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(TreeHugger)   Business encourages employees to pedal to work by installing bike racks outside the building, and then requests that nobody use them to help keep the place looking professional   (treehugger.com) divider line 99
    More: Asinine, energy conservation  
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8967 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Aug 2013 at 11:00 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



99 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-03 08:42:42 AM
I wish this was some sort of rare screwball corporate/government moment. Wish.
 
2013-08-03 08:52:22 AM
The person who wrote that should be placed in the bike rack for 30 days, using it as a makeshift pillory.
 
2013-08-03 09:19:06 AM
Who except another employee would even notice how long a bike has been parked there?
 
2013-08-03 09:31:47 AM
If they were so concerned they could perhaps provide a bike room. That way no one has to know that dirty hippies work there.
 
2013-08-03 09:54:25 AM
My Weeners-- "Or else what?"
Second response-- "Sorry to compromise the professional look of that pile of lumber, paneling, and assorted trash next to your bike rack."
 
2013-08-03 09:56:00 AM
you'd think I would know to avoid filter pwnage at this point, but there it is.
 
2013-08-03 11:04:27 AM

dugitman: "Sorry to compromise the professional look of that pile of lumber, paneling, and assorted trash next to your bike rack."


Yeah, that'd be my response to the company. Sorry I parked my bike next to your garbage for too long.
 
2013-08-03 11:05:44 AM
If you think a bike being properly parked in a bike rack is somehow "unprofessional" then you don't know what professional even means.
 
2013-08-03 11:07:10 AM
Again, showing the need for a "WTF" tag for Fark.
 
2013-08-03 11:07:12 AM
I realized some years ago that Dilbert was a documentary.
 
2013-08-03 11:07:18 AM
If I had the money, I'd get a huge forklift (electric!), smash into the rack and leave the lift there. A forklift is a professional tool...
 
2013-08-03 11:07:23 AM
The only way to deal with stuff like this is public shaming, not in Treehugger but maybe something people actually read.
 
2013-08-03 11:08:23 AM
Pretty symptomatic of how corporate green talk is window dressing to avoid a -- corporate image.

Plus most execs seem to look like Dick Cheney, and I guess any fitness equipment handier than a golf club is like a red rag to a bull to these people.
 
2013-08-03 11:10:19 AM
There has to be more to this.
 
2013-08-03 11:11:49 AM
Sounds like the company was trying to mark a box in a green 'certification' program by installing the rack and encouraging bicycling in other ways, but doesn't actually want people to use a bike, they just want to be able to say they meet whatever green standard they've paid consultants to meet.

I'm pro environment, I've even made a decent living at working in the environmental compliance field, but these green certification programs are mostly a way for consultants to make money, and a way for a company to make themselves look good while not actually accomplishing much.
 
2013-08-03 11:13:08 AM

MFAWG: There has to be more to this.


20 years of professional experience in the business world has taught me that no, there doesn't have to be any more to this. There *could* be more to it, but doesn't have to be.
 
2013-08-03 11:14:02 AM
the note is there because a fixed gear isn't a real mode of transportation it's an inefficient and cumbersome way of expressing your hipsterdom.
 
2013-08-03 11:14:49 AM
Heh, yeah right, subby. I'm sure you're exaggerating and it's nothing like th-

*clicks*

I doth beat my head on the tableth due to the stupidity on this earth.
 
2013-08-03 11:15:05 AM
Anyone else sign the "support turtle racing" petition at the bottom?

img824.imageshack.us
 
2013-08-03 11:16:56 AM
Is that a pic of the bike/'citation' in question?

That place is a damned junkyard. The bike is the only thing that looks halfway decent in that picture.
 
2013-08-03 11:17:17 AM
This sounds weird, but from the perspective of the developer, the bike rack isn't about people riding to work.

The bike rack represents LEED points toward a silver, or gold, or whatever rating for the building's 'green-ness.'

I'm not sure how a better LEED rating helps the developer, beyond just marketing, but I assume they get a more favourable tax rate or subsidies, or an easier time in the permitting/urban planning process.

IIRC, the point value of a bike rack may be somewhere on the level of using low volatile sealants or something like that.

They never intended the bike racks to be used.
 
2013-08-03 11:18:20 AM
In Madison, Wisconsin, there's sort of the opposite problem. Biking is terribly, terribly chic and everyone is tripping over themselves to enable it. Between the dedicated bike trails running out to the suburbs and the bike lanes on major downtown streets, you can get pretty much anywhere. Which is great, but it leaves out a few unfortunate businesses located off the trail-serviced areas. At least one of them has solved this problem by creating a fake trail leading into some tall grass and coming out absolutely nowhere useful.

So from the outside, what you see is a beautifully paved bike trail leading up to gleaming bike racks, because XYZ Corp. is a fun and healthy place to work and supports their hippie employees, etc. I admire the ballsiness of this.
 
2013-08-03 11:18:57 AM

buzzcut73: Sounds like the company was trying to mark a box in a green 'certification' program by installing the rack and encouraging bicycling in other ways, but doesn't actually want people to use a bike, they just want to be able to say they meet whatever green standard they've paid consultants to meet.

I'm pro environment, I've even made a decent living at working in the environmental compliance field, but these green certification programs are mostly a way for consultants to make money, and a way for a company to make themselves look good while not actually accomplishing much.


I basically re-said what you said better...took too long to type it.
 
2013-08-03 11:18:59 AM
The story is somewhat ambiguous but from what I gather Molly works at a business that rents space in a commercial building owned by Cadillac-Fairview (a large commercial real estate company), and is not an employee of CF herself. They probably put the bike racks there for customers visiting the building and want workers to either take their bikes inside their offices, or park at the rear of the building.  Similar policies apply to cars:There's a CF owned building near my work and they have a policy that the front parking lot is customers only, and all building employees must park in the back or off-site.

If that's their goal they should put racks at the rear as well or offer indoor bike storage (in many cities this a mandatory feature when building new commercial and residential buildings).
 
2013-08-03 11:20:24 AM
how does one get a parking ticket on a bike, I could understand if the rider was physically present, but a ticket attached to my bike would end up in the dumpster, I mean do they have license plates for bikes there or something? how do they know who it belongs to?
 
2013-08-03 11:20:30 AM
FTFA: Other tweeters have noted that there is bike parking inside the garage (for a monthly fee),

I suspect this is what the company really wants to encourage.  Don't want to lose that sweet parking garage money if people start actually buying this "going green" crap.
 
2013-08-03 11:21:13 AM

mongbiohazard: If you think a bike being properly parked in a bike rack is somehow "unprofessional" then you don't know what professional even means.


A person who begins a piece of business correspondence with the words, "Hi Molly" has a lot of nerve talking about professionalism.
 
2013-08-03 11:21:55 AM

cowgirl toffee: Anyone else sign the "support turtle racing" petition at the bottom?


Yup.

Turtles make me happy. So do tortoises.
 
2013-08-03 11:23:44 AM

buzzcut73: Sounds like the company was trying to mark a box in a green 'certification' program by installing the rack and encouraging bicycling in other ways, but doesn't actually want people to use a bike, they just want to be able to say they meet whatever green standard they've paid consultants to meet.


Possibly not even any LEED-esque certification.  At least in my city, X number of bike rack spaces per load is a requirement for any public building constructed in the last 30 years, just like Y number of parking spaces.  Zoning/building code thing.  And this is in Kansas... I'd be shocked if Vancouver didn't have such a building code.

A lot of businesses half-ass that requirement as much as possible.
 
2013-08-03 11:24:19 AM

megarian: cowgirl toffee: Anyone else sign the "support turtle racing" petition at the bottom?

Yup.

Turtles make me happy. So do tortoises.


Turtle dance!

img194.imageshack.us
 
2013-08-03 11:24:52 AM
Wish I could ride my bike to work. 30 Miles. Too far.
 
2013-08-03 11:31:11 AM
Bike rack? No room for it at my work. My bike is right behind me in my office.

The person that left that note/ticket is a freaking moron.
 
2013-08-03 11:31:40 AM
Like carbon credits it's just useless greenwashing for the company.
 
2013-08-03 11:34:17 AM

Pribar: how does one get a parking ticket on a bike, I could understand if the rider was physically present, but a ticket attached to my bike would end up in the dumpster, I mean do they have license plates for bikes there or something? how do they know who it belongs to?


My undergraduate school tried that with cyclists parking their bikes wherever the hell they wanted before class.

The university has a code of conduct for students which required students to honor the wishes the university. It worked out about as well as voluntary taxes.
 
2013-08-03 11:38:27 AM
This is my thirteenth season (April-October) of riding my bike to work. For the first eight years I would keep my bike in an empty cubical in the office. Nobody had a problem with this. Then we got a new Division Head who said it was "unprofessional" and stopped me from using cubicals for the bike. I found a spot in the storage space to lock it up on another floor. The bike only retails for $3200, so it ain't going on an outside bike rack (which we had, sorta, until the snowplow wiped it out). The Head is a dick basically, a domineering bully. He's hated by all, morale is in the pits, and I'm retiring as soon as the farm is ready to move into....
 
2013-08-03 11:42:06 AM

edmo: I wish this was some sort of rare screwball corporate/government moment. Wish.


Yes, that's why it's on the news, because it's really common; happens all the time. The news only prints stuff that occurs frequently.
 
2013-08-03 11:48:20 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: If I had the money, I'd get a huge forklift (electric!), smash into the rack and leave the lift there. A forklift is a professional tool...


So is whoever decided people couldn't park their bikes on a bike rack.
 
2013-08-03 11:56:26 AM
I ride to work most days. Im lucky, and I can store my bike in my office.
 
2013-08-03 12:02:25 PM

nytmare: edmo: I wish this was some sort of rare screwball corporate/government moment. Wish.

Yes, that's why it's on the news, because it's really common; happens all the time. The news only prints stuff that occurs frequently.


Well some person on the internet really isn't the news. However corporate contradictions like this are very common. Most are not known outside the doors of the company that issued them though. Only those of a special topic that appeals to a readership and for some reason are known outside a particular company get attention.

This one has the special 'carbon footprint' topic plus it's about a building management company rather than any person's particular employer. Thus nobody who works in the building for a company that rents there has to fear for his job by putting the landlord's stupid policies on display.
 
2013-08-03 12:05:25 PM

abhorrent1: Wish I could ride my bike to work. 30 Miles. Too far.


I just turned down a job because 30 miles was too far. In my car. OK I might reconsider.
 
2013-08-03 12:05:28 PM

EvilEgg: If they were so concerned they could perhaps provide a bike room. That way no one has to know that dirty hippies work there.


My company does almost exactly that--people who bike to work can park their bikes in a rack under one of the stairwells.  And since you need an RFID badge to get in the building (and one must pass a criminal background check to work here), there's practically no risk of theft.

That being said, I'm in Silicon Valley, where it's not just the hippies who bike to work.
 
2013-08-03 12:05:38 PM

mongbiohazard: MFAWG: There has to be more to this.

20 years of professional experience in the business world has taught me that no, there doesn't have to be any more to this. There *could* be more to it, but doesn't have to be.


Exactly. All it has to mean is that there is more than 1 upper management type. 1 who needs to meet certain environmental friendly concerns and one who doesn't like clutter.
 
2013-08-03 12:15:36 PM
Cyclist biatching about cyclists? We all win on that one!
 
2013-08-03 12:18:17 PM
This could also be the case of a company's right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. It's frustratingly common. I have a lot of experience with this, and I even have a sorta-similar bicycle story.

My employer was fine with me parking my bicycle in my office. The building security guards were not. But the guards worked for the building owner, and we were tenants. But the guards couldn't go into the offices, so once the bike was in my office, it was fine, So if a guard caught me walking through the lobby with a bike, I'd catch hell.

You'd think this could be resolved, but a multinational corporation vs a sprawling billion dollar property management company? There was no appropriate level at which to address it.
 
2013-08-03 12:29:45 PM
Global warming alarmiss are all about image. To them, awareness is the goal. They often care less about their impact than the bogeymen they decry.
 
Ant
2013-08-03 12:32:11 PM
The word "professional" is abused. It now seems to mean "have a stick up your ass".
 
2013-08-03 12:37:34 PM
I work for a company who makes industrial electric vehicles. They've promoted the hell out of "being green" and all that stuff.

There's one rusty as fark bike rack in the yard, about as far from the time clock as you can get, and they close the gate to get there 30 minutes before anyone goes home.

Go green my ass.
 
2013-08-03 12:45:53 PM

Plant Rights Activist: the note is there because a fixed gear isn't a real mode of transportation it's an inefficient and cumbersome way of expressing your hipsterdom.


That isn't a fixie. It's a cruiser. Freewheel. Brakes. You know, stuff that comes in handy riding in city traffic. Sure, it's slow and heavy, but it is legitimate transportation. Or maybe you just don't know what a fixed gear is.
 
2013-08-03 12:51:00 PM
Typical American passive-aggression.
 
2013-08-03 12:53:07 PM

stirfrybry: Global warming alarmiss are all about image. To them, awareness is the goal. They often care less about their impact than the bogeymen they decry.


They're trying to raise awareness that we'll soon have to send out money to people in suits who produce nothing for no purpose.
 
2013-08-03 12:53:43 PM
Someone said that the ladies bike was not a rusted crap bike,

Wrong, or at least the one with the ticket is a crap bike. I would ticket it

The one behind it is a very nice Italian Titan,  custom painted by the famous  D. Carlo
but the owner got the tape and cable colours wrong.

/might know something about bikes
 
2013-08-03 01:03:28 PM

cowgirl toffee: megarian: cowgirl toffee: Anyone else sign the "support turtle racing" petition at the bottom?

Yup.

Turtles make me happy. So do tortoises.

Turtle dance!

[img194.imageshack.us image 498x363]


Stayin' Alive, stayin' alive, ah...ah.......ah........................ah............................ ..stayin'.................*snore*
 
2013-08-03 01:19:59 PM
Every single time some moron starts to whine about "GUBBERMINT BYOORACRACEE", I will show them this article. Corporate bureaucratic bullsh*t can be and frequently is worse, because it's usually at the whim of some asswipe desk jockey or CEO assistant drone, and not for any remotely fathomable reason.
 
2013-08-03 01:44:28 PM
FTFA: ...many of which might be outraged that this is how their pension fund treats cyclists.

Jesus Christ. When did "outraged" become a synonym for "mildly concerned"?
 
2013-08-03 01:50:24 PM

KWess: This sounds weird, but from the perspective of the developer, the bike rack isn't about people riding to work.

The bike rack represents LEED points toward a silver, or gold, or whatever rating for the building's 'green-ness.'

I'm not sure how a better LEED rating helps the developer, beyond just marketing, but I assume they get a more favourable tax rate or subsidies, or an easier time in the permitting/urban planning process.

IIRC, the point value of a bike rack may be somewhere on the level of using low volatile sealants or something like that.

They never intended the bike racks to be used.

============

That's exactly what's going on.  You win 1 internet.
 
2013-08-03 01:55:19 PM
If there isn't a sign posted then they legally can't do anything.... It must be posted that it is for visitors and messengers, that it is limited to :## minutes. It must also be clearly posted that employees are to park their bike elsewhere, a ticket or memo is not enough to sanction the bike owner.
 
2013-08-03 01:58:44 PM
Conversely... I actually had an employer in the mid 90's that paid employees $80.00 month bonus NOT to drive their car to work more than two days a week and to ride their bike or walk.  Or they would get a free monthly "unlimited" regional bus pass.
 
2013-08-03 01:58:53 PM

rewind2846: Every single time some moron starts to whine about "GUBBERMINT BYOORACRACEE", I will show them this article. Corporate bureaucratic bullsh*t can be and frequently is worse, because it's usually at the whim of some asswipe desk jockey or CEO assistant drone, and not for any remotely fathomable reason.

  who beats you over the head with his dick because he can.

===============

FIFY
 
2013-08-03 02:06:21 PM
First - I'm not really convinced that bicycles are greener.  I'd argue that the majority of American cyclists are *not* helping the environment nor are they saving any energy.  I'm assuming things aren't much different in Canada.

Second - this is a complete non-issue that is being misconstrued and misrepresented to be something it isn't.  The lady works for a company and that company is a TENANT in a building.  The owner of the building has a limited amount of space.

They have a bicycle rack for couriers.  This bicycle rack is highly visible and limited in space.

The company says:   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/08/02/bc-va n couver-bike-rack.html
The company also says the bike rack is for couriers and it does provide all-day parking for office workers in a bikeroom for a nominal annual fee

There you go.  She put her bicycle *IN THE WRONG PLACE* - presumably because it is right by the door and free.  They have a bikeroom for the office workers.  Probably in the garage with all the other cars, if I had to guess.

She is parking in the 'unloading zone' meant for delivery drivers.  She isn't supposed to do that.  She has another area where she can park.

Everyone is focusing on the text in an e-mail sent by someone who, almost certainly, isn't an official representative of the company.  Anyway, the truth is, a lot of bicycles *do* look trashy.... but even ignoring that, there is a limited amount of space.  The company I work for has six bicycle racks - and they are all full (largely because half the people here seem to leave their bicycles at work 24/7,,,,I don't understand it).  The bicycle rack she choose to use was not the correct one.

Her defense is that there was 'no sign'.  The company my company leases their office space from has similar crappy rules that are also not on signs.  This isn't a public space, the office workers are tenants and expected to know what is and isn't acceptable - our HR folk handle this.  We get e-mails and letters about what is and isn't allowed and most of it is really reasonable.  Just like this.

// No car
// Cycles to work, 12 miles round trip, every work day
 
2013-08-03 02:13:14 PM
One day they will ban cars from downtown Vancouver because the douche bag Bicyclists will have fully infested city hall.
If the rack is or isn't on city property, plus without any signage of a time limit, any monetary ticket or confiscation is not enforceable.

/More streets being closed down to ban cars and for the Rich people to get a free asphalt park as they ban through traffic out of their neighborhoods.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/08/02/bc-v an couver-bike-rack.html


A Vancouver cyclist is outraged after finding a notice on her bike telling her she could not use a downtown bicycle rack.

Molly Millar says she wasn't expecting a notice when she parked her bicycle outside the Granville Street office tower before heading into work.

"At the end of the day I noticed I had a ticket on my bicycle and the ticket said that it was 15-minute parking only and if I did it again they would confiscate my bicycle," said Millar.

There was no sign indicating the 15-minute rule. Still Millar emailed the building managers asking them to put in a couple of bicycle racks for employees.

The building's owner Cadillac Fairview responded with an email.

"We do like to encourage cycling to work and our tenants to think about being 'green'...but we also need to maintain the professional image of the building," said the response from the property company.

The company also says the bicycle rack is for couriers and it does provide all-day parking for office workers in a bicycleroom for a nominal annual fee.

But Millar, who is the cycling fashion editor for Momentum Magazine, was still not pleased with the tone of the response.

"I was crazy angry, I am a professional. I cycle. I do not take away from the professional image of the building," said Millar.
bicycling not unprofessional, says advocate

Cycling advocate Richard Campbell of the B.C. Bike Coalition says when it comes to being professional it's unlikely that bicycles would harm any building's image these days.

"You don't see people complaining about kind of dull looking cars blocking the view of their business," he said.

Campbell says while there are 1,468 bicycle racks in the city, the majority are concentrated in the downtown core, leaving a shortage of bicycle racks in other parts.

"There's still many places in the city where it's really difficult or dangerous to get to by bicycle, so there's still a lot of work that needs to be done," says Campbell.

The City of Vancouver agrees, and is trying to encourage cycling by launching a bicycle share program next year and expanding its bicycle lane network through the city.

It also requires new retail businesses to provide bicycle racks. But that rule doesn't extend to existing businesses.

Millar received a huge response when she posted her parking notice on Twitter, igniting a debate over how bicycle-friendly Vancouver truly is, but she says she is still not done fighting for the right to lock up her bicycle.

"There`s always more that could be done. I just want Vancouver to get to a place where we're accepted."
 
2013-08-03 02:15:08 PM

MrBentor: If there isn't a sign posted then they legally can't do anything.... It must be posted that it is for visitors and messengers, that it is limited to :## minutes. It must also be clearly posted that employees are to park their bike elsewhere, a ticket or memo is not enough to sanction the bike owner.


The submitted article calls it a 'ticket' but most of the other articles I've seen just say 'note or notice'

I'm pretty sure this was a reminder for employees not to park all day in the rack for couriers and visitors.  If it was a fine, I haven't been able to find any reference to an amount.
 
2013-08-03 02:16:30 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: I'd argue that the majority of American cyclists are *not* helping the environment nor are they saving any energy.


lh4.ggpht.com
 
2013-08-03 02:27:11 PM

anfrind: Fark_Guy_Rob: I'd argue that the majority of American cyclists are *not* helping the environment nor are they saving any energy.

[lh4.ggpht.com image 411x110]


The vast majority of cyclists own bicycles *in addition* to their cars.  That means they start at a huge net loss for the environment.  Where were the parts built - Taiwan ?  China?  How many miles where they transported before someone finally gets it home.  Throw in whatever additional gear people purchase and the truth is, you need to replace a lot of driving miles with bicycling.....I'd argue the majority of cyclists never reach that amount of miles.

Beyond that - cycling to work takes energy.  It's not magic or free....it's just energy we get from food instead of a pump.  The food we eat has an environmental cost too....particularly if we are not vegetarians.  http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/5861/is-cycling-worse-for - the-environment-than-driving-to-work-if-you-need-to-take-a/5870#5870

For most foods other than pork, beef or lamb, the total energy consumption is below what the car uses. For example, eating only chicken, the bicyclist's total would be 1.75kg, which is significantly less than the car.

The limit where the bicycle pollutes more than the car is if the food creates more than 4.17 g/kcal CO2 equivalents. So the bicyclist can easily afford to eat some beef, if the main energy source is vegetables.


I purchased a bicycle years ago, when I was in Colorado (it was the thing to do there).  I probably road it into work 20 times per year....and my diet was that of a typical American.  I had lots of special riding gear and shoes and crap to go along with it....but I still drove my truck all the other days of the year.  I even went on some 'road trips' with friends where we put our bicycles in the back of a truck, drove two hours, and road around the mountains.

The net gain on that bicycle and those trips to work was a loss for the environment.
 
2013-08-03 02:29:28 PM

Tyrosine: If that's their goal they should put racks at the rear as well or offer indoor bike storage (in many cities this a mandatory feature when building new commercial and residential buildings).


...or just throw up their hands and go "what are you gonna do?", like everybody else does when some tiny insignificant detail doesn't turn out their way immediately. Why is that option off the table?
 
2013-08-03 02:52:36 PM
Most places I go to have designated bike parking.
i81.photobucket.com

Conveniently close to the front door.
 
2013-08-03 03:58:24 PM
My workplace has parking close to the building for hybrids, but the way the parking lot is laid out, it forces gas guzzlers to drive further to get to the back of the parking lot. End result: hybrids drive less, gas guzzlers drive more, so this well-meaning plan is a net loss to the environment.
 
2013-08-03 04:03:43 PM

anfrind: EvilEgg: If they were so concerned they could perhaps provide a bike room. That way no one has to know that dirty hippies work there.

My company does almost exactly that--people who bike to work can park their bikes in a rack under one of the stairwells.  And since you need an RFID badge to get in the building (and one must pass a criminal background check to work here), there's practically no risk of theft.

That being said, I'm in Silicon Valley, where it's not just the hippies who bike to work.


Yeah, I'm not sure where this uninformed asinine opinion that only hippies, and greenies ride their bikes to work. Contrary to popular belief, we're not all trying to save the planet one pedal stroke at a time. Some of us just love to ride our bicycles. Get over your fat assed selves and deal with it.
 
2013-08-03 04:06:12 PM

bones870: Cyclist biatching about cyclists? We all win on that one!


You can't possibly be that stupid can you?
 
2013-08-03 04:09:24 PM

DanQuayle: Someone said that the ladies bike was not a rusted crap bike,

Wrong, or at least the one with the ticket is a crap bike. I would ticket it

The one behind it is a very nice Italian Titan,  custom painted by the famous  D. Carlo
but the owner got the tape and cable colours wrong.

/might know something about bikes


Might be an elitist douche bag too.
 
2013-08-03 04:15:04 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: First - I'm not really convinced that bicycles are greener.  I'd argue that the majority of American cyclists are *not* helping the environment nor are they saving any energy.  I'm assuming things aren't much different in Canada.

Second - this is a complete non-issue that is being misconstrued and misrepresented to be something it isn't.  The lady works for a company and that company is a TENANT in a building.  The owner of the building has a limited amount of space.

They have a bicycle rack for couriers.  This bicycle rack is highly visible and limited in space.

The company says:   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/08/02/bc-va n couver-bike-rack.html
The company also says the bike rack is for couriers and it does provide all-day parking for office workers in a bikeroom for a nominal annual fee

There you go.  She put her bicycle *IN THE WRONG PLACE* - presumably because it is right by the door and free.  They have a bikeroom for the office workers.  Probably in the garage with all the other cars, if I had to guess.

She is parking in the 'unloading zone' meant for delivery drivers.  She isn't supposed to do that.  She has another area where she can park.

Everyone is focusing on the text in an e-mail sent by someone who, almost certainly, isn't an official representative of the company.  Anyway, the truth is, a lot of bicycles *do* look trashy.... but even ignoring that, there is a limited amount of space.  The company I work for has six bicycle racks - and they are all full (largely because half the people here seem to leave their bicycles at work 24/7,,,,I don't understand it).  The bicycle rack she choose to use was not the correct one.

Her defense is that there was 'no sign'.  The company my company leases their office space from has similar crappy rules that are also not on signs.  This isn't a public space, the office workers are tenants and expected to know what is and isn't acceptable - our HR folk handle this.  We get e-mails and letters about what is and isn't allowed and most of it is really reasonable.  Just like this.

// No car
// Cycles to work, 12 miles round trip, every work day


Your first point sound very illogical. Please explain how you think a bicycle is no more energy efficient than any motor vehicle, including motorcycles.
 
2013-08-03 04:21:41 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: anfrind: Fark_Guy_Rob: I'd argue that the majority of American cyclists are *not* helping the environment nor are they saving any energy.

[lh4.ggpht.com image 411x110]

The vast majority of cyclists own bicycles *in addition* to their cars.  That means they start at a huge net loss for the environment.  Where were the parts built - Taiwan ?  China?  How many miles where they transported before someone finally gets it home.  Throw in whatever additional gear people purchase and the truth is, you need to replace a lot of driving miles with bicycling.....I'd argue the majority of cyclists never reach that amount of miles.

Beyond that - cycling to work takes energy.  It's not magic or free....it's just energy we get from food instead of a pump.  The food we eat has an environmental cost too....particularly if we are not vegetarians.  http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/5861/is-cycling-worse-for - the-environment-than-driving-to-work-if-you-need-to-take-a/5870#5870

For most foods other than pork, beef or lamb, the total energy consumption is below what the car uses. For example, eating only chicken, the bicyclist's total would be 1.75kg, which is significantly less than the car.

The limit where the bicycle pollutes more than the car is if the food creates more than 4.17 g/kcal CO2 equivalents. So the bicyclist can easily afford to eat some beef, if the main energy source is vegetables.

I purchased a bicycle years ago, when I was in Colorado (it was the thing to do there).  I probably road it into work 20 times per year....and my diet was that of a typical American.  I had lots of special riding gear and shoes and crap to go along with it....but I still drove my truck all the other days of the year.  I even went on some 'road trips' with friends where we put our bicycles in the back of a truck, drove two hours, and road around the mountains.

The net gain on that bicycle and those trips to work was a loss for the environment.


Right, because if we don't ride our bikes, we don't have to eat. You really need to do some more carefully thought out calculations before drawing such outlandish conclusions.
 
2013-08-03 04:24:30 PM

TwowheelinTim: anfrind: EvilEgg: If they were so concerned they could perhaps provide a bike room. That way no one has to know that dirty hippies work there.

My company does almost exactly that--people who bike to work can park their bikes in a rack under one of the stairwells.  And since you need an RFID badge to get in the building (and one must pass a criminal background check to work here), there's practically no risk of theft.

That being said, I'm in Silicon Valley, where it's not just the hippies who bike to work.

Yeah, I'm not sure where this uninformed asinine opinion that only hippies, and greenies ride their bikes to work. Contrary to popular belief, we're not all trying to save the planet one pedal stroke at a time. Some of us just love to ride our bicycles. Get over your fat assed selves and deal with it.


What if we're biking in because we're fat-assed and Killtrain is full until 10:30 (though at that point, I usually say fark it, bike home, and grab my car because I'm already late for work)?

Biking to work is 7 and a half miles if I want to deal with stoplights and cars (Downtown Mountain View to downtown PA) or 10.5 miles if I have better things to do and want to be able to go 70% of the trip without seeing a car and another 20% on back roads.

/Also, Silicon Valley biking works because it's not hot, not cold, and they actually have bike lanes.  If any one of those things was false, we wouldn't have the "biking culture".
 
2013-08-03 04:34:38 PM

TwowheelinTim: Right, because if we don't ride our bikes, we don't have to eat. You really need to do some more carefully thought out calculations before drawing such outlandish conclusions.


I think the point is that if we're biking from Point A to Point B, we're burning MORE energy (in our muscles, not overall) than if we drove to work and we need MORE food.  Since that food comes from somewhere, if it costs more energy to make food to power our biking to work than it does to power our car to drive us to work, it's a net loss.  (See: Corn Ethanol, energy economics of)

/Biked 18 miles 2 days ago.  Still needed 13 hours of sleep last night.
 
2013-08-03 04:39:09 PM

meyerkev: TwowheelinTim: anfrind: EvilEgg: If they were so concerned they could perhaps provide a bike room. That way no one has to know that dirty hippies work there.

My company does almost exactly that--people who bike to work can park their bikes in a rack under one of the stairwells.  And since you need an RFID badge to get in the building (and one must pass a criminal background check to work here), there's practically no risk of theft.

That being said, I'm in Silicon Valley, where it's not just the hippies who bike to work.

Yeah, I'm not sure where this uninformed asinine opinion that only hippies, and greenies ride their bikes to work. Contrary to popular belief, we're not all trying to save the planet one pedal stroke at a time. Some of us just love to ride our bicycles. Get over your fat assed selves and deal with it.

What if we're biking in because we're fat-assed and Killtrain is full until 10:30 (though at that point, I usually say fark it, bike home, and grab my car because I'm already late for work)?

Biking to work is 7 and a half miles if I want to deal with stoplights and cars (Downtown Mountain View to downtown PA) or 10.5 miles if I have better things to do and want to be able to go 70% of the trip without seeing a car and another 20% on back roads.

/Also, Silicon Valley biking works because it's not hot, not cold, and they actually have bike lanes.  If any one of those things was false, we wouldn't have the "biking culture".


I apologize for the misunderstanding. I was referring to those calling bicycle commuters "hippies" as fat assed. Many of them are just jealous you know. Especially when we breeze by them while they are stuck in traffic.
 
2013-08-03 04:53:42 PM

meyerkev: I think the point is that if we're biking from Point A to Point B, we're burning MORE energy (in our muscles, not overall) than if we drove to work and we need MORE food.  Since that food comes from somewhere, if it costs more energy to make food to power our biking to work than it does to power our car to drive us to work, it's a net loss.  (See: Corn Ethanol, energy economics of)


I've seen these numbers numerous times.  Basically, if you drive a Honda Fit, perfectly, on mostly flat conditions, and (most importantly) at the 10-12 mph that commuting cyclists do, then a small 4-cylinder car is more energy efficient than a man on a bike.

If you commute at 45mph, start-and-stop at normal acceleration, use the AC, or drive a little further than you bike (because it's more convenient)?  Nowhere near it. The whole  2 in  m*v2 business changes the whole equation.  But, it's a fun thing to think about.
 
2013-08-03 04:57:43 PM

semiotix: In Madison, Wisconsin, there's sort of the opposite problem. Biking is terribly, terribly chic and everyone is tripping over themselves to enable it. Between the dedicated bike trails running out to the suburbs and the bike lanes on major downtown streets, you can get pretty much anywhere. Which is great, but it leaves out a few unfortunate businesses located off the trail-serviced areas. At least one of them has solved this problem by creating a fake trail leading into some tall grass and coming out absolutely nowhere useful.

So from the outside, what you see is a beautifully paved bike trail leading up to gleaming bike racks, because XYZ Corp. is a fun and healthy place to work and supports their hippie employees, etc. I admire the ballsiness of this.


I must know where this is so I can see. Please tell me. :-)
 
2013-08-03 05:12:08 PM
It's those neckties those big-business types insist on wearing.
They tie them too tight and it cuts of the flow of blood to their brains making them stupid.

s10.postimg.org
 
2013-08-03 06:18:16 PM

sheep snorter: One day they will ban cars from downtown Vancouver because the douche bag Bicyclists will have fully infested city hall.
If the rack is or isn't on city property, plus without any signage of a time limit, any monetary ticket or confiscation is not enforceable.

/More streets being closed down to ban cars and for the Rich people to get a free asphalt park as they ban through traffic out of their neighborhoods.


So the debate is basically one about land use.

Cars are cool.  Cars let me get from any point A to any point B at any time of my choosing by any route of my choosing at relatively high speeds.  Any transit network outside of Manhattan fails at least one of those tests (and even then, once you do the math on "distance/time", Manhattan still sucks.  It's just that Manhattan traffic sucks more).  Even if I had better transit availability (1 hour bike ride, 10-30 minute drive, 30 minute walk + train, 20 minute bike + train), I'd still probably own a car for the purposes of errands that require a trunk and running around the area

Cars work really, really well up until a certain point of density.  The Detroit Metro (which once you remove the actual city of Detroit is doing surprisingly well) is more or less below that point.  Low land prices and a lack of geographic features means that everyone has a big house on a huge lot and this combines with a really good underlying road network (Meyerkev's first law of traffic: At absolute worst, the overall speed of the freeway network is roughly the speed of the adjacent underlying road network) to make the freeways relatively empty.  I-696 is a disaster during rush hour, the bit where I-275, I-696, and M-5 merge from 8 lanes down to 4 is a shiatshow from 4:30 until 6:30, (but that was always going to happen), and I-75 could use an extra lane, but beyond that, they don't even have an evening rush hour (and they literally don't have a morning rush hour).

Once you get past a certain point, you literally can't build enough roads fast enough (Keep in mind that my example of a good road-centric city is Detroit, a non-geographically constrained, low-density metro area with low property values (meyerkev's 2nd law of traffic: The shiattiness of the traffic is directly proportional to the money saved by moving an extra exit away from work), a commitment to good traffic flow at the state and local levels, and a complete lack of a single job center creating tons of traffic flow into downtown).  It's just impossible.  There's too many people trying to go to too many different places on the same roads. I read somewhere that the capacity of a properly designed freeway lane was 2,200 cars per hour for free flowing traffic.  So if you've got 500 people in your office building, you've just used up 15 lane-minutes for that one building.  And that's on a freeway.  If your bottleneck is a single low-capacity exit into a poor road network, your really expensive freeway is worthless.  (Looking at you, Boston).

So you build transit.  And the first thing that transit does is screw everyone in the suburbs or in a single-family home over (Rochester to Detroit (27 miles) in traffic is about 45 minutes in traffic.  Coney Island to Harlem (20 miles) is at best an hour).  Because transit is slow (compared to freeflowing freeways) and walking is slower outside of Boston (1.5 MPH busses FTW), everyone is forced to move inwards and/or next to transit to have a reasonable commute. And more importantly, businesses are forced to move right next to transit or face a serious last mile problem (since I can drive to transit, but I can't drive from transit) and that in turn creates those central points that cars HATE.

www.dailycognition.com
And at a certain point, you've built good enough transit systems to funnel lots of people into downtown in a reasonable amount of time (that's still slower than free-flowing driving), and you've got fairly decent cross-downtown transit, and there's WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE to ever think about using the car as your major form of transportation because of the density cycle (because transit both supports and requires serious density), and why not ban cars from downtown?  I can't say that anyone is better served by a car in downtown Manhattan than by riding the subway/commuter trains into/around Manhattan.
 
2013-08-03 06:19:19 PM
And that picture can easily be found by googling "space needed for 60 people car bus bicycle"
 
2013-08-03 07:00:50 PM

meyerkev: And that picture can easily be found by googling "space needed for 60 people car bus bicycle"


That sure brings it into perspective doesn't it?

Even if the motorists were to double up in their vehicles it would still be substantially more space than either.

Hell, if they were to go 4x it would even be more.

More realistically, the average (mean) probably falls somewhere between one and two motorists per car.

It's a good argument when bicycle haters start hating on cyclists for taking up space on "their" roads.
 
2013-08-03 07:06:40 PM

meyerkev: TwowheelinTim: Right, because if we don't ride our bikes, we don't have to eat. You really need to do some more carefully thought out calculations before drawing such outlandish conclusions.

I think the point is that if we're biking from Point A to Point B, we're burning MORE energy (in our muscles, not overall) than if we drove to work and we need MORE food.  Since that food comes from somewhere, if it costs more energy to make food to power our biking to work than it does to power our car to drive us to work, it's a net loss.  (See: Corn Ethanol, energy economics of)

/Biked 18 miles 2 days ago.  Still needed 13 hours of sleep last night.


Do you really believe the extra energy I need to ride my bicycle to work exceeds the energy needed to move my car even one mile? This is one of the most poorly thought out arguments I've heard in a long time.

FACEPALM!!!
 
2013-08-03 07:10:06 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: First - I'm not really convinced that bicycles are greener.  I'd argue that the majority of American cyclists are *not* helping the environment nor are they saving any energy.  I'm assuming things aren't much different in Canada.

Second - this is a complete non-issue that is being misconstrued and misrepresented to be something it isn't.  The lady works for a company and that company is a TENANT in a building.  The owner of the building has a limited amount of space.

They have a bicycle rack for couriers.  This bicycle rack is highly visible and limited in space.

The company says:   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/08/02/bc-va n couver-bike-rack.html
The company also says the bike rack is for couriers and it does provide all-day parking for office workers in a bikeroom for a nominal annual fee

There you go.  She put her bicycle *IN THE WRONG PLACE* - presumably because it is right by the door and free.  They have a bikeroom for the office workers.  Probably in the garage with all the other cars, if I had to guess.

She is parking in the 'unloading zone' meant for delivery drivers.  She isn't supposed to do that.  She has another area where she can park.

Everyone is focusing on the text in an e-mail sent by someone who, almost certainly, isn't an official representative of the company.  Anyway, the truth is, a lot of bicycles *do* look trashy.... but even ignoring that, there is a limited amount of space.  The company I work for has six bicycle racks - and they are all full (largely because half the people here seem to leave their bicycles at work 24/7,,,,I don't understand it).  The bicycle rack she choose to use was not the correct one.

Her defense is that there was 'no sign'.  The company my company leases their office space from has similar crappy rules that are also not on signs.  This isn't a public space, the office workers are tenants and expected to know what is and isn't acceptable - our HR folk handle this.  We get e-mails and letters about what is and isn't allowed and most of it is really reasonable.  Just like this.

// No car
// Cycles to work, 12 miles round trip, every work day


From above: The lady works for a company and that company is a TENANT in a building. The owner of the building has a limited amount of space.

I'm not sure how that would mean anything. We were a tenant in a building. We occupied all 7 floors and the basement where the data center was. I guess you could count Aramark as a tenant also but they ran and leased the cafeteria that only serviced us since it was within the badged perimeter. If the rack space was limited then it only affected us.
 
2013-08-03 07:11:42 PM

TwowheelinTim: meyerkev: TwowheelinTim: Right, because if we don't ride our bikes, we don't have to eat. You really need to do some more carefully thought out calculations before drawing such outlandish conclusions.

I think the point is that if we're biking from Point A to Point B, we're burning MORE energy (in our muscles, not overall) than if we drove to work and we need MORE food.  Since that food comes from somewhere, if it costs more energy to make food to power our biking to work than it does to power our car to drive us to work, it's a net loss.  (See: Corn Ethanol, energy economics of)

/Biked 18 miles 2 days ago.  Still needed 13 hours of sleep last night.

Do you really believe the extra energy I need to ride my bicycle to work exceeds the energy needed to move my car even one mile? This is one of the most poorly thought out arguments I've heard in a long time.

FACEPALM!!!


No.  But you do need extra energy and that requires extra food over dong nothing.

Now the energy required is WAY less than the car energy, but you can't say that biking into work doesn't cost energy AT ALL.
 
2013-08-03 07:16:34 PM

meyerkev: TwowheelinTim: Right, because if we don't ride our bikes, we don't have to eat. You really need to do some more carefully thought out calculations before drawing such outlandish conclusions.

I think the point is that if we're biking from Point A to Point B, we're burning MORE energy (in our muscles, not overall) than if we drove to work and we need MORE food.  Since that food comes from somewhere, if it costs more energy to make food to power our biking to work than it does to power our car to drive us to work, it's a net loss.  (See: Corn Ethanol, energy economics of)

/Biked 18 miles 2 days ago.  Still needed 13 hours of sleep last night.



Here. Let me help you with some information that you may or may not understand.

There are about 30,000 Calories in a gallon of gasoline. If I were to drive my vehicle to work instead of riding my bicycle, I'd burn about a half gallon each way. That's 30,000 Calories.

Are you still with me?

I need to eat about five hundred extra calories a day to make up for my daily ride to work. Most Americans are eating that much anyway. Just look around you at all the overweight and morbidly obese people.

Does that help, or shall I do the calculations for you as well?
 
2013-08-03 07:19:16 PM

meyerkev: TwowheelinTim: meyerkev: TwowheelinTim: Right, because if we don't ride our bikes, we don't have to eat. You really need to do some more carefully thought out calculations before drawing such outlandish conclusions.

I think the point is that if we're biking from Point A to Point B, we're burning MORE energy (in our muscles, not overall) than if we drove to work and we need MORE food.  Since that food comes from somewhere, if it costs more energy to make food to power our biking to work than it does to power our car to drive us to work, it's a net loss.  (See: Corn Ethanol, energy economics of)

/Biked 18 miles 2 days ago.  Still needed 13 hours of sleep last night.

Do you really believe the extra energy I need to ride my bicycle to work exceeds the energy needed to move my car even one mile? This is one of the most poorly thought out arguments I've heard in a long time.

FACEPALM!!!

No.  But you do need extra energy and that requires extra food over dong nothing.

Now the energy required is WAY less than the car energy, but you can't say that biking into work doesn't cost energy AT ALL.


I'm not sure where I said there was no energy required to propel me to work on my bicycle.

I know better. I ride. A lot.

You're just making shiat up now that your argument has been dismantled.
 
2013-08-03 07:35:39 PM

TwowheelinTim: There are about 30,000 Calories in a gallon of gasoline. If I were to drive my vehicle to work instead of riding my bicycle, I'd burn about a half gallon each way. That's 30,000 Calories.


Bing. It's basically the same energy density per weight as butter/crisco/corn oil. At 6 pounds to the gallon.

When I do multi-day tours, I roughly double my normal eating and stay steady (a major reason I do bike tours... you get to eat anything). 2500 extra cal/day for 60-70 miles a day. Or... 840 miles/gallon in gasoline terms.
 
2013-08-03 07:45:58 PM

Lawnchair: TwowheelinTim: There are about 30,000 Calories in a gallon of gasoline. If I were to drive my vehicle to work instead of riding my bicycle, I'd burn about a half gallon each way. That's 30,000 Calories.

Bing. (a major reason I do bike tours... you get to eat anything)


This!

And it's still significantly fewer calories than it takes to move a car a mile, but some people are just plain ignorant and some are just to stupid to understand this simple equation.
 
2013-08-03 07:48:19 PM
too
 
2013-08-03 09:10:05 PM

abhorrent1: Wish I could ride my bike to work. 30 Miles. Too far.


A few guys where I work do this. It adds around four hours to the work day. The town they live in has a train they could take in and our shuttles would bring them to the door.

But each to his own.
 
2013-08-03 09:24:16 PM
Where I work people park them anywhere, lock them on racks or take them to offices. No one says a word about it.
 
2013-08-03 09:28:34 PM

saturn badger: abhorrent1: Wish I could ride my bike to work. 30 Miles. Too far.

A few guys where I work do this. It adds around four hours to the work day. The town they live in has a train they could take in and our shuttles would bring them to the door.

But each to his own.


There's a bunch of crazy idiots people who work at Google who commute by bike from SF to Mountain View and back.

And my boss will periodically take a morning off to do 100 mile bike rides over Skyline or bike down to Santa Cruz.

Personally, if Killtrain was better at having open non-full bike cars, I'd bike to/from Caltrain from home/work, since that cuts 10 minutes off my one-way commute (and is actually faster than driving with traffic) and then occasionally bike home whenever I felt like it.
 
2013-08-03 10:35:53 PM

TwowheelinTim: meyerkev: TwowheelinTim: Right, because if we don't ride our bikes, we don't have to eat. You really need to do some more carefully thought out calculations before drawing such outlandish conclusions.

I think the point is that if we're biking from Point A to Point B, we're burning MORE energy (in our muscles, not overall) than if we drove to work and we need MORE food.  Since that food comes from somewhere, if it costs more energy to make food to power our biking to work than it does to power our car to drive us to work, it's a net loss.  (See: Corn Ethanol, energy economics of)

/Biked 18 miles 2 days ago.  Still needed 13 hours of sleep last night.

Do you really believe the extra energy I need to ride my bicycle to work exceeds the energy needed to move my car even one mile? This is one of the most poorly thought out arguments I've heard in a long time.

FACEPALM!!!




Every bit of food you eat is moved with trucks.
 
2013-08-03 10:39:16 PM

evaned: I must know where this is so I can see. Please tell me. :-)


It's been several years since I lived there, so I can't give you an exact address. Out by that miniature golf course on the West Side near the Beltline.
 
2013-08-04 12:25:15 AM
There is no loading or unloading in the white zone
 
2013-08-04 12:51:43 AM

StoPPeRmobile: TwowheelinTim: meyerkev: TwowheelinTim: Right, because if we don't ride our bikes, we don't have to eat. You really need to do some more carefully thought out calculations before drawing such outlandish conclusions.

I think the point is that if we're biking from Point A to Point B, we're burning MORE energy (in our muscles, not overall) than if we drove to work and we need MORE food.  Since that food comes from somewhere, if it costs more energy to make food to power our biking to work than it does to power our car to drive us to work, it's a net loss.  (See: Corn Ethanol, energy economics of)

/Biked 18 miles 2 days ago.  Still needed 13 hours of sleep last night.

Do you really believe the extra energy I need to ride my bicycle to work exceeds the energy needed to move my car even one mile? This is one of the most poorly thought out arguments I've heard in a long time.

FACEPALM!!!

Every bit of food you eat is moved with trucks.


You aren't really looking at how great the difference are you? Or are you really that stupid?
 
2013-08-04 04:51:56 AM

dugitman: My Weeners-- "Or else what?"



That's what she said.
 
2013-08-04 05:55:08 AM

Benjimin_Dover: Fark_Guy_Rob: First - I'm not really convinced that bicycles are greener.  I'd argue that the majority of American cyclists are *not* helping the environment nor are they saving any energy.  I'm assuming things aren't much different in Canada.

Second - this is a complete non-issue that is being misconstrued and misrepresented to be something it isn't.  The lady works for a company and that company is a TENANT in a building.  The owner of the building has a limited amount of space.

They have a bicycle rack for couriers.  This bicycle rack is highly visible and limited in space.

The company says:   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/08/02/bc-va n couver-bike-rack.html
The company also says the bike rack is for couriers and it does provide all-day parking for office workers in a bikeroom for a nominal annual fee

There you go.  She put her bicycle *IN THE WRONG PLACE* - presumably because it is right by the door and free.  They have a bikeroom for the office workers.  Probably in the garage with all the other cars, if I had to guess.

She is parking in the 'unloading zone' meant for delivery drivers.  She isn't supposed to do that.  She has another area where she can park.

Everyone is focusing on the text in an e-mail sent by someone who, almost certainly, isn't an official representative of the company.  Anyway, the truth is, a lot of bicycles *do* look trashy.... but even ignoring that, there is a limited amount of space.  The company I work for has six bicycle racks - and they are all full (largely because half the people here seem to leave their bicycles at work 24/7,,,,I don't understand it).  The bicycle rack she choose to use was not the correct one.

Her defense is that there was 'no sign'.  The company my company leases their office space from has similar crappy rules that are also not on signs.  This isn't a public space, the office workers are tenants and expected to know what is and isn't acceptable - our HR folk handle this.  We ...


It means that the headline here trollbait...

That rack was NOT installed by the company she works for.
And it wasn't installed as part of a 'pedal to work' program.
 
2013-08-04 06:46:28 AM

TwowheelinTim: Lawnchair: TwowheelinTim: There are about 30,000 Calories in a gallon of gasoline. If I were to drive my vehicle to work instead of riding my bicycle, I'd burn about a half gallon each way. That's 30,000 Calories.

Bing. (a major reason I do bike tours... you get to eat anything)

This!

And it's still significantly fewer calories than it takes to move a car a mile, but some people are just plain ignorant and some are just to stupid to understand this simple equation.


Nobody is claiming that it takes more energy to ride a typical bicycle one mile than to drive a typical car one mile.

But the source of energy is different and the efficiency levels are different.  Two identical cars, one powered by an electric engine and one powered by a gasoline engine - with the same mass, same design, same rolling resistance - would all take the same amount of energy to move one mile.  That's basic physics.

The difference comes from the engine efficiency:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine_efficiency

The gasoline engine is going to waste a lot of energy and produce pollution.
The electric engine is going to be more efficient and  produce less pollution.

So yes - moving a car one mile takes more energy than pedaling a bicycle.  But people are *veryinefficient*

You mentioned that people 'eat anyway'.  And yes, we do.  But any additional work we do requires additional energy.  You mention obese people and overweight people - they have extra stores of energy, so they could do more work without increasing their diet *FOR A WHILE* - but the laws of physics dictate that they consume their energy stores (fat) to do so.  It is a limited and measurable amount of energy and once gone, it's gone.  People *need* to eat more calories tocompensate for additional activity.

The environmental impact of 'eating' varies a lot from person to person.  Eating something grown near by is pretty green....and at the far end of the scale is processed/imported/shipped meat.  A 'typical' American diet is pretty close to the 'extremely bad' side of things.  We eat a lot of things that were grown somewhere else, shipped somewhere, processed in a factory, shipped back somewhere, put on a truck, driven across the country, and thrown on a shelf at our local supermarket, that we drive to.

Looking at CO2 emissions of 'average' cars - doing a 25km trip in the car would release  4.18 kg CO2
(http://www.nextgreencar.com/news-item.php?Record-low-for-new-car-CO 2-e missions )

But a cyclist is going to need 967 kcal of energy to make that same trip
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance#Energy_efficiency )

Where does that energy come from?  Food.  And does food cause pollution?  *YES*.  How much?  Depends...
(http://www.scribd.com/doc/24163/CO2-Emissions-of-Foods-and-Diets )

For this fictional trip...

0.068 kg for soy1.6 kg for chicken13.4 kg for beefSo - if our cyclist is going to chow down on soy when he gets home - he cut down on CO2 emissions.  He was green.
If he goes home and eats chicken - cool - he cut it IN HALF.  He was green.
If he goes home and has a steak - OH NO!  He HURT the environment.  By riding a bicycle!

It's also worth mentioning that cars are really big.  And we're looking at just *one person*.  We could put three more adults into that car with only a marginal impact on the energy and pollution created by the car.  But that is not true of the bicycle.  For a typical American diet - car pooling (depending on the amount of additional driving required to pick up the passengers) could be more efficient than having four adults bicycle to work.

We also need to consider the production of the car/bicycle.  MOST commuters do not replace a car with a bicycle.  They have a bicycle IN ADDITION to a car.  That means, whatever savings they get for replacing a mile of driving with cycling, needs to offset the energy required to build the bicycle.  This is getting TL;DR - and I suspect you'll just see that I've responded, read a few lines, and tell me why I'm wrong....so

TL;DR

If you have a bicycle (and no car) and commute to work - great.  You're helping the environment.

If you have a bicycle *AND* a car and commute to work - it's complicated.

The construction and delivery of your bicycle took a lot of energy and created a lot of pollution.  You need to offset that by replacing 'car driving' miles with 'bicycle riding' miles.  But it's going to take a LOT of miles (how many will depend on how green your diet is, how green your car is, and how green your bicycle is).  Most casual commuters don't commute year-round and they don't commute very far.  And it will never, ever be free energy - they are burning calories obtained from food.  Food isn't pollution free and depending on what you eat, the impact varies greatly.
 
2013-08-04 09:57:24 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Food isn't pollution free and depending on what you eat, the impact varies greatly.


Your math compares the production of beef to the consumption of gasoline. Apples to Oranges. Once all the costs are figured out, bicycles are cheaper to operate and a net gain per mile travelled for any society using them. Every mile you bike instead of drive helps the environment, no matter what you eat, and at the high end of responsibility (sustainable local farming, personal gardens, etc) has practically zero impact. It's not "complicated" at all, there's just a limited case whereby ignoring most of the details makes bicycles seem less efficient.

If anything, creative accounting only shows that with biking, the environmental impact is under the control of the user, who has a lot of choice when it comes to fuel. Whereas cars all run on the same thing (biodiesel and electric notwithstanding). I would wager that the environmental impact of just the car's battery is greater than the entire bike over the life of each vehicle. A car weighs thousands of pounds and is made up of the dirtiest, most expensive and most toxic materials we can find. A bike weighs a few dozen pounds and you can see what it's made out of by looking. At every level of investigation, bikes win, there's just no contest.

And this isn't even factoring in the health benefits, which are enormous. Just look at someone who bikes every day, they look fantastic.
 
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