Bikes Are Faster Than Cars

When you own a car, you spend time in it driving and sitting in traffic.  You spend time parking it, washing it, cleaning it, and gassing it up.  You spend time at work earning money to pay for the car, the insurance, the gas, the repairs, taxes and registration.

In the end, the average American spends 4.4 hours per day either using the car, maintaining the car, or earning money to pay for the car – not to mention the time looking for the best car insurance comparison.  That same average American drives 7500 miles per year.  That American probably believes that his car goes 75 MPH, but the math says that he averages 7500/(4.4*365) = 4.7 MPH (hour being hour invested for the convenience of easy mobility)

I don’t know about you, but I can ride my bike a lot faster.  But to be fair, let’s do a strict comparison.

I purchased my bike for $600 (more than I would spend now, but when I bought it 10 years ago I thought I was being frugal).  Amortized over 10 years, that’s $60/year.  That is equivalent to 1.2 hours after taxes.  I do my own maintenance, but do have to change tires and tubes occasionally.  Let’s say $60/year.  That’s another 1.2 hours of work.  I also spend some time doing maintenance, maybe 5 hours per year if we assume worst case.  In the end, these numbers are all negligible when considering how much I ride.  So, now i can safely say that I ride 15 MPH, 3 times as fast as the average American in their car.

Interesting fact: A gallon of gasoline contains 31,000 calories.  A car that gets 25 MPG would therefore would require 8680 calories to drive my daily commute to work.  On my bike, I burn 500.  I’m 17.36 times more efficient.

It also helps that biking is healthier, cheaper, more fun, and more environmentally friendly.  :)


3 Responses to Bikes Are Faster Than Cars

  1. [...] Why should I bike to work, rather than drive?  Wouldn’t driving save time? [...]

  2. [...] taking a look like this, it isn’t a stretch to conclude that bikes are faster than cars. If we also remember that biking saves time otherwise spent exercising in a gym, then the gap [...]

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