Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bike To Work Day testimonial

Roundtrip miles biked each weekday: 14.
Commute time, including 13 traffic lights: 30 minutes each way.
Days I've driven a car to work in the past five years: fewer than 10.
Accidents involving cars or pedestrians: Zero.
Patience level being in a car during commute hours: Very low.
Satisfaction level zipping past a long line of backed-up cars: High.
CO2 saved from entering the atmosphere each year: 2.6 tons (yes, tons).
Gas money saved each year, at current prices: $900.
Frequency of decadent dessert consumption: Daily.
Body Mass Index: Low.
Guilt over eating said sweets: None.
Cost of high-quality bicycle: $800.
Amount I would have spent to purchase a car and insurance if not biking: A lot more than $800. Cycling gear and maintenance costs during the past five years: under $230.
Flat tires since installing Mr. Tuffy liners a year and a half ago: Zero.
Bike theft insurance per month, covering complete replacement: $2.
Living a low-carbon lifestyle and practicing what I'd preach if I were the preaching type: Priceless.
Gillian Zaharias


hippy said...

Very cool post!
If only more people would see the light..

cfsmtb said...

Love to see a comparative breakdown of motoring costs, and a no-holds barred one at that!

Anonymous said...

How did you calculate "2.6 tons (yes tons)" per year reduction in CO2?

If you do 14 miles per working day x 240 days per year = 3,360 miles per year = 5,400 km /year.

A typical small car produces 120 g /km of CO2 (the average in Europe is about 140, the best cars are now less than 100).

120 g/km x 5,400 km = 649 kg which is about 0.64 imperial tons.

You are well out!

Also, cycling increases the rate of respiration, which produces more CO2. Hopefully you only eat high yield vegetable crops that consumed this CO2 in the first place, not meat. However, the true comparison would be with a car running on bio fuel.

Anonymous said...

The author lives in the U.S., where an affordable small car is lucky to get 25 mpg in the congested San Jose area (this piece was published in the San Jose Merc. News). That works out to 220 g/km of CO2 produced, using the U.S. EPA's number of 19.56 lbs CO2 released per gallon of gas. Also, one ton in N. America = 2000 lbs. The result is still lower than 2.6 tons per yr, but it's not as far off as you say! Perhaps the author included biking to places other than work.

A more important note: Human respiration releasing CO2 is absolutely miniscule compared to driving, no matter how hard you're exerting yourself!