Is driving better than cycling?


Tomorrow, May 15, is Bike To Work Day in the San Francisco Bay Area. A persistent rumor claims that riding a bike is actually less efficient than driving a car if you account for the energy that goes into producing the food/drink that "fuels" a cyclist. The Sierra Club's "Mr. Green" calls bullshit on that. (Photo of BB pal Jess Hemerly from aGreatNotion's Flickr stream.) From the Sierra Club:

Even with pricier commodities like beef, the biker rides cheaper than the driver. A pound and a half of cheap, greasy hamburger, sans bun, could power the cruise in question, at a lower cost than gasoline.

The ethanol "alternative"? Well, not really. Instead of burning ethanol in engines, from a transportation standpoint we're far better off ingesting the stuff. Driving 48 miles takes more than two gallons of ethanol, whereas only eight ounces of liquor, a mere half-pint of vodka, can fuel a cyclist for the same distance. Happy trails!

Link (Thanks, Orli Cotel!)

Previously on BB:
• Sierra Club on Hummers vs. hybrids Link