Author Topic: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?  (Read 19134 times)

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
So, I'm really new to biking as an adult but the MMM reasoning for doing so has really bitten me. He likes to say getting behind the wheel is a "clown move" and that he gives himself a speech about his clownness when he gets behind the wheel for a stupid reason.

But yesterday I realized I was looking at gas prices the same way I look at cigarette prices. The way I view the latter price  signs are "I'm so glad I'm not addicted to that harmful expensive stuff and I'm healthier for it." And even though gas has been a hell of a lot cheaper lately, I still had that thought on my practice ride to work yesterday.

Just wondered if I was the only one having that particular psychological shift. Not really a question of heavy debate.

ADD ON:apparently wrong about the debate.
for one thing, I wasn't calling all drivers "addicts". My job requires I show up with no warning inside of an hour, and I timed that bike ride at 50 minutes. But I am not riding at 1 am on my bike to work. But I do eyeball my MPG and emptying tank with way more irritation than I used to and I HATE driving.

People keep comparing cost of gas to cost of food, and also the cost of time. not that everyone has a gym membership, but generally it's been implied that everyone needs more exercise than they're currently getting. The gains I see are regarding time is that I am now not driving to a gym and spending 1-2 hours there plus drive back. When it comes to food, this is something you have to consume anyway just to stay alive and you only have to eat more if you become underweight. Rice. Peanut butter, beans, and straight up vegetable oil are super cheap calories if underweight becomes an issue.

And yeah, I decided not to have kids, like, ever. But I've really come to enjoy biking with my husband as something he and I can both do, as our vast differences in health have made it difficult to find activities we can both do that aren't either sedentary or expensive, like kayaking. I've read on here about parents biking their kids and that's the only comment I'll make on that, but it's definitely not for single people only.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 09:39:55 AM by Mesmoiselle »

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5667
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 07:17:50 AM »
Cigarettes, absolutely.  Gas, nope. I can see how some would, though. :)

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2014, 07:27:26 AM »
Cigarettes, absolutely.  Gas, nope. I can see how some would, though. :)

It'd probably be more intense if gas were still close to $4/gallon. I think I heard the price of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes being $4 when I walked into a convenience store last week.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2014, 07:29:51 AM »
Nope, not at all.

Gasoline allows me to travel, it benefits me.  Cigarettes don't in anyway.

I walk or bike when I can. But if it's really cold out side, I don't give a damn about what MMM says, I drive to work.
And if I want to go from Iowa to Texas to visit family, driving is so much more affordable than flying. We save many hundreds of dollars.

DeltaBond

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 526
  • Location: U.S.
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2014, 07:30:10 AM »
There is a difference between frugal and cheap, as was explained on one of the threads here.  If you're able to bike somewhere, or just not go, have at it.  If you need to drive, though, good lord don't beat yourself up.  You have to live your life, and if normal basic living makes a person feel that extreme - I dont' know, I kinda see that as a problem.

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 08:10:00 AM »
There is a difference between frugal and cheap, as was explained on one of the threads here.  If you're able to bike somewhere, or just not go, have at it.  If you need to drive, though, good lord don't beat yourself up.  You have to live your life, and if normal basic living makes a person feel that extreme - I dont' know, I kinda see that as a problem.

90% of the places I go are within 5 miles. I'm certainly not going to bike 1000 miles it takes to visit family a few states away, but to drive when I am A) so close and B) 60 lbs overweight for my height really does make the $79-$120/month in gas I was spending before equivalent to cigarettes to me.

Wasn't trying to offend anyone, and wasn't implying you should think that way. I was, in fact, just wondering if anyone HAD thought that way.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5667
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 08:11:33 AM »
Cigarettes, absolutely.  Gas, nope. I can see how some would, though. :)

It'd probably be more intense if gas were still close to $4/gallon. I think I heard the price of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes being $4 when I walked into a convenience store last week.

Pretty sure cigarettes are $5-7 here, but I don't really pay attention.

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2014, 08:22:51 AM »
Cigarettes, absolutely.  Gas, nope. I can see how some would, though. :)

It'd probably be more intense if gas were still close to $4/gallon. I think I heard the price of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes being $4 when I walked into a convenience store last week.

Pretty sure cigarettes are $5-7 here, but I don't really pay attention.

I have never smoked but doesn't price depend on local Sin tax percentages? And when I lived in Oklahoma, there was always the "Indian discount cigarette store" my mother went to. Even poor, she got her customized flavored cigarettes for like $4/pack. I wasn't listening too closely to the lady in front of me purchase.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2014, 08:25:43 AM »
I get the point and agree, when I am biking to work and pass a gas station I enjoy saying to myself "Suckers... glad I'm not there..." :D

But the difference between gas and cigs is the feeling I have toward others using the product. While I avoid using gas, I don't judge others driving a car down the street like I would judge someone smoking.

But with the health benefits of biking I do get the correlation with health, so it is an interesting observation that isn't too far off...

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2014, 09:01:16 AM »
I'm so glad I'm not addicted to that harmful expensive stuff and I'm healthier for it.

Whether or not people here try to justify gasoline as "normal basic living" doesn't make any difference.  I'm sure smokers consider their nicotine habit part of normal basic living, too.  Just because people are blind to it doesn't make the analogy false, or the addiction less damaging.

At least with cigarettes, you're spending your money on a harmful product produced here in the USA, instead of spending it on a harmful product produced in a country that supports terrorist attacks on US soil.  Every time I see a 9/11 bumper sticker on a big old pickup truck I cringe at the ignorance and the irony all in one.  Might as well put an ISIS sticker next to "Support our Troops" just to round it out.

But our profit-driven economy seems to demand that "Made in America" be synonymous with gas-guzzlers that send more money to Saudi Arabia, over the life of the vehicle, than the purchase price of the vehicle.  I'm not sure why that is, but I'm guessing it's not coincidence.

Electric vehicles have gotten so good in the past five years that I think it's only a matter of time before they replace ICE vehicles for a significant portion of the consumer market.  Airplanes and long haul truckers will still use diesel, but the suburban family taking the kids to school and commuting to work won't need to anymore. 

And good riddance.  In 100 years I suspect that personal carbon-fueled transportation will be viewed in much the same way we now view bloodletting or leaches, as an artifact of our former ignorance that we're happy to have replaced with more sane alternatives.


Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2947
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2014, 09:09:34 AM »
It now cost more to bike in calories than to drive a used efficient car.  You're 3 to 10 times more likely to die biking than safe car driving.   MMM likes to bike.  Doesn't make it safe or efficient.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2014, 09:18:21 AM »
It now cost more to bike in calories than to drive a used efficient car.

numbers please? quick calculation shows (31500kcal/gallon)/(40miles/gallon)=787kcal/mile driven

50kcal/mile cycling is a high (conservative) estimate

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2014, 09:33:26 AM »
It now cost more to bike in calories than to drive a used efficient car.

Bob, are you smoking gasoline?

Please explain to me how a bicycle uses more calories than a gasoline car.  You're just wrong on the math, sorry.

And furthermore, how can you honestly compare calories that come off of your fat ass to calories we pump out of the ground?  Even if the costs or calories were equivalent, we have an obesity epidemic in this country that suggests we should probably be burning our fat asses instead of our dead dinosaurs.

Quote
You're 3 to 10 times more likely to die biking than safe car driving.   

Have you even read this blog? 

These stats are hard to nail down, but on a minute for minute comparison biking is safer.  It's only when you measure mile for mile that the stats get confusing, and even then you're trying to weigh the increased risk of a bicycle accident over a car accident against the increased risk of being a fat ass over being a lean cyclist.  Remember that obesity epidemic?  If we ever get to the point where we have a bicycle fatality epidemic, I would consider recommending that people use their motorized luxury thrones instead of biking.  Assuming they're not overweight.

Until my doctor tells me to start getting less exercise, I'll stick with biking, thanks. 

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5667
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2014, 09:38:40 AM »
I'm so glad I'm not addicted to that harmful expensive stuff and I'm healthier for it.

Whether or not people here try to justify gasoline as "normal basic living" doesn't make any difference.  I'm sure smokers consider their nicotine habit part of normal basic living, too.  Just because people are blind to it doesn't make the analogy false, or the addiction less damaging.

At least with cigarettes, you're spending your money on a harmful product produced here in the USA, instead of spending it on a harmful product produced in a country that supports terrorist attacks on US soil.  Every time I see a 9/11 bumper sticker on a big old pickup truck I cringe at the ignorance and the irony all in one.  Might as well put an ISIS sticker next to "Support our Troops" just to round it out.

But our profit-driven economy seems to demand that "Made in America" be synonymous with gas-guzzlers that send more money to Saudi Arabia, over the life of the vehicle, than the purchase price of the vehicle.  I'm not sure why that is, but I'm guessing it's not coincidence.

Electric vehicles have gotten so good in the past five years that I think it's only a matter of time before they replace ICE vehicles for a significant portion of the consumer market.  Airplanes and long haul truckers will still use diesel, but the suburban family taking the kids to school and commuting to work won't need to anymore. 

And good riddance.  In 100 years I suspect that personal carbon-fueled transportation will be viewed in much the same way we now view bloodletting or leaches, as an artifact of our former ignorance that we're happy to have replaced with more sane alternatives.

The US is producing enough oil that it's being exported now.

So much car hatred here. It makes me sad.

http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2014-america-shakes-off-oil-addiction/

But go ahead, be angry and ignore stuff.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 09:47:29 AM by JLee »

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2014, 09:49:25 AM »
The US is producing enough oil that it's being exported now.

Yes, and I guess I'm happy about it?  If the only objection to burning fossil fuels was to stop supporting terrorists, we'd still regret the past 30 years but at least the past six months are headed in the right direction.  Now if only there weren't any other pesky side effects...

Quote
So much car hatred here. It makes me sad.

I don't hate cars.  I don't hate washing machines or computers, either. 

What I do dislike is people who don't recognize the negative impacts of this technology.  I don't like urban sprawl.  I don't like nitrous oxides and particulates in the air I breathe.  I don't like 40,000 needless deaths per year.  I don't like climate change.  I don't like supporting terrorist states.

Cars are a miracle technology that have revolutionized modern society.  Like all revolutions, it was not entirely positive.  Fortunately, I get to benefit from the good stuff while still complaining about the bad stuff.  So do you.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2014, 10:02:58 AM »
There are still people left that smoke cigarettes?  That's something I just never see anymore.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5667
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2014, 10:12:40 AM »
There are still people left that smoke cigarettes?  That's something I just never see anymore.
A huge percentage of people in Arizona smoke. Makes dating annoying. :(

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2014, 04:36:54 PM »
There are still people left that smoke cigarettes?  That's something I just never see anymore.
A huge percentage of people in Arizona smoke. Makes dating annoying. :(

The only reason you aren't seeing smokers is because, up to a point, you're choosing the people in your environment. Even at the hospital, I see patients going AWOL to go sneak a cigarette on hospital property. I go to parties where the median age is 35 and a third of them smoke. My mother smokes, 4 of my 5 siblings smokes... I'm not even sure how the smoking bug skipped me.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2014, 04:58:15 PM »
I'm not even sure how the smoking bug skipped me.

Drug addiction is rarely 100% prevalent in any given family.  Are you the youngest of the six?

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2014, 06:35:53 PM »
I'm not even sure how the smoking bug skipped me.

Drug addiction is rarely 100% prevalent in any given family.  Are you the youngest of the six?

No, I'm #3, only one with a career of the whole bunch. I was super anti drug/alcohol between age 12-22. At 11, I even tried a cigarette, didn't understand the big deal, and moved on with life. I just saw every adult around me as a failure, and they all drank, smoke, did drugs (some of them, jail, stripping, and prostitution). I don't know why I viewed them as a failure and my Siblings did not. I guess they just saw them as having problems? They felt pity and I felt aversion? Can't really ask them why, as they themselves smoke, drink,pot so it'd be sort of a insulting question

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6524
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2014, 06:51:16 PM »
Pack of smokes is up around $20 for 20 sticks here. We tax the shit out of it.

I see a lot of stressed out bankers smoking. Burning their money and their lungs. Double face palm.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2014, 07:57:10 PM »
Congrats on the attitude transformation Mesmoiselle!  The biggest thing I find is that when I run errands by bike, it feels like fun.  When I'm in my car, it feels like a chore.  I can't say I ever made the cigarette/gasoline connection before, but it makes sense.  They are both things that you're paying good money for to make you fat, lazy, and less healthy.  I definitely have at least an internal smile when I cruise by the gas station and see all the suckers filling their tanks.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5667
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2014, 08:32:06 PM »
Congrats on the attitude transformation Mesmoiselle!  The biggest thing I find is that when I run errands by bike, it feels like fun.  When I'm in my car, it feels like a chore.  I can't say I ever made the cigarette/gasoline connection before, but it makes sense.  They are both things that you're paying good money for to make you fat, lazy, and less healthy.  I definitely have at least an internal smile when I cruise by the gas station and see all the suckers filling their tanks.

Have fun carrying 8ft fencing panels home on your bike.  "Sucker," eh?

I can appreciate those who choose to ride bikes everywhere, but the blatant derogatory comments to those of us who use liquid-fueled transportation is really getting old, and I've not been here long at all. :(

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2014, 10:00:06 PM »
Congrats on the attitude transformation Mesmoiselle!  The biggest thing I find is that when I run errands by bike, it feels like fun.  When I'm in my car, it feels like a chore.  I can't say I ever made the cigarette/gasoline connection before, but it makes sense.  They are both things that you're paying good money for to make you fat, lazy, and less healthy.  I definitely have at least an internal smile when I cruise by the gas station and see all the suckers filling their tanks.

Have fun carrying 8ft fencing panels home on your bike.  "Sucker," eh?


If an 8 ft fencing panel was something that my apartment needed, I'm sure I would have fun carrying it on my bike.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/06/23/how-to-carry-major-appliances-on-your-bike/

I can appreciate those who choose to ride bikes everywhere, but the blatant derogatory comments to those of us who use liquid-fueled transportation is really getting old, and I've not been here long at all. :(

Most people waste more money on cars than anything else.  Of course they are looked down upon, as they should be.  They make you fatter, poorer, and lazier than someone riding a bike.  That's just a fact.  I'm sorry if that offends you, but it's true.  Now I also own a car, but I make a conscious effort to drive as little as possible.  We all should.  It not only saves money, but biking is a wonderful means of transportation.

Have you read the blog?  I'm not sure why people espousing beliefs that bikes are better than cars would come as a shock to you.

Start here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/07/what-do-you-mean-you-dont-have-a-bike/
Quote from: MMM
Mustachianism has many facets.  It’s a lifestyle and a fake religion all in one. And it is packed with an unlimited number of deep and interesting nuances, which is why you and I still have something to talk about after 13 months of this blog’s existence and 224 published articles.

But if I had to strip it down as far as possible, down to just one single action, and I wasn’t allowed to talk about anything else, the choice would still be simple: “Ride a Bike”.

Other posts about riding bikes (surely an incomplete list, but it should get you started):

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/18/get-rich-with-bikes/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/24/good-day-to-buy-a-bike/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/20/mmm-challenge-try-getting-your-groceries-with-a-bike-trailer/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/11/03/how-to-ride-your-bike-all-winter-and-love-it/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/09/you-cant-cure-obesity-with-bigger-pants/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/26/lighting-up-the-bikes-for-the-darker-half-of-the-year/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/01/mmm-challenge-anti-automobile-april/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/22/curing-your-clown-like-car-habit/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/05/04/anti-automobile-april-conclusion/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/30/electric-bikes-gateway-drug-to-bike-commuting/

greaper007

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2014, 10:07:26 PM »
I don't think anyone got that the OP was referring to some gas station signs that list gas prices AND the price for a pack of smokes.   Usually some really bad off brand.   

I think that's an interesting observation.   Yes, oil and nicotine are addictive.    I think we could make a comparison between sub 15 mpg trucks and suvs that are used simply for personal transportation and a substance like nicotine.   The fact is that our country is addicted to cheap oil.   We'll frack for it, fight wars for it, and ruin the planet just to drive around alone in luxury.   

greaper007

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2014, 10:14:53 PM »
Congrats on the attitude transformation Mesmoiselle!  The biggest thing I find is that when I run errands by bike, it feels like fun.  When I'm in my car, it feels like a chore.  I can't say I ever made the cigarette/gasoline connection before, but it makes sense.  They are both things that you're paying good money for to make you fat, lazy, and less healthy.  I definitely have at least an internal smile when I cruise by the gas station and see all the suckers filling their tanks.

Have fun carrying 8ft fencing panels home on your bike.  "Sucker," eh?

I can appreciate those who choose to ride bikes everywhere, but the blatant derogatory comments to those of us who use liquid-fueled transportation is really getting old, and I've not been here long at all. :(

How often do you carry fencing sections?   Once every ten years or so, I think my fences are about 20 years old at my house.     If you wanted to get really bad ass you could stick them on a bikes at work trailer.    Those guys have pictures of people moving pianos.   I'd put them on the utility trailer behind my minivan that I use a few times a year for stuff like free mulch from the city.    If you're a contractor then you get a pass for driving a pickup.

I don't think the point is to not drive, I drive a ton, way more than most people on this board.    I carpool kids to a school 6 miles away on 55 mph roads.    Not bikeable with 4 kids under 7, especially on the available roads.    But, I do try to bike as much as I can, it's good for my health, wallet, the planet, and my neighbors.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2008
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2015, 08:20:07 AM »
Have fun carrying 8ft fencing panels home on your bike.  "Sucker," eh?

I can appreciate those who choose to ride bikes everywhere, but the blatant derogatory comments to those of us who use liquid-fueled transportation is really getting old, and I've not been here long at all. :(

Ummm, I have 4 vehicles in my household and none of them can carry an 8 foot fencing panel.  You do realize that's why you can rent trucks?  It's really cheap too.  If trucking is your job, by all means by one.  Otherwise, don't.  It's wasteful to buy a vehicle for any conceivable event when rentals are so cheap.

The derogatory comments are just the enthusiasm of those who have found ways to eliminate a major cost suck from their lives.  I love cars, but I acknowledge that they suck a ton of money.  I'll take the facepunches because I'm keeping them because I enjoy them and am willing to make the tradeoffs required.  By no means is it wise for me to have all these vehicles though!

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2015, 09:49:42 AM »
Have you even read this blog? 

These stats are hard to nail down, but on a minute for minute comparison biking is safer.  It's only when you measure mile for mile that the stats get confusing, and even then you're trying to weigh the increased risk of a bicycle accident over a car accident against the increased risk of being a fat ass over being a lean cyclist.  Remember that obesity epidemic?  If we ever get to the point where we have a bicycle fatality epidemic, I would consider recommending that people use their motorized luxury thrones instead of biking.  Assuming they're not overweight.

Until my doctor tells me to start getting less exercise, I'll stick with biking, thanks.

Those stats come from here, and I have no reason to disbelieve his numbers:

http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/almanac-safety.html

So we'll compare risk at both the 6.2 billion and 21 billion miles traveled levels.
784 cyclists died in 2005 (p. 86). That would make the death rate 0.37 to 1.26 deaths per 10 million miles.

33,041 motorists/passengers died (p. 86) from 3 trillion miles traveled (p. 15), making their death rate 0.11 per 10 million miles traveled.

So cyclists are either 3.4x or 11.5x as likely to die as motorists, per passenger mile.  Neither conclusion is very happy.


Also, minute for minute is simply not an appropriate comparison.  You're going somewhere in particular, mile for mile is appropriate.

MoneyCat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1754
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2015, 10:34:29 AM »
Well, where I live cigarettes are about $10/pack and their primary purpose is to give you cancer.  Gasoline is currently about $3/gallon and its primary purpose is to fuel a vehicle to bring me to places outside my town.  So, I don't really equate the two.

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2015, 10:35:05 AM »
I think the rates of death are just going to plain be higher for those who don't have a metal cage around themselves once they interact with another large metal cage.

Shouldn't we also be comparing motorcyclists and plain pedestrians? I'm not a statistician, but I'm curious. When it gets down to it, isn't this the death rate for those who get hit by a car when they are not in a car themselves? Making all non car travel just bad? Then Leaving the house directly into a car is safer followed by never leaving your house?

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2015, 11:14:41 AM »
Those stats come from here, and I have no reason to disbelieve his numbers:

http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/almanac-safety.html

Very convenient for you to be able to just completely ignore the higher reported values of bicycle miles traveled (150 billion) from that same document without any supporting evidence at all. 

As a child, I put many hundreds, maybe thousands of miles on my bicycle that were never reported to anyone.  Do those miles not count?  Isn't it slightly unfair to only count officially tallied bicycle miles for commuting purposes (ala the DoT study) but then include all bicycle injuries regardless of what the cyclist was doing at the time of the accident?

Bicycle stats are hard to measure, because unlike car miles we don't have a convenient measure like gasoline sales and mpg to calculate total distance traveled. 

And I should point out that our bicycle injury and fatality rates in the US are so abysmally high precisely BECAUSE we so strongly favor automobile infrastructure.  Look at the rates in places that build proper bike lanes, like the Netherands or even cycling friendly cities like Portland, and you get a very different picture.

I think the rates of death are just going to plain be higher for those who don't have a metal cage around themselves once they interact with another large metal cage.

While I agree that certainly contributes, you also have to account for the fact that bicycle accidents are typically much lower speed crashes than automobile accidents.  If you were to only compare the fatality rate for (all cyclists) vs (cars traveling at 10 to 20mph), I would certainly agree with you that cars would be safer.  Most car fatalities are from highway speed wrecks, though, which a bicycle should never have.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 11:17:47 AM by sol »

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2015, 11:17:57 AM »
And I should point out that our bicycle injury and fatality rates in the US are so abysmally high precisely BECAUSE we so strongly favor automobile infrastructure.  Look at the rates in places that build proper bike lanes, like the Netherands or even cycling friendly cities like Portland, and you get a very different picture.

Sounds like you acknowledge that biking is less safe even if the stats aren't as easily calculated.

takeahike

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Location: Alberta
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2015, 11:29:44 AM »
Have you even read this blog? 

These stats are hard to nail down, but on a minute for minute comparison biking is safer.  It's only when you measure mile for mile that the stats get confusing, and even then you're trying to weigh the increased risk of a bicycle accident over a car accident against the increased risk of being a fat ass over being a lean cyclist.  Remember that obesity epidemic?  If we ever get to the point where we have a bicycle fatality epidemic, I would consider recommending that people use their motorized luxury thrones instead of biking.  Assuming they're not overweight.

Until my doctor tells me to start getting less exercise, I'll stick with biking, thanks.

Those stats come from here, and I have no reason to disbelieve his numbers:

http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/almanac-safety.html

So we'll compare risk at both the 6.2 billion and 21 billion miles traveled levels.
784 cyclists died in 2005 (p. 86). That would make the death rate 0.37 to 1.26 deaths per 10 million miles.

33,041 motorists/passengers died (p. 86) from 3 trillion miles traveled (p. 15), making their death rate 0.11 per 10 million miles traveled.

So cyclists are either 3.4x or 11.5x as likely to die as motorists, per passenger mile.  Neither conclusion is very happy.


Also, minute for minute is simply not an appropriate comparison.  You're going somewhere in particular, mile for mile is appropriate.

And sadly, most bikers die from other cars. *sigh* The irony.

DarinC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2015, 12:17:12 PM »
Most people waste more money on cars than anything else.  Of course they are looked down upon, as they should be.  They make you fatter, poorer, and lazier than someone riding a bike.  That's just a fact.  I'm sorry if that offends you, but it's true.  Now I also own a car, but I make a conscious effort to drive as little as possible.  We all should.  It not only saves money, but biking is a wonderful means of transportation.
I think I understand what you're saying Eric, but I think your post may be a little far reaching. Yes, people spend a lot on their cars, but at the same time they do spend more on housing, which puts cars as the second biggest money "waster".

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.nr0.htm

In addition, while cars do pretty much categorically make you fatter, and possibly poorer in the short term, what most people describe as laziness is IMO far more often a symptom in terms of driving than it is a cause. I don't think cars make people lazy, but being lazy can definitely make people decide to take a car instead of a bike.

Hashing out how poor they make you is kind of tricky, but I will say that I have to make tough decisions about riding versus biking and those are because I'm "poor" in terms of time. I wish I had more time and energy to bike more, and I know it would be much better for my health, but that time is unfortunately not a luxury I have. Cars can provide a relatively inexpensive way to get between places quickly. I know that an e-bike would be killer for me, and I really need to throw something together, but unfortunately I don't have the time and circumstances to incorporate more utilitarian cycling.

I should probably has this out in another post, but sufficed to say, I think you're being a little too harsh, although I still agree with you in many ways.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2015, 12:31:21 PM »
Sounds like you acknowledge that biking is less safe even if the stats aren't as easily calculated.

I think that I would personally much rather be in a car than on a bike if I'm going to be involved in a low speed accident.  No question.  But cars are often in high speed crashes, which is where most fatalities occur, and I can entirely avoid that risk by riding a bike.

But there's a larger picture to be seen here.  Bicycles are currently responsible for something like 1000 deaths per year.  Automobiles are responsible for something like 40,000 deaths per year.  But the big killer here is obesity, which is responsible for something like 250,000 deaths per year. 

Cars make you fat.  As a nation, we'd be FAR better off to accept a higher bicycle fatality rate to reduce the astronomical obesity fatality rate.  Even if biking is more dangerous per mile traveled than driving, the health benefits of biking far outweigh the increased risk.  On balance, biking is better for us than driving.

All that other stuff about saving money, not supporting terrorist nations, and not contributing to pollution or climate change, that's just bonus material. 

I have a car.  I rely on diesel trucks and trains to deliver goods to my local stores.  I even fly in airplanes sometimes.  I recognize the vital role that oil plays in our lives and our economy.  But for personal transportation?  Biking is better whenever possible, unless your doctor has recommended that you start getting less exercise.

shellyrr

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2015, 12:34:22 PM »
The point is that you have to be money conscious of your spending.  Many Americans are not conscious of this when it comes to anything let alone car usage.  Mmm says if you can find a better and or cheaper way that is mustachian.  Yes smoking is bad but if you gonna do it roll your own or start your own tobacco garden and dry it and roll it.  I hate smoking personally but everyone has their vices.  Mmm is beer and he does cider home brewing to save money.  You could argue alcohol is bad for you and unnecessary but he still drinks it only figures out a smarter way.  I am considering moving to a place with a higher walk score but it might mean higher taxes.  Gotta do the math to figure cost savings.  Plus I hate moving.  Also might have to deal with higher pollution as the places close to me with high walk scores are all closer to the city.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5667
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #36 on: January 01, 2015, 04:23:25 PM »
Congrats on the attitude transformation Mesmoiselle!  The biggest thing I find is that when I run errands by bike, it feels like fun.  When I'm in my car, it feels like a chore.  I can't say I ever made the cigarette/gasoline connection before, but it makes sense.  They are both things that you're paying good money for to make you fat, lazy, and less healthy.  I definitely have at least an internal smile when I cruise by the gas station and see all the suckers filling their tanks.

Have fun carrying 8ft fencing panels home on your bike.  "Sucker," eh?


If an 8 ft fencing panel was something that my apartment needed, I'm sure I would have fun carrying it on my bike.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/06/23/how-to-carry-major-appliances-on-your-bike/

I can appreciate those who choose to ride bikes everywhere, but the blatant derogatory comments to those of us who use liquid-fueled transportation is really getting old, and I've not been here long at all. :(

Most people waste more money on cars than anything else.  Of course they are looked down upon, as they should be.  They make you fatter, poorer, and lazier than someone riding a bike.  That's just a fact.  I'm sorry if that offends you, but it's true.  Now I also own a car, but I make a conscious effort to drive as little as possible.  We all should.  It not only saves money, but biking is a wonderful means of transportation.

Have you read the blog?  I'm not sure why people espousing beliefs that bikes are better than cars would come as a shock to you.

Start here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/07/what-do-you-mean-you-dont-have-a-bike/
Quote from: MMM
Mustachianism has many facets.  It’s a lifestyle and a fake religion all in one. And it is packed with an unlimited number of deep and interesting nuances, which is why you and I still have something to talk about after 13 months of this blog’s existence and 224 published articles.

But if I had to strip it down as far as possible, down to just one single action, and I wasn’t allowed to talk about anything else, the choice would still be simple: “Ride a Bike”.

Other posts about riding bikes (surely an incomplete list, but it should get you started):

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/18/get-rich-with-bikes/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/24/good-day-to-buy-a-bike/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/20/mmm-challenge-try-getting-your-groceries-with-a-bike-trailer/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/11/03/how-to-ride-your-bike-all-winter-and-love-it/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/09/you-cant-cure-obesity-with-bigger-pants/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/26/lighting-up-the-bikes-for-the-darker-half-of-the-year/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/01/mmm-challenge-anti-automobile-april/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/22/curing-your-clown-like-car-habit/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/05/04/anti-automobile-april-conclusion/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/09/30/electric-bikes-gateway-drug-to-bike-commuting/

I have read the blog. I have also stopped.

I cannot stand the writing style and accusatory style of writing. It took some effort for me to look again and try to see the actual message, and get past what I perceive to be a haughty and egotistical attitude of superiority, even pity towards those who are too fat, lazy, stupid, and clown-like to realize how terrible all of their decisions are.  I realize that's my perception of his writing and I was glad to see that apparently relaxed on the forum -- until now I start reading stuff like this.  Having an opinion is different than casting insults towards those who, in your opinion, are making bad decisions (side note - Tough Mudder 2012, 2013, and Inca Trail coming up in 2015. Us car people are not all as "fat and lazy" as you might want to believe).

As an automotive enthusiast, I realize I am in the vast minority here.  I race.  Yes, that outrageous ridiculous activity in which people drive evil cars around tracks just to see who can do it the fastest.  I drive offroad.  Last week, I put 1560 miles on my expedition truck in a week in Baja, Mexico. If you must, look at me with pity and disgust as I fill my horrible wasteful SUV.  It lets me experiences places I would not otherwise be able to -- because I don't have three months to bicycle down to Baja.

I also work in a corporate information technology / financial sector job. I live in Phoenix. We have no showers at work.  I'm not going to ride a bicycle in 115f heat on 170f pavement to get to work - nor am I going to ride in the rain and show up drenched.

I know exactly how much I spend.  I have owned a fair amount of vehicles, sold a fair amount of vehicles, and through my entire driving career I have a net positive from "depreciation" (buy cheap, and sell for less cheap). My car insurance for three vehicles is less than many people pay for one.  My repair costs (excluding hobby activity) are minimal because I have a comprehensively-equipped garage and can do almost any mechanical work required (including engine rebuilds), and I don't buy vehicles that break often.

Maybe my issue here is feeling personally insulted where I shouldn't. I've made calculated choices where many/post people are spending ludicrous amounts of money without really realizing it or understanding why. Even if gas was $10/gallon and I was taking public transportation to work, I would still have a car and I would still drive for fun. Why? Because I love it.

Anyway, I'm done with my rant. Tired of feeling insulted when I'm trying to learn more around here. :-/ 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 04:51:33 PM by JLee »

surfhb

  • Guest
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2015, 05:28:15 PM »
^^^ to be expand on this guy above......I work in a very niche industry in Los Angeles and enjoy surfing.    Its these 2 reasons I drive 500-700 a week and spend roughly 2 hours a day driving.   Worth every penny, but I wish I could bike everywhere.   

I'm envious of those of you who are able to live near careers you enjoy but as my life stands right now, not having a vehicle would suck the life out of my soul.  The "live near work" thing doesn't always fly out here in LA.

Come on FIRE!!    Can't wait!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 05:37:01 PM by surfhb »

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #38 on: January 01, 2015, 06:21:12 PM »

Wasn't trying to offend anyone, and wasn't implying you should think that way. I was, in fact, just wondering if anyone HAD thought that way.

^^^^^^^~~~ I wasn't intentionally insulting anyone, at the very least.

TerriM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2015, 06:45:51 PM »
I think you need to separate out the gasoline from the driving.  If your car were electric with built in solar panels, would you still view it the same as cigarettes?  I personally would not.  Then the question of how I get my exercise would be completely different from whether my car is environmentally friendly.

I do feel bad for using something which is a limited resource, but I feel the same way when I buy stuff that's encased in plastic.  Comes from oil, a lot of it is trashed even if put in the recycling bin.   Costco blister packs are the worst--to prevent shoplifting, they'll encase a small item in 1.5 sq ft of plastic.  I think Costco is kind of like cigarettes.....  it shows the worst side of consumerism overpacked in plastic.

alsoknownasDean

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2014
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2015, 07:10:27 PM »
I don't make the comparison because gasoline provides very practical benefits.

Of course cars provide a great deal of utility. I can drive to my parents' place in half the time it takes me via public transit (with much more flexibility re: departure/arrival times). I can carry more than I can on my bike. I can get to other parts of the city (which may be tens of kilometres away) faster and in all weather conditions (I'd rather not ride my bike when it's 40C outside).

However, I regularly use my bike for short trips to the shops, and take public transport to work. It's all about the best tool for the job. I take the tram to work because there's lots of traffic and parking near work is very expensive (and I don't enjoy driving to work). I ride or walk for many local trips because often the time difference between it and driving is minimal (especially when going to places with scarce car parking), and it's a good opportunity to get some physical activity in (riding my bike makes me feel really good). I choose to live in an area where I can walk or ride (or take public transit) to places (including being walking distance from the shops), rather than being forced to drive everywhere due to distance or poorer public transit services, even though the rent is more expensive.

IMO what the blog promotes is encouraging people to be a bit more mindful of their car use. That might be driving a good quality used car instead of financing a fancy new one, living closer to work to minimise the commute, driving something fuel-efficient rather than a big thirsty vehicle, and considering using something else for short trips. The Anti-Mustachian section is full of reports of people who will drive a few hundred metres rather than walk, or finance an expensive, thirsty car that's well beyond their means or their needs. It doesn't mean it's the only way though (ie: living close to work might be impossible for someone who wants a rural lifestyle).
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 07:19:02 PM by alsoknownasDean »

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2947
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2015, 09:29:51 PM »
It now cost more to bike in calories than to drive a used efficient car.

numbers please? quick calculation shows (31500kcal/gallon)/(40miles/gallon)=787kcal/mile driven

50kcal/mile cycling is a high (conservative) estimate
. Fuel cost to drive car 40 miles = 1.80.   1600 calories to bike 40 miles = $4.00 in food.   Bikers here ignore reality for some reason.    Biking is a high level of danger.  If you bike consistently you have a great risk of death or serious injury which on average outweighs health advantages.   

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2015, 10:06:18 PM »
No, I can't see the analogy. 

No one benefits by putting a cigarette into his mouth.  No one in any circumstances anywhere.

But many of us really can't function in our jobs /in our part of society without driving.  Adding an insulting "clown car" name to it may make some people feel better than others, but that doens't mean it's not the right choice for a whole lot of people. 

Knapptyme

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Florida
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2015, 10:28:49 PM »
It now cost more to bike in calories than to drive a used efficient car.

numbers please? quick calculation shows (31500kcal/gallon)/(40miles/gallon)=787kcal/mile driven

50kcal/mile cycling is a high (conservative) estimate
. Fuel cost to drive car 40 miles = 1.80.   1600 calories to bike 40 miles = $4.00 in food.   Bikers here ignore reality for some reason.    Biking is a high level of danger.  If you bike consistently you have a great risk of death or serious injury which on average outweighs health advantages.

I make this illustration to my students that biking is not more energy efficient than cars by virtue of the human machine being inefficient at generating mechanical energy from food calories. As they all know I ride my bike to school daily, we have a fun, lively discussion about energy.

You have some interesting points and numbers, but have left out start up and/or maintenance costs. I imagine this was done on purpose assuming someone owns both an economy car and a bicycle, thus having a choice between the two. I would say that you have, in turn, ignored reality for some reason. Let's say $2000 for a reliable, old economy car vs. maybe $100 for an old reliable bicycle. Maintenance costs clearly favor the bicycle without going into too much guesswork. While biking can be dangerous in some circumstances, routes can be easily adjusted to avoid dangerous areas. At least that's what I do as a life-conscious bike-rider.

Per the original topic, the analogy is clear to me. Patterns of behavior can become addictions. Those addictions have financial ramifications. My biking addiction costs me nearly $20/year (for the family) in tube repair or replacement costs coupled with the occasional brake pads or tire purchase factored in.

alsoknownasDean

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2014
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2015, 11:09:36 PM »
It now cost more to bike in calories than to drive a used efficient car.

numbers please? quick calculation shows (31500kcal/gallon)/(40miles/gallon)=787kcal/mile driven

50kcal/mile cycling is a high (conservative) estimate
. Fuel cost to drive car 40 miles = 1.80.   1600 calories to bike 40 miles = $4.00 in food.   Bikers here ignore reality for some reason.    Biking is a high level of danger.  If you bike consistently you have a great risk of death or serious injury which on average outweighs health advantages.

A bit sensationalist, don't you think?

Sure, there's an increased risk of an accident on a bicycle, but many of us take steps to reduce the risks, such as avoiding high speed, high traffic roads, ensuring we are visible to traffic, and in general keeping an eye out for potential hazards.

At my last house, I could ride to the supermarket (maybe 2.5km away) along the busy 80km/h major road I would use to drive there, or the 50km/h back streets with little traffic. You bet I would use the back streets, I'm unlikely to go at 50 anyway.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2015, 06:53:34 AM »
It now cost more to bike in calories than to drive a used efficient car.

numbers please? quick calculation shows (31500kcal/gallon)/(40miles/gallon)=787kcal/mile driven

50kcal/mile cycling is a high (conservative) estimate
. Fuel cost to drive car 40 miles = 1.80.   1600 calories to bike 40 miles = $4.00 in food.   Bikers here ignore reality for some reason.    Biking is a high level of danger.  If you bike consistently you have a great risk of death or serious injury which on average outweighs health advantages.

You said "cost in calories", which means energy efficiency not total cost.

If you'd like to chat cost we can do that, but I assure you with startup cost, maintenance, insurance, etc you are looking at considerably more than $1.80/40 miles even for a used, "efficient" car.

I really don't mind people driving that much, if it's worth it to you all things considered then go for it. I do mind people contorting numbers to try and numerically justify something where the only real justification is convenience or fun.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14161
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2015, 07:56:34 AM »
It now cost more to bike in calories than to drive a used efficient car.

numbers please? quick calculation shows (31500kcal/gallon)/(40miles/gallon)=787kcal/mile driven

50kcal/mile cycling is a high (conservative) estimate
. Fuel cost to drive car 40 miles = 1.80.   1600 calories to bike 40 miles = $4.00 in food.   Bikers here ignore reality for some reason.    Biking is a high level of danger.  If you bike consistently you have a great risk of death or serious injury which on average outweighs health advantages.

You said "cost in calories", which means energy efficiency not total cost.

If you'd like to chat cost we can do that, but I assure you with startup cost, maintenance, insurance, etc you are looking at considerably more than $1.80/40 miles even for a used, "efficient" car.

I really don't mind people driving that much, if it's worth it to you all things considered then go for it. I do mind people contorting numbers to try and numerically justify something where the only real justification is convenience or fun.

He's also demonstrably wrong regarding his claims regarding safety/health benefits.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920084/

Overall health benefits of cycling are "substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving" despite the higher exposure to air pollution and risk of a traffic accident/death.



I buy about 2300 calories of rice for a dollar.  I'm not sure where his crazy high figure for 1600 calories comes from.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 08:16:16 AM by GuitarStv »

BPA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2015, 08:07:57 AM »
I totally feel that way too.  I've never had a car and often don't know what gas prices are, but when I do notice, I feel the way you do.

That I've been able to get by car-free saves me more than just gasoline cost.  It's why my friends and co-workers don't scoff too much at my low spending rate. 

I'm not friends with many smokers, but the ones I do know lament the cost all of the time in much the same way people complain about their cars (and gasoline) costing so much.


dandeliongirl75

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Age: 44
  • Location: MD
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2015, 08:17:58 AM »
I am sadly still addicted to my car and my bike is lurking in the basement unfixed....I need to start thinking this way....I think it is a great way to think about it....maybe it will help me move more towards this......

DarinC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
Re: cigarettes and gasoline: anyone made this comparison in their own mind?
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2015, 10:45:10 AM »
You said "cost in calories", which means energy efficiency not total cost.

If you'd like to chat cost we can do that, but I assure you with startup cost, maintenance, insurance, etc you are looking at considerably more than $1.80/40 miles even for a used, "efficient" car.

I really don't mind people driving that much, if it's worth it to you all things considered then go for it. I do mind people contorting numbers to try and numerically justify something where the only real justification is convenience or fun.
For the sake of argument, one of the most efficient cars around, driven efficiently, is at ~3.5c/mile for fuel right now, which is where a cyclist could be at using one of the most efficient pedal powered vehicles (velomobile) and a decent diet of legumes, starches, and dairy.

Like you said, the startup and insurance costs are much higher for cars. I'm not sure about maintenance really, it's definitely higher for a car if you're not a DIY'er, but it's pretty close if you are. Low wear bike tires cost about twice as much per mile compared to low wear car tires, but cars require more maintenance, so IME it's been a wash for the most part, although there are exceptions.