0382 – Bicycle with a Heart

When one compares the energy consumed in moving a certain distance as a function of body weight fot a variety of animals and machines, one finds that an unaided walking man does fairly well (consuming about 0.75 calories per gram per kilometer), but he is not as efficient as a horse, a salmon or a jet transport. With the aid of a bicycle, however, the man’s energy consumption for a given distance is reduced to about a fifth (roughly 0.15 calorie per gram per kilometer). Therefore, apart from increasing his unaided speed by a factor of three of four, the cyclist improves his efficiency rating to number one among moving creatures and machines.

– Stuart S. Wilson

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