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Old 12-16-2007, 02:53 PM   #1
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Human MPG biking and walking

I thought it would be interesting to calculate the 'mpg' of walking and biking...so here goes.

A gallon of gas contains about 31,000 Kilocalories (Kc).

An average person expends 100 Kc to walk one mile.

An average person bicycling leisurely (9 mph) expends about 23 Kc per mile.

So, if he/she could get all the needed calories from a gallon of gas (ugh), he/she

would get:

310 mpg walking (31000/100), and

1348 mpg bicycling (31000/23).

Since you can't get your calories from gas, what would be the cost in
Snicker's Bar Equivalents (my measure) for a 'gallon' of gas?

A Snicker's bar has 280 Kc and costs about 60 cents. So:

31000/280*.60= $66.42 per 'gallon'.
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:06 PM   #2
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I'll take $66.42 per gallon at 1348 mpg
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:19 PM   #3
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VNelson: Nice first post. It should be good to have some new insight on things around here. Your breakdown was easy to understand, and at least in my opinion, warrants some serious thought. You could of course complicate things by factoring in the fact that Snickers aren't free energy, and that they consume energy during their raw materials collection, production, and transportation.

Otherwise, it was an interesting read. Perhaps you could look at a less energy intensive item, like home-grown fruits?
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:29 PM   #4
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Otherwise, it was an interesting read. Perhaps you could look at a less energy intensive item, like home-grown fruits?
Then again, fruit is, by nature,fairly low in calories. Yes, it is less energy intensive than a candy bar. But you have to eat MUCH more of it to get a given numer of calories.
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Xootr used to calculate things like this to stress how cost effective their rather expensive electric scooter the eX3 was compared to the energy of food needed to trave a simular distance.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:54 PM   #6
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Then again, fruit is, by nature,fairly low in calories. Yes, it is less energy intensive than a candy bar. But you have to eat MUCH more of it to get a given numer of calories.
I wouldn't make such a blanket statement as that if I were you. A quick googling of the topic at hand yields these results...

http://www.dietbites.com/CalorieIndexFruit.html

If you are talking vegetables though, then yes, they are for the most part pretty low in calories. Fruits are usually loaded with sugars and other carbohydrates though, so they can hold quite a few calories. Vegetables mainly just have vitamins and minerals though. Avocado can be pretty fatty, but your average green pepper, tomato, and carrot are relatively low in calories.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:36 AM   #7
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Huh... If you look at the cost, riding your bike is only about equivalent to 60mpg or so, and walking only gets you 15 or so mpg. Estimating with gas around $3 a gallon.

$66 devided by $3 gives me 22.
1350/22 = 61.36mpg
310/22 = 14.09mpg

Now, other foods. Dried apricots seem to be the most calorie dense of all, so estimating a cup of dried apricots at around $1.00...

31000/381*1 = $81 per "gallon"

$81/$3 gives me a factor of 27
1350/27 = 50
310/27 = 11.48

So, with apricots, biking only gets you 50 mpg, and walking only gets a paltry 11.5 mpg? Holy cow....
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:37 AM   #8
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you should try alternative fuels instead of snickers bars

a 5lb bag of riceland rice is listed at $3.99
thats .25 cup serving=50 servings per container @160 calories per serving

so it would take 3.875 bags for one gal equivelent, or $15.46 a gallon for rice. I imagine dried beans would be an excellent value as well.


(FYI, at $15.46, that is about 240 mpg equivelant on a bike)
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by skewbe View Post
you should try alternative fuels instead of snickers bars

a 5lb bag of riceland rice is listed at $3.99
thats .25 cup serving=50 servings per container @160 calories per serving

so it would take 3.875 bags for one gal equivelent, or $15.46 a gallon for rice. I imagine dried beans would be an excellent value as well.


(FYI, at $15.46, that is about 240 mpg equivelant on a bike)
How about a direct comparison? Ethanol can power people, bicycles and cars. What is the mpg rating of ethanol - powered humans?

BTW, my engine's shot. Can anybody please find me a replacement liver?
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:09 PM   #10
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Searching for calorie dense foods, it seems that soybean oil (generic) will get
your mpg back up there. A bottle sells for $2.50, 1 T is 120 calories and there are 96 servings per bottle for a total of 11,520 calories. That works
out to:

31000/11520*$2.50= $6.73 per 'gallon' and a factor of $6.73/3 or 2.24

So roughly-
1350/2.2 = 614 bike mpg
310/2.2 = 141 walking mpg

All in all, though, not sure you could actually eat the stuff in those quantities.
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