward to when you get one. At one point I looked down and saw my carbon forks really flex while hitting a slight dip. My butt puckered and I slowed down just in time to find that my lungs and nerves didn’t really have the capacity for going that fast next to tons of rolling steel and stone.
By the way I’ve been enjoying your blogs lately. Don’t usually have a comment but I keep up.