The Star posted an op-ed piece by Joe Fiorito about how cyclists are doing good for the city. I thought I would calculate my own contribution just for fun.
Using Runkeeper I recorded my commute to work. This is from my house to the CBC downtown.
Just to make the math easier let’s round the distance to 10km. I ride to and from work everyday so that is (10km x2)x5. Which is 100km a week. Lets assume I can ride for 9 months of the year. That becomes 400km a month and 3600km/year
The average car uses 8.7 L/100 km which means I save 313.2 litres of gasoline every year. Which saves me over $340 in fuel costs along every year!
To put this another way… a vehicle which gets 8.7L/100km creates 176.4 lbs in carbon dioxide (CO2) a month (400km). By riding my bike I save 1,587.6 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the air a year.
A tree planted will offset half a tonne of C02 gas emissions per year over it’s life span. That is like planting three trees a year and that is just my contribution.
According to the City of Toronto, there are over 900,000 adult cyclists in Toronto. If each of them averages the same as me, then together we are saving 281,880,000 litres of gasoline a year which works out to 3,240,000,000 km at the 8.7/100km rate.
That is a hell of a lot of trees planted, and saves about $307,249,200 in fuel costs.
To put this another way…
A person riding a bicycle at 15 miles per hour (24 km per hour) burns 0.049 calories per pound per minute. So a 175-pound (77-kg) person burns 515 calories in an hour, or about 34 calories per mile (about 21 calories per km).
A gallon of gasoline (about 4 liters) contains about 31,000 calories. If a person could drink gasoline, then a person could ride about 912 miles on a gallon of gas (about 360 km per liter). A normal car gets about 30 miles per gallon, meaning that cycling is over 30 times more efficient than a car is!
Stick that in your tailpipe and smoke it!