Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bike to Work

It's 8 miles each way to work. So, it's 16 miles, round trip. The car gets 44 MPG, so that's about a third of a gallon of gas a day. Gas is currently about $4 per gallon, so that's $4 every three days, or a $1.33 per day.

But today, i rode my bike to work. One might think it was to save $1.33, but it actually saved over $80. That's because my car needed a new windshield. It takes about 3 hours to do the work, and the mechanics hours are the same as mine. So, it's 3 hours of work, which is unacceptable to my employer, as well as 3 unpaid hours.

There was an option. There's an outfit that will replace your windshield while it sits in the parking lot at work. They serve the town where i work. But, they're about $80 more.

The place that did the work isn't across the street. They're about 2 miles away. And, the optimal route from there to work goes by my house. In fact, i stopped at the house in both directions. In the morning, i stopped to pump up the tires and get my backpack. In the evening, i stopped to drop off the backpack. Instead of about 9 miles (the car route is a little more direct), it was 11 miles each way.

Since there is a shower at work, i could push it a little and work up a sweat. And the same for going home. It took an hour and fifteen minutes in each direction, so my speed was something around 7 MPH. I felt like i was flying, however. Perhaps if i get a battery for my bike computer, and do another ride, i'll know for sure. But last time i did something like this, it really was pretty slow at the start of the summer. Last time, it built to 22 MPH by the end of the summer.

That is, the speed tripled. Bike speed is limited by drag. Drag goes up as the cube of the speed. So if the speed triples, the drag force goes up by a factor of 27. Energy is force times distance, so the energy required goes up by a factor of 27. If one's calorie intake stays the same, it suggests that body efficiency can go up dramatically. And that's an hour or two per day for a hundred days.

It also means that i'm really out of shape at the moment. Well, i knew that.

I had a banana with lunch. I had one with dinner. I've just heard that they can help reduce the muscle soreness. No idea why that might be.

This blog post was written entirely using a Nokia n800 pocket computer while sitting on the downstairs couch. It's quite a bit cooler down here than upstairs where the desktop sits.

1 comment:

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