Sunday, February 06, 2011

On your bike: to lose weight you're better off walking

"The bicycle is the most energy-efficient mode of land transportation that exists.* Cycling burns about 35 kilocalories of food energy per mile [about 91 kJ/km], whereas walking the same distance burns three times as much. By comparison, car travel uses about 1,860 calories of fossil fuel energy per mile [about 4854 kJ/km]."

- Ian Roberts with Phil Edwards, The Energy Glut: Climate Change
and the Politics of Fatness
(Zed: London, 2010), 103.

I really like the idea of cycling for all kinds of reasons. But I've never got back into it as an adult after some bad falls in younger days.
*A little web-searching suggested that ice skating may have a similar level of efficiency, though precise numbers depend on average speeds, body sizes and the quality of equipment in each case.


Anthony Douglas said...

Also, it's a very efficient way to 'walk' the dog. Local studies have shown that she gets just as much exercise while saving her owner three quarters of the time. Plus you don't have to go to the beach and come back with sand everywhere and the smell of wet dog.

byron smith said...

An excellent blog about cycling culture and what makes it happen. Has a good series called the car industry fights back which links to a variety of ludicrous attempts to smear cycling.

byron smith said...

Ben Myers rides a bike in Berlin.

byron smith said...

The invisible bike helmet. Lovely invention. But bike safety is first and foremost about regulating traffic and town planning. The rest are details.