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Is cycling environmentally sound?(7 posts)

Is cycling environmentally sound?Atombomber
Sep 17, 2001 6:36 PM
The thought occured to me while I was reading the post on Vegan Equipment. I don't ride my bikes because I want to save the planet. I never have. My present job in construction does not allow me to commute by bike, since I have upwards of 500 pounds of tools with me daily. But I digress. Have you ever thought how much polution is generated by processing the raw materials to make bikes and their components, not to mention the process to mine the ores. Steel, Carbon, Titanium, Aluminum, synthetic fibre, plastic and rubber factories all spew huge amounts a crap into the air.

Just a thought, and not intended to start a flame. I ride because I like riding. Those who feel that they ride to save the planet, think again (same people who drive blue smoke spewing 1973 Volvos or 1971 Volkswagen buses because they think new cars contribute more to polution than theirs)
Missed the point.nestorl
Sep 17, 2001 6:56 PM
First, let me confess...I don't recycle, ride my car to the store 2 blocks away, and love playing golf...:-) BUT you missed the point.

Let's think for a second that the process of building a car makes the same amount pollution as the process of building a bike (which can not be even close..remember cars use the same materials just more of it). Well, the pointe is that AFTER both are made...the car continues to polute throughout its life while the bike does NOT!! You can argue that if we really wanted to save the planet then we should not even BUY the bike thus reducing factory pollution...however, for most of us walking to work is NOT an option so the alternative is the car... or an 80 passanger BUS!!!
I do not commute on my bike but do believe that those who do are contributing to a cleaner environment (even if their contribution may be as significant as replacing your bike bolts to titanium to save "weight"..al 3 grams of it :-)).

OK Lets the FLAMES BEGIN!!!! :-)
it is if you ride instead of driveclub
Sep 18, 2001 10:27 AM
unfortunately, you can bike-commute with 500 lbs of tools. but compared to driving a car, cycling IS good for the environment. Bikes use less metal and rubber than cars, so making a bike, while not environmentally friendly, per se, is less bad than making a car. The fact that, once made, a bike spews no pollutants more than makes up for the manufacturing, I should think.
My biggest beef if folks who haul their bikes to local trailheads that they could cycle to, as I do.
And there's no Iraqi oil fueling my bicycles, so riding them is the patriotic, American thing to do. 'Course that takes more commitment than flying Old Glory from the SUV aerial...
Let's see, by weight aloneKerry Irons
Sep 18, 2001 5:06 PM
A car weighs around 3000 lbs (your truck maybe 4000 lbs?) and a bike weighs 20. Ti is a little dirtier metal to make than Al or steel, but as noted by someone else, the materials in a car and a bike are essentially the same. Take the weight ratio, and the manufacture of a car produces somewhere around 150 to 200X as much pollution as the manufacture of a bike. And THEN you start the engine.
Let's see, by weight aloneWayne
Sep 19, 2001 4:29 AM
Of course, if you're really concerned with saving the planet (as if it needs saving), you should walk. And of course the only acceptable foot attire is a pair of sandals made from recycled tires.
Let's see, by weight aloneLeisure
Sep 20, 2001 3:24 AM
Hey, if recycled tires are game, then so are recycled aluminum cans and steel cars. So there! [insert sinister cackle here] Materials aside though, bicycling is still the most energy-efficient mode of human transportation created. Big wheels in a light package on natural power--you can't do much better. Frankly, I think humanity just needs to just devolve back into four-legged cursorial animals. Just look around at who's breeding (and bombing), cuz we're already on our way. Oops, scuze me I'm sounding negative.
re: Is cycling environmentally sound?my butt is wet
Sep 21, 2001 3:48 PM
Besides the obvious environmental advantages bicycling has, there are other advantages as well, like less noise and better health. Our country is filled with hypertensive and overweight people, which costs millions of dollars in health care every year... Biking to work is an elegant and simple solution to many problems.

http://www.geology.wisc.edu/geo411/spurlock.html

A gallon of gasoline contains over 31,000 calories. A person riding a bike burns on average 38 calories per mile. A bicyclist, therfore, can travel 822 miles on the energy in one gallon of gasoline.

Burning one gallon of gasoline dumps 22 pounds of Carbon Dioxide, the major greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

Some researchers estimate that automobile drivers only pay for 25% of the costs of driving an automobile, while Uncle Sam picks up the rest of the tab.