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I wonder what's the miles/gallon of riding a bike, assuming that gallon = liquified food (or some kind of caloric calculation converted to gallons).
Any brainiacs out there with time to spare?

It may not be perfect, but this is kinda fun to play with. At its best, it's a very rough calculator, I'm sure, but even if it's off by a factor of ten, most cyclists are still more "fuel" efficient than just about any mass-produced car.

In nifty chart form, GOOD presents how many gallons per passenger it takes to cover 350 miles.

Answer for bikes: about a 1/2 gallon, or 16 whoppers.

That's a caloric conversion. I'm not sure where I found it, but I think if you count the fossil fuels burnt to produce those Whoppers (or most food), biking doesn't come out as efficiently.

It depends what you eat and how much. If you add beef to your diet to fuel your cycling miles you will be less efficient. If you add rice, you will be much more efficient. If you don't eat any more than you would if you didn't ride your bike or you are eating food that you would otherwise throw away you are getting miles for free.

We use food to produce fuel (ethanol). In that case it is certainly much more efficient to cook and eat the food to fuel your cycling, than to convert it to ethanol to fuel your automobile.


I'm in a situation now where I will be getting rid of my car entirely in favor of cycling/metro/zipcar (in that order of frequency). I can probably sell it for $1500-$2000 but if I traded it in for a new car it would be worth $4500, but I'll be doing BETTER at improving fuel efficiency than buying a new car. Not. Fair. (And further proof that this is NOT an environmental program, it's a gift to car makers and particularly car dealers. Also, you think the dealers are going to destroy the clunkers? Nope. Going to sell 'em to poor people. The clunkers will still be on the road).

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