Short version: so I’m reading “How to Lose Weight While Cycling | Biking Fitness Plans and Advice | OutsideOnline.com” and I see someone’s done this math for me: One study found that the average bicycle commuter loses 13 pounds in the first year without overhauling their diet or doing other exercise.
Dayam. Long story shortish: I bought a big ol’ truck for work projects around the house (turns out, ferrying 4 10-foot logs at a time for 120 mile round trips is not more efficient than simply using a truck once). It’s a gas guzzler, so since the faithful Geo is nigh-dead—a constantly leaking rear tire, shot brakes, shot suspension (including struts and shocks), and a whole bunch of little nagging complaints including 3/4 of the door handles completely broken off—it has become our “daily” driver.
But since most daily driving is actually my scant 3-mile commute to work, the quarter-mile to the grocery store, and lassitude-fueled trips to seek out convenience food, it’s not an issue at all that we simply switch to cycling for the daily short trips. Miles per gallon = infinity.
Longer trips (like downtown and anywhere up to about 40 minutes away) on nice days are on the motorcycle (50 mpg), and if it’s really bad or really far, then we’ll think about the truck. Extra-far is the VW. Both get around 12 mpg.
Egads, I have too many vehicles. Happily, half of them are bikes.
And so, my point. It not only pays money for me to bike around, it pays in pounds. If the average commuter (and who knows how far they go) loses 13 lbs a year with no other changes, that’s 1 pound a month, for free, that I could chalk up. Doing that math, it’s about 125 free calories per day (assuming a bike commute every workday). That’s like half a candy bar. Knowing that my own commute clocks in at 217 cal per roundtrip, I can get a whole candy bar, or maybe a latte!
I’d cycle to work daily if my reward was a latte. 🙂