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'[OT] Bicycle commuters & enlightenment'
2007\05\23@135330 by M. Adam Davis

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I know we have a few bicycle commuters/enthusiasts here, so I thought
I'd share a message I got a kick out of:

http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.asp?Filename=touring.10604.1170.eml

Snippet:

"My commute is far from idyllic, it's downtown DC in the rush hour
both ways.  Five years of this, daily, and I feel I qualify as "not a
newbie."  But there is always something new to learn.

The most difficult thing, I think, other than mastery of the machine
and the environment, is to learn to abandon value judgments based
on incomplete evidence."

:-)

-Adam

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2007\05\23@141233 by Mike Hord

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Heck, even the bus is better than the rat race.

I have an (almost) uninterrupted half-hour, twice a day, to read,
listen to music, and not have anything to worry about or feel like I
should be doing instead of what I AM doing.

It's cheaper (in fact, with gas being as it is, even with car
ownership costs, it's cheaper).  It's greener.  It's better for my
mental health.

Mike H.

On 5/23/07, M. Adam Davis <spam_OUTstienmanTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\05\24@115813 by Harold Hallikainen

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My wife and I ride the bus from the city we live in to the city we work
in. I then bicycle the rest of the way to work. The bus pass is $30 per
month. With current gas prices, the commute would be $7 per day in gas
(gas prices here are about $3.50 per gallon today). I keep close tabs on
our expenses and find that insurance and maintenance runs about 2.5 times
as much as we spend on gas. So, that's about $17.50 per day (a little over
$350 per month) versus $60 per month for our two bus passes. We spend
about a little under an hour each way. It's a chance to read, visit with
friends (we have a good group of people on this bus that is usually full).

I think the bus gets something like 5 miles per gallon and holds about 50
people, so that's 250 passenger miles per gallon. It'd be very difficult
for a car to do that well.

We used to live close enough to work that my wife walked to work and I
bicycled. That was ideal, but, in order to buy a home, we had to move to
another city.

Per capita energy consumption is an interesting issue. So is the number of
"capitas".

Harold

{Quote hidden}

>> --

2007\05\24@121452 by Neil Cherry

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Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> My wife and I ride the bus from the city we live in to the city we work
> in. I then bicycle the rest of the way to work. The bus pass is $30 per
> month. With current gas prices, the commute would be $7 per day in gas
> (gas prices here are about $3.50 per gallon today). I keep close tabs on
> our expenses and find that insurance and maintenance runs about 2.5 times
> as much as we spend on gas. So, that's about $17.50 per day (a little over
> $350 per month) versus $60 per month for our two bus passes. We spend

This is very interesting!

> I think the bus gets something like 5 miles per gallon and holds about 50
> people, so that's 250 passenger miles per gallon. It'd be very difficult
> for a car to do that well.

Cool!

While I can't get bus service between where I live and where I work
I can ride to work (it's only 20 miles). I may miss the reading time
but I get in the workout I need and the stress relief I need. My new
problem is that they're changing the design of the roadways. Who
ever was the design engineer was a lousy one! Two lanes into 1
250 ft after a light. There is no shoulder and a drainage ditch
to the right. Add to that 50 mph speed limit and 3 large
home developments and this road way is a nightmare in a car. Add
me and my bike (I take the lane) and it's a mixture for death.
My choices for alternate routes is limited (add several miles
and other heavy road patterns).

Sorry for the rant, I'm a bit wound up. And before anyone complains
that a few miles shouldn't be a big deal it's also the traffic
patterns. Mileage doesn't phase me, I have one route where I ride
home 50 miles. It's very scenic and I enjoy doing that every once
in a while.

And as a side note. Gatorade costs $4 a gallon (or there abouts).
Unless I water it down (which I do) gas is still cheaper (just
kidding ;-)

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       ncherryspamKILLspamlinuxha.com
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2007\05\24@122401 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Per capita energy consumption is an interesting issue. So is the number of
> "capitas".

Ah, there's the REAL question!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Watt_society

Lots of information about power usage, sustainable levels thereof,
and plans to improve our bottom line.

Pretty interesting stuff- especially when you start thinking about
your own energy usage.  For example, if we WERE to achieve a
2kW society, using one liter of gasoline would consume 10 of
your 48 alloted kW-h for that day.  And that is only for the energy
content of the gas, not including distribution and inefficiencies.

Not many people in the US burn less than 1L of gasoline a day...

Mike H.

2007\05\24@141818 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 5/24/07, Neil Cherry <.....ncherryKILLspamspam.....comcast.net> wrote:
> While I can't get bus service between where I live and where I work
> I can ride to work (it's only 20 miles). I may miss the reading time
> but I get in the workout I need and the stress relief I need. My new
> problem is that they're changing the design of the roadways. Who
> ever was the design engineer was a lousy one! Two lanes into 1
> 250 ft after a light. There is no shoulder and a drainage ditch
> to the right. Add to that 50 mph speed limit and 3 large
> home developments and this road way is a nightmare in a car. Add
> me and my bike (I take the lane) and it's a mixture for death.
> My choices for alternate routes is limited (add several miles
> and other heavy road patterns).

Ouch!  I'm pretty lucky in that respect - there are some hairy spots,
but Washtenaw County does put some effort into adding bike lanes
whenever they re-do a road, and many roads (those without curbs) have
nice wide paved shoulders.

If I were inclined, all the buses have bike racks on the front and I
could do that as well, but the schedule is fairly limiting for me, and
on the short route it's only 10.5 miles anyway.  It takes less time to
travel by bike than by bus, and only 10-15 minutes more than by car.
I prefer a lightly longer 13 mile route - better traffic, better
roads, and I consistently travel faster (and extra 1mph faster, on
average) - probably because I enjoy it more.  But I don't commute by
bicycle very often.

> Sorry for the rant, I'm a bit wound up. And before anyone complains
> that a few miles shouldn't be a big deal it's also the traffic
> patterns. Mileage doesn't phase me, I have one route where I ride
> home 50 miles. It's very scenic and I enjoy doing that every once
> in a while.
>
> And as a side note. Gatorade costs $4 a gallon (or there abouts).
> Unless I water it down (which I do) gas is still cheaper (just
> kidding ;-)

I used to joke that since milk cost more than gas, I generally fed my
kids gas.  Not so any longer.  At least we don't pay tax on milk here
- we do pay nearly 60 cents per gallon just in taxes (36 cents per
gallon, then 6% sales tax).

Have you tried gatorade powdered mixes?  Very inexpensive, comparatively.

-Adam

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Moving in southeast Michigan? Buy my house: http://ubasics.com/house/

Interested in electronics? Check out the projects at http://ubasics.com

Building your own house? Check out http://ubasics.com/home/

2007\05\24@150331 by Neil Cherry

picon face
M. Adam Davis wrote:
> On 5/24/07, Neil Cherry <EraseMEncherryspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcomcast.net> wrote:
>> While I can't get bus service between where I live and where I work
>> I can ride to work (it's only 20 miles). I may miss the reading time
>> but I get in the workout I need and the stress relief I need. My new
>> problem is that they're changing the design of the roadways. Who
>> ever was the design engineer was a lousy one! Two lanes into 1
>> 250 ft after a light. There is no shoulder and a drainage ditch
>> to the right. Add to that 50 mph speed limit and 3 large
>> home developments and this road way is a nightmare in a car. Add
>> me and my bike (I take the lane) and it's a mixture for death.
>> My choices for alternate routes is limited (add several miles
>> and other heavy road patterns).
>
> Ouch!  I'm pretty lucky in that respect - there are some hairy spots,
> but Washtenaw County does put some effort into adding bike lanes
> whenever they re-do a road, and many roads (those without curbs) have
> nice wide paved shoulders.

Most of NJ isn't laid out for transportation, it's a kludge of trails
and property borders, old post roads that were Indian paths before that.
Bus service tends to be between large cities, NY, Philadelphia and
Atlantic City. Except for the northern section and very southern
sections NJ seems to run major roadways north/south. getting across
these barriers is a major undertaking (safety concerns).  Intersections
have a mix of confusing lights, multiple lanes, entry and exit points
that add to the mix. All this while drivers yack on cell phones (it's
illegal but nothing is done about it). I now plan my commutes by
time of day, early morning is a good choice as everyone waits until
the last minute to get to work. I just leave earlier than most
folks to avoid them. The ride home is another story. Everyone leaves
as soon as possible which means I have a small window of opportunity
to leave and miss the major congestion points at specific times.

> Have you tried gatorade powdered mixes?  Very inexpensive, comparatively.

Actually yes, I like the lemon-lime flavor. I can't get grape because
the local supermarket can only get what the warehouse stocks (grrr).
I can't drink the orange as it makes me sick. I pick up the liquid in
bulk on sale when the price drops to powder levels. I usually water it
down for all but the longest rides. I only need Gatorade when I'm
training for a big ride (my double century on June 16th) otherwise I
can now drink water on my commutes. I use a Camelbak as it's safer in
traffic and works great on my centuries into the Pine Barrens (30
miles between stores). Like I said, I'm good at distances.

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       ncherryspamspam_OUTlinuxha.com
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Author of:            Linux Smart Homes For Dummies

2007\05\24@185919 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Mike Hord wrote:

>> Per capita energy consumption is an interesting issue. So is the number
>> of "capitas".
>
> Ah, there's the REAL question!
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Watt_society

"Switzerland itself, currently using an average of around 5,000 watts, was
last a 2000-watt society in the 1960s."

When you think about it... are we that much more happy than we would have
been in 1960 (might have been a bit longer ago in the US :) ?

What's wrong with living like the Swiss in 1960? Why do we need so much
more resources now? (I know, the answer is "because we can", but the
question is more a rhetorical one...)

Gerhard

2007\05\24@193128 by Marcel Duchamp
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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Leds.

2007\05\24@224539 by Richard Prosser

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But you still have to pay insurance, even if you leave the car at home
so that cost is fixed. Unless you don't have a car at all.

RP
On 25/05/07, Harold Hallikainen <@spam@haroldKILLspamspamhallikainen.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\05\25@002214 by Harold Hallikainen

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> But you still have to pay insurance, even if you leave the car at home
> so that cost is fixed. Unless you don't have a car at all.

That's true, there are fixed costs. This was just the ratio of costs I've
experienced in the past year. The minimum I've seen over several years is
maintenance and insurance being twice the cost of fuel. Some recent
repairs have pushed that towards 3 times.

Harold

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2007\05\25@084925 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Harold Hallikainen wrote:

>> But you still have to pay insurance, even if you leave the car at home
>> so that cost is fixed. Unless you don't have a car at all.
>
> That's true, there are fixed costs. This was just the ratio of costs I've
> experienced in the past year. The minimum I've seen over several years is
> maintenance and insurance being twice the cost of fuel. Some recent
> repairs have pushed that towards 3 times.

Maintenance is mostly km (miles) related, insurance and registration fees
aren't. So in an "I need a car anyway" scenario, the cost of the additional
ride doesn't include the insurance and registration part.

How you bend your numbers depends all on what you're asking for... :)

Gerhard

2007\05\27@104112 by Peter Todd

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On Thu, May 24, 2007 at 07:58:56PM -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
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Don't go down that rabbit hole...

I've read that one of things modern psychology has found is that
happyness is basically fixed at birth. It'll go up and down due to local
events, births, deaths, jobs, relationships, successes, failures, but in
the long run it pretty much always returns to your baseline level no
matter what you do.

So basically, yeah, we're no happier than in 1960, we're also no happier
than in 1900, or even -30,000

Of course, my interpretation of it is that we've evolved to have a
stable outlook, be it generally happy or generally unhappy, and "growth"
of some kind increases it. Makes sense from an evolutionary perspective,
no reason to get content with what you have, might as well always be
striving for more.

So how do you be happier over the long run?


Constantly acellerating growth.


Glad I'm in the computer industry...

- --
http://petertodd.ca
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2007\05\28@093426 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Peter Todd wrote:

> Of course, my interpretation of it is that we've evolved

I find that questionable. I don't see much evolution over the last few
thousand years (that's how far back considerable written testimony goes).
It seems the problems we're facing without being able to get them out of
the way once and forever are still the same. You think environmental
problems are new? Look at Greece and why it's so arid. And Greek culture is
one of the cornerstones modern European culture was built on... so nothing
"exotic".

> to have a stable outlook, be it generally happy or generally unhappy, and
> "growth" of some kind increases it. Makes sense from an evolutionary
> perspective, no reason to get content with what you have, might as well
> always be striving for more.
>
> So how do you be happier over the long run?
>
> Constantly acellerating growth.

Let's say this is so, then the, maybe, logical consequence of this would be
to put one's mind to something that can actually grow over the long run,
no? So far, one thing we've managed to grow consistently is public debt --
and I find it rather certain that this has limits. (Among other things that
we manage to grow that we know have limits.)

Gerhard

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