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 Post subject: How green is cycling??
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:37 
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How green is cycling?

Well nothing is life is free. Cycling takes fuel too. But that fuel is food and this is hidden by the fact that we have to eat anyway (any many eat too much)

An hours cycling takes about 5-700 calories. Now, granted that most people could do with the exercise, consider the simple situation whereby the rider is “Fit” and has the alternative of driving to work each day or using a bike. Which produces the most pollution/oil consumption.

700 (Food) calories = about 3 MJ (a tad under 1KwHr Electricity) Food production and transport is “Woefully “ inefficient the energy ratio is typically 50-1 or worse.

I.e. the 700 calories (3MJ) of food require to Fuel your 1 hours cycle ride actually consumes some 150Mj (Or More!) of fossil fuels in its production and transport..

This is the equivalent of around a gallon of petrol or diesel. I.e. in a modern car over, 40 miles of travel.

Now I accept that they may be other benefits from cycling from both health and local pollution issues (In cities etc) but from a Raw analysis, if a cyclist is eating more to feed his mode of transport (Which keen cyclists certainly do) Cycling is, from a green POV looking a pretty poor option using over twice as much fuel as driving!

(Similarly, turning down the thermostat in your home and relying on your own metabolic processes to keep you warm in the winter may also be a poor choice because of the extra food you may need to eat to do this!)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 13:29 
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Interesting stuff Dusty, if you factor in the cost (energy wise) of making the bike it makes it even less green, all that aluminium, steel, titanium and carbon takes silly amounts of energy to make. I have seen a couple of wooden framed bikes which look good, and a bamboo one which was cool!

The fuel issue would be quite easy to get around though, just eat locally produced stuff. Actually, why not munch on the roadkill you come across on your way round? Make a little camp-fire by the side of the road and fry up a squirrel. If you're lucky you could be dining on venison, bit of wild garlic (found on the soft verge) to add flavour and you've got yourself a hearty meal!

Another quick thought about the whole energy expenditure thing. I believe bicycles are a more efficient form of transport than walking, so I suppose even though they aren't "green", bicycles are probably the least polluting way of getting around (including walking).

Cue - Horserider explaining the calorific values of grass...

:)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 14:40 
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Peyote wrote:
Interesting stuff Dusty, if you factor in the cost (energy wise) of making the bike it makes it even less green, all that aluminium, steel, titanium and carbon takes silly amounts of energy to make. I have seen a couple of wooden framed bikes which look good, and a bamboo one which was cool!


But of course - there ist opportunity cost :wink:

Quote:
The fuel issue would be quite easy to get around though, just eat locally produced stuff.


I do that anyway. I look at my dinner in eye und telly them that I have sasiest of plans which involve stuffing, horseradish sauce, mint sauce und lot of aromatic marinade bathings und relaxing soakings 8-) :lol:



Quote:
Actually, why not munch on the roadkill you come across on your way round? Make a little camp-fire by the side of the road and fry up a squirrel.


Fire.. all that naughty smoke... polluting :nono:

You have to be a real man und eat it raw. Beside where you get the naughty fat to fry it.. :wink:

Quote:

If you're lucky you could be dining on venison,


I think bike may come off worse...

Quote:
bit of wild garlic (found on the soft verge) to add flavour and you've got yourself a hearty meal!


But if you want Wild Food .. ist a Festival somewhere.. check out the Wild Food website.

Also -- ist a Food Fest on up here this weekend... I shall be shopping there :D

Ist all local food.

Quote:
Another quick thought about the whole energy expenditure thing. I believe bicycles are a more efficient form of transport than walking, so I suppose even though they aren't "green", bicycles are probably the least polluting way of getting around (including walking).

Cue - Horserider explaining the calorific values of grass...

:)


But of course .. horsey ist a lot greener und a lot faster :twisted:

Just think ... my horsey mad sister uses horse which eat grass und lot of natural oats . Horse even recycle ... you use the horse poo to fertilise the crops. :wink:

Und just think - no naughty factories or road hauliers und you use the horse to transport goods around like in good old days. Und Prince Charles ist even using a horse powered mill wheel in Duchy of Cornwall.

True greenies use horses... :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 15:28 
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Dusty wrote:
How green is cycling?

Well nothing is life is free. Cycling takes fuel too. But that fuel is food and this is hidden by the fact that we have to eat anyway (any many eat too much)



You read that Professional's diet in CW as reported by lieber IG? :shock: :shock: He ate 7000 calories. The CW reporter tried it und could not move... at all! :shock: :lol:


I love my food und cooking.. tonight ist my home made garden pea soup - followed by Tomato und Silver Hake braised in white wine und cheese board und one of my cakes for afters. Have taken today off. Was supposedly going to catch up with the laundry - but ist not a good drying day. :roll:

As you can imagine - our food bill with a min army of kittens in house .. ja - we know ist not "free" - but I shop und haggle a lot.

Quote:
An hours cycling takes about 5-700 calories. Now, granted that most people could do with the exercise, consider the simple situation whereby the rider is “Fit” and has the alternative of driving to work each day or using a bike. Which produces the most pollution/oil consumption.

700 (Food) calories = about 3 MJ (a tad under 1KwHr Electricity) Food production and transport is “Woefully “ inefficient the energy ratio is typically 50-1 or worse.

I.e. the 700 calories (3MJ) of food require to Fuel your 1 hours cycle ride actually consumes some 150Mj (Or More!) of fossil fuels in its production and transport..

This is the equivalent of around a gallon of petrol or diesel. I.e. in a modern car over, 40 miles of travel.


:hehe: ist a truly good devil's :evil: :twisted: advocate post. Peyote said "shop local"... but we can only grow so much. Und with a building programme in the South East.. etc - und urbanisation spreading into rural areas now.. ist not so easy to find farm shop with sufficient .. und at prices people can afford to pay. Food ist only relatively cheap because of the way we produce it .. en masse.

Mad Doc und self.. we do our bit. I shop at the local farm shops und farmers' markets. We have a kitchen garden... und we have made each kitten responsible for little patches of this. We have a couple of areas where we grow potatoes und root veg und another bed for salad stuff und I gorw herbs und strawberries in tubs. Mad Doc lookes after the peas. Und I have a damson tree und two apple trees in garden - one for baking apple und the other a Orange Pippin tree. So our kittens know food ist grown :wink: und not in plastic pack in Tesco or wherever.

But even so - I still have to top up stores at supermarket und grocery shops - und my flour und sugar for baking .. that will have travelled the rounds before arriving in supermarket for me to buy.

So ja .. each meal will used more energy to get to to shops und even more if you add the cost of cooking it und washing up after it.

Quote:
Now I accept that they may be other benefits from cycling from both health and local pollution issues (In cities etc) but from a Raw analysis, if a cyclist is eating more to feed his mode of transport (Which keen cyclists certainly do) Cycling is, from a green POV looking a pretty poor option using over twice as much fuel as driving!

(Similarly, turning down the thermostat in your home and relying on your own metabolic processes to keep you warm in the winter may also be a poor choice because of the extra food you may need to eat to do this!)


As Mad Doc post once .. ist impossible to live ethically. Ist always going to be a cost to the planet und even if we all take to bikes overnight.. there will be congestion und health und safety issues.. which mean we will have to have stricter rules of road for riders und compulsory helmets und tests und no doubt all bikes will have to be insured und our "reg plate" - we have to wear shirt which show identifying number on back.

The militants have not thought any of this through of course :roll: :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 16:34 
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WildCat wrote:
But of course - there ist opportunity cost :wink:


Opportunity cost?

WildCat wrote:
Fire.. all that naughty smoke... polluting :nono:

You have to be a real man und eat it raw. Beside where you get the naughty fat to fry it.. :wink:


Hmm... ...good point, could I argue that it is a naturally occuring controlled burn? (obviously I'm cycling through heathland in this instance). The fat would be on the meat itself, venison dripping or squirrel blubber, I'm not fussy!

WildCat wrote:
I think bike may come off worse...


Yep, probably have to find one someone has already hit.


WildCat wrote:
But of course .. horsey ist a lot greener und a lot faster :twisted:

Just think ... my horsey mad sister uses horse which eat grass und lot of natural oats . Horse even recycle ... you use the horse poo to fertilise the crops. :wink:

Und just think - no naughty factories or road hauliers und you use the horse to transport goods around like in good old days. Und Prince Charles ist even using a horse powered mill wheel in Duchy of Cornwall.

True greenies use horses... :wink:


Yep, can't argue with that, even factoring in the methane, horse transport is probably the most environmentally friendly...

...shame they're so expensive, and scary though!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 16:47 
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....Not to mention all that green or red tarmac for cycle routes. the cost per person mile traveled must be huge in money and resources terms. I am sure they get it all as free money from europe, but we pay for it in the end somehow. All these seperate cycle paths also are built on green space. Our local cycle path was planned over two years ago and is not yet built because the area to be tarmaced was a SSSI.

Then there are all those plastic coated poles and aliminium signs, cycle helmits, yellow reflective jackets, batteries,

And for every bike being ridden there are 15 lurking in a garage never being used, many have never done more than 100 miles. What a waste of resources...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 16:52 
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Peyote wrote:
WildCat wrote:
True greenies use horses... :wink:

Yep, can't argue with that, even factoring in the methane, horse transport is probably the most environmentally friendly...

...shame they're so expensive, and scary though!


I don't know so much. If care for the 'environment' truly and correctly boils down to risk to the human inhabitants, then horses should be rated as pretty damn dangerous.

I'd argue that good management of our environment should reduce sources of current dangers as well as 'pollution'.

And then there's the dung. All very well to grow your roses, but when there are thousands of tons on the city streets and the weather is hot...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 17:37 
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Peyote wrote:
WildCat wrote:
But of course - there ist opportunity cost :wink:


Opportunity cost?


Naja :yesyes: Ist an opportunity cost. Did you knot know that Far east have imposed a tax on chopstick because it cost too many trees und damage to environment? :shock:

Quote:
WildCat wrote:
Fire.. all that naughty smoke... polluting :nono:

You have to be a real man und eat it raw. Beside where you get the naughty fat to fry it.. :wink:


Hmm... ...good point, could I argue that it is a naturally occuring controlled burn? (obviously I'm cycling through heathland in this instance). The fat would be on the meat itself, venison dripping or squirrel blubber, I'm not fussy!


But this could be saturated fat :wink:


Und what about if fire get out of control :yikes:

Und ist grouse und rare wild bird in heathland mostly. Deer like to hide in forests und squirrel also like trees. :wink:



You towny you! :wink:

Und beside Bambi ist too cute. :wink:


Quote:

WildCat wrote:
I think bike may come off worse...


Yep, probably have to find one someone has already hit.


Car also come off worst. You will to hope nuptiest someone in naughtiest 4 x4 ran it over. :wink:

Und you cycling lot do not see point of them. :roll: :roll:

:roll: . they attract dopey drivers who like those bull bar doo-dahs so that you do not starve to death in wilds of wherever :wink:


Quote:

WildCat wrote:
But of course .. horsey ist a lot greener und a lot faster :twisted:

Just think ... my horsey mad sister uses horse which eat grass und lot of natural oats . Horse even recycle ... you use the horse poo to fertilise the crops. :wink:

Und just think - no naughty factories or road hauliers und you use the horse to transport goods around like in good old days. Und Prince Charles ist even using a horse powered mill wheel in Duchy of Cornwall.

True greenies use horses... :wink:


Yep, can't argue with that, even factoring in the methane, horse transport is probably the most environmentally friendly...

...shame they're so expensive, and scary though!


They do not fart that much .. und they are not that scary. Krissi's horse does give you that snooty look which only a race horse could give though. :hehe: He ist really quite sweet so long as you give him a sugar lump und a pat.

Ist hard horse to ride - he like to gallop und "make progress".. He suit my sister :wink: I think... :)

Have lovely photo of her other horse. It was in field und it saw my camera und trotted up und biggest of horsey grins - it posed for photo :rotfl: He ist a gentle old horse.

I would love to post up the photo we have of her dressed up for a side saddle event .. but I think someone might want to use it for archery practice :lol: Ist where the riders dress up in period costume. She look almost ladylike! :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 17:47 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Peyote wrote:
WildCat wrote:
True greenies use horses... :wink:

Yep, can't argue with that, even factoring in the methane, horse transport is probably the most environmentally friendly...

...shame they're so expensive, and scary though!


I don't know so much. If care for the 'environment' truly and correctly boils down to risk to the human inhabitants, then horses should be rated as pretty damn dangerous.


Nayyy! They are quite friendly really. Ist just they seem ... big! Und food does seem to go straight through them ... as Kriss know only too well as she seem to be in way of it each time she examine a poorly one. :rotfl:

Quote:
I'd argue that good management of our environment should reduce sources of current dangers as well as 'pollution'.


Although coming home one evening. Car flashes lights at me. I slow und just around the blind bend....... a horse rider... und just beyond the horse rider.. Steviebabe's talivan :yikes:

Now :scratchchin: Which hazard do we all know driver warn me about? :wink:

:yikes: How would the cam op see it? :?

Quote:
And then there's the dung. All very well to grow your roses, but when there are thousands of tons on the city streets and the weather is hot...


They used to sell it in the good old days to grow roses und I understand ist good for tomato plants... und other crops...

You could have rooftop garden... Ach - :yikes: forgot ... we are supposed to have wind turbine on roof ...

Still combination of this on Houses of Parliament und we have symbol of modern politics :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 09:23 
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Which is better - the fumes from traffic which I have to breathe when out cycling or the "natural" fumes :) from me?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 20:17 
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A Cyclist wrote:
Which is better - the fumes from traffic which I have to breathe when out cycling or the "natural" fumes :) from me?


My patients expect "plummy" pong from "peachy" consultant! :lol:

Actually - I'm "lean and mean" looking..all that golf, rugby and cycling around here .. 8-)



tripod :lol: per another thread in 'ere ... :lol: johnsher ... :lol: Well :hehe: did sire five...of our own :lol:

But when I ride.. like a warm shower on return... helps the muscles to relax normally and of course .. cleans the sweat pores.. prevents blockage and thus nasty little heat/sweat/lycra rub rashes :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 20:52 
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Sooo

An added issue!

After ones daily cycle ride to and from work you need showers to wash the sweat off, consuming even more fossil fuels!

It just gets worse doesnt it!

:hehe:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 22:22 
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Wild cat wrote:
Fire.. all that naughty smoke... polluting No No!


Does anyone know the ins and outs of Carbide lamps? I was told they are none polluting, but the residue seems a bit toxic smelling!! :lol:
You could certainly use it to cook your road kill, weld the frame up, or keep warm in winter!
I can also launch a heavy tin can 30 feet into the air too, which I guess is why they are not so common on bikes nowadays!! :shock:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 01:17 
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I appreciate that this whole post may be tongue in cheek, but if it's not, why does it bother you? I ride every day to work (70 - 100 miles a week) and I don't eat any more than I used to (possibly why I'm not losing weight :? ). I mostly do it cos the journey (9 - 14 miles) takes anywhere betweeen 25 minutes and over an hour in the car, whereas on the bike it's under an hour, guaranteed, and as little as 25 minutes most days.
Why do you feel the need to make a point about cycling not being "green"? I don't think that's the reason most cyclists do it, but it must be better than dragging a 3 piece suite and a ton and a half of steel around with you wherever you go.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 08:38 
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Rhythm Thief wrote:
I appreciate that this whole post may be tongue in cheek, but if it's not, why does it bother you? I ride every day to work (70 - 100 miles a week) and I don't eat any more than I used to (possibly why I'm not losing weight :? ).


You probably have less fat in body. Your weight will be due to increased or strengthened muscle tissue and even strengthened bones as exercise does toughen this.

So your commute is about 14 - 20 miles return - based on a 5 day week at 70 miles and 100 miles respectively. My commute is a lot further - so if I rode bike.. I'd eat more! :wink:


Quote:

I mostly do it cos the journey (9 - 14 miles) takes anywhere betweeen 25 minutes and over an hour in the car, whereas on the bike it's under an hour, guaranteed, and as little as 25 minutes most days.


One of my sisters lives in a little place called Worsley and teaches in Bolton. About 8 miles from front door to school gates. Children she teaches also live nearby and travel on the school bus provided. She takes her car and is there within 20 minutes even with the current road work situation in Bolton as she does not need to drive through the town to get to the school. She did try cycling.. but with marked school books and a requirement to wear a smart suit in her school - she found it more demanding on her time scale in a morning for changing and showering on arrival (she can use the sports facility and pool anytime she wants to) She reckoned fully laden with any exercise books she may have taken home to mark.. journey took her longer than in the car as 30 -60 of these books weigh heavy. Without the books - took her a similar amount of time because she has to ride the longer route and not the shortest route :wink: (This is because she would not even consider cycling along St Peter's Way :wink: )

My other sister who lives in the same area - works in Altrincham - at one of the schools there. She drives along the the M60 each day and says that it's brillian now completed and also said to the traffic management's credit.. the road was flowing better throughout the road works than pre-road works. It's only if there is an accident somewhere when it's jammed solid. If she had to cycle to the school... she has three choices - all long winded and fairly dangerous.

1. Down to Eccles and via the Trafford Park down to the A56 where she would ride along Washway Road ... lots of traffic lights and various "numpties"

2. Via the A57 - Irlam and Warburton Bridge and down the country lanes (where she saw the near miss (see Near Miss - I posted her e-mail to me) and she was the one who took the photos.

3. A580 - then down the A574 (she also took the photos of the new scamera on there :wink: ) and down the B something or other down to Glazebrook and then Warburton Bridge (free to cyclists) and then down the Dunham Lanes to Altrincham.

This would be a 22 mile hike each way for her and if she has marked any course work and sundries at home... and prepared some lessons .. she would be carrying some weight as well.

she'd need more than three Shredded Wheat and Weetabix in a morning to cope! :shock: :lol:

She'e read this - they both have. They have told me to post that they'll keep to their cars to get too and from work - ta. They both have to wear suits or "smart attire" at work too.

Quote:
Why do you feel the need to make a point about cycling not being "green"? I don't think that's the reason most cyclists do it,


Tis what we read in the mags and papers and on certain fora :wink: Cannot think which one comes to mind ... :wink: :lol: :o :wink:


Quote:
but it must be better than dragging a 3 piece suite and a ton and a half of steel around with you wherever you go.


But we ain't dragging them... cor .. leather seats and slightest bit of pressure and it roars into life .. vvvvvvvvvvvarrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooommmmmm! :lol: :lol: :lol: :P :P

Drive it properly :wink: Look after it properly :wink: - it's just as green :P

And I get to work as I left home. :lol: .. tie slighted crooked after Wildy's and the kids' kisses before I leave... Wildy's lippy on my cheek and lips still...and quick trip to the gents and all sorted :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 09:54 
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WildCat wrote:

True greenies use horses... :wink:


Nope, true greenies walk - barefoot.

I could cycle to work but...

It would take longer once you factor in getting the bike from the shed (the garage is too full of car) and the extra half mile to the roundabout (work is on the wrong side of a dual carriageway).

I would need a shower when I get to work (no water shortage here but that's no excuse for wasting it).

I don't have a bike so I would have to buy one.

Once bought it would need maintaining, think of all those used tyres piling up in landfill.

I would work up too much of an appetite and end up having a blow-out fried breakfast every morning (more cost, more pollution).

So I'll stick with walking (but not barefoot).


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:43 
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Homer wrote:
WildCat wrote:

True greenies use horses... :wink:


Nope, true greenies walk - barefoot.

I could cycle to work but...

It would take longer once you factor in getting the bike from the shed (the garage is too full of car) and the extra half mile to the roundabout (work is on the wrong side of a dual carriageway).

I would need a shower when I get to work (no water shortage here but that's no excuse for wasting it).

I don't have a bike so I would have to buy one.

Once bought it would need maintaining, think of all those used tyres piling up in landfill.
I would work up too much of an appetite and end up having a blow-out fried breakfast every morning (more cost, more pollution).

So I'll stick with walking (but not barefoot).


Walking is certainly better than cycling for shorter distances. The bit I've put in bold is fine when bikes are set against walking, but when compared to cars bikes are responsible for rather fewer used tyres in landfill sites!
I used to commute 24 miles each way to work, usually on a bike but occasionally I'd take the car. I had to wear dairy whites (the equivalent of having to be smart, since a change was required) and it never stopped me! Granted, 24 miles each way is a bit psycho (I was very fit...oh happy days) but shorter commutes are perfectly compatible with having a smart job.

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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the kerb.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:44 
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Dusty wrote:
After ones daily cycle ride to and from work you need showers to wash the sweat off, consuming even more fossil fuels!


In this weather the water doesn't need heating, and if you have appropriate rain water harvesting equipment it doesn't even need to be pumped to your house/work!

Rhythm Thief wrote:
<snip>
but when compared to cars bikes are responsible for rather fewer used tyres in landfill sites!


Not for much longer, the Landfill Regulations have banned the landfilling of tyres, except bicycle and tractor tyres! Car tyres can still be used to engineer the landfill site, but can't be disposed in it.

It's the weekend and I'm still thinking about work, I'm off out for a ride....

:wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 17:46 
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Rhythm Thief wrote:
when compared to cars bikes are responsible for rather fewer used tyres in landfill sites!


Are they?

When a car tyre wears out the old one is taken away to be disposed of in an enviromentally friendly fashion (or so my local tyre n brake place tell me).

When a cycle tyre wears out (and I went through a few a year as a kid, back ones usually) they go in the wheelie bin with the rest of the household waste.

When my shoes wear out they go in the shoe bank at my local recycling centre. (I don't see a tyre recycling bank there).

So I would say there are rather more bicycle tyres in landfill sites than car tyres. Probably even more shoes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 21:53 
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Mad Moggie wrote:
[like a warm shower on return... helps the muscles to relax normally


tsk tsk tsk.. no no no :roll: :lol:

ice cold bath for 5mins....... withdraw the blood, flush all those nasty byproducts out of the muscles... and cool off. double bonus.


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