25 December 2007

The Most Efficient Form of Transport in the World:

I’m about to let you in on a big secret… one of mans most coveted gifts of knowledge. I’m about to tell you of the most efficient form of transport known to man. Is it an alien spaceship? Nope they are not known to man. Is it an airplane, nope they do really quite poorly efficiency wise. Is it human locomotion? Nope, but your pretty damn close. Well then, what is it? It my friends, is the humble bicycle.

You laugh, you cry and then you look me in the eye and say “bollocks”. I knew you wouldn’t believe me, it must be some sort of insecurity complex of mine. Yet it is true I swear it and many books and websites document this little known truth, or at very least quite obvious but seldom thought of truth.

So what sort of efficiency am I talking about here? Well largely I mean how efficient a vehicle is to transport its passenger. Here Bicycles come out top. Simply take a quick glance at the graph featured at: http://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/humanpower1.html

However Bicycles are also far more efficient to produce and repair than other forms of transport while also being more space-efficient than other forms of transport. Heres a nice chunk of information from:

“Not only are bicycles most efficient to propel, they also take far less energy (and lower levels of technology) to produce than motorized transport. The energy and materials needed for one medium-sized car can produce one hundred bicycles! Starting up a bicycle production or repair and maintenance business requires very little capital; the amount of money needed is insignificant compared to what is required to manufacture, maintain, and repair automobiles. Bicycles are also more space-efficient than cars. That is, more people on bikes than in cars can move through a given lane in a given amount of time. Cars are in fact the least space-efficient form of transport on the planet.”

We live in a day and age were people are fixated with efficiency and health and fitness and the likes, yet why does bike riding still remain so unpopular in places like Australia and America. At least in Europe they have a larger cycling population. I can think of many reasons as to why this is the case such as that Europe simply has much better infrastructure for cyclists. I’ll admit even cycling has disadvantages like getting a little sweaty on a hot day or struggling when it comes to transporting your fridge to your new home, but even so, I believe it has been greatly overlooked as a fantastic way to save the environment, save our wallets and not to mention improve our health dramatically. The fact that the humble bicycle is the most efficient vehicle in the world is simply one more reason on a long list as to why almost everyone should cycle!

Well now I’ve given you the information and it’s up for you to decide whether you are willing to take to cycling. Remember it need not be extreme, even cycling to work one day a work will do wonders compared to no days a week. I only wish I could somehow encourage you as well as the Chinese government does its citizens! As
http://eco-living.net/writings/transport/effengine.html puts it:

“In China, bicycle avenues with five or six lanes are common, as is plenty of safe and convenient bicycle parking. The government provides a monthly allowance for cycling to work.”

Here are some more snippets of information from:
http://eco-living.net/writings/transport/effengine.html which will hopefully further convince you of the benefits of cycling, enjoy:

“More than half of all commutes in the U. S. and more than three-quarters in the U. K. are less than eight kilometers (about five miles). This is a reasonable cycling distance; it is also the range in which internal-combustion engines get the poorest mileage and emit the most pollution.”

“Besides placing drastically less stress on our environment, human power also benefits the engine - the human body! The advantages of regular, sustained exercise are already well documented, and bicycling is a low-impact form of exercise as well. Studies have shown that workers who commute by bicycle are happier, more alert and more productive than average.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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