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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Re: Urban automobile cost per mile

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  • Jason Davies
    ... sorry, I don t fancy eating cheap butter in large quantities. The simple fact is that if I cycle into London (11 miles) rather than get the train, I have
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 28 12:32 PM
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      >In any case the calories per se cost virtually nothing: 100 gramms of
      >cheep oil or butter (=900 calories) may keep you biking for at least
      >1-2 hours (you can count better than me the traveled distance during
      >this time). What you pay for when you buy food, is more the taste and
      >the eating enjoyment than the calories that contains. The possibility
      >to extend this enjoyment may represent more a positive value than a
      >negative cost.

      sorry, I don't fancy eating cheap butter in large quantities. The simple
      fact is that if I cycle into London (11 miles) rather than get the train, I
      have to pay more for food. Whichever way you look at it, that's part of the
      cost that should be considered. I am talking about simple cash outlays that
      have to be budgeted for. I don't really see any way round it. You're
      talking about whether it is worth it, which is a completely different
      conversation.
    • ktsourl <ktsourl@mailbox.gr>
      ... You don t have to, you just fancy ... Most probably it is a completely different conversation. The meaning of the word cost has many complications as any
      Message 2 of 23 , Mar 2, 2003
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        >sorry, I don't fancy eating cheap butter in large quantities.
        >The simple fact is that if I cycle into London (11 miles)
        >rather than get the train, I have to pay more for food.

        You don't have to, you just fancy

        >Whichever way you look at it, that's part of the cost that
        >should be considered. I am talking about simple cash outlays
        >that have to be budgeted for. I don't really see any way
        >round it. You're talking about whether it is worth it, which
        >is a completely different conversation.

        Most probably it is a completely different conversation. The meaning
        of the word "cost" has many complications as any economist (or even
        accountant) could assure. Anyway, you may perhaps fancy better your
        tasty extra food, being conscious that most people would be willing
        to pay for having the opportunity to enjoy (without any obesity or
        healthy risk) this extra food you enjoy thanks to biking.
      • Will <v_stewart@earthlink.net>
        ... quite ... I see at least 3 aspects to this; - Most people in the US eat too much anyway, so if they started bicycling, they would likely moderate their
        Message 3 of 23 , Mar 4, 2003
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          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Jason Davies <jason@o...> wrote:

          >
          > I was talking about how much it costs to get
          > around by bike: having to eat extra is part of that cost, and I *do* eat
          > more, because I go through periods of not cycling much, then cycling
          quite
          > a lot, and the amount I eat varies accordingly.

          I see at least 3 aspects to this;

          - Most people in the US eat too much anyway, so if they started
          bicycling, they would likely moderate their appetite and eat less.

          - If they did so, they could save money by not having a gym expense
          that they likely do not use anyway.

          - The cost of an extra side at a meal is insignificant to the
          $0.36/mile cost of operating the automobile.

          The whole point is; What it the big picture?

          Will Stewart
        • Mark Christiansen
          In addition to that, there are potential health cost reductions from being in better physical condition. Mark The depth and strength of a human character are
          Message 4 of 23 , Mar 4, 2003
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            In addition to that, there are potential health cost reductions from being in better physical condition.

            Mark

            The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.
            -- Leonardo da Vinci

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Will <v_stewart@...>
            To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 2:48 AM
            Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Urban automobile cost per mile


            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Jason Davies <jason@o...> wrote:

            >
            > I was talking about how much it costs to get
            > around by bike: having to eat extra is part of that cost, and I *do* eat
            > more, because I go through periods of not cycling much, then cycling
            quite
            > a lot, and the amount I eat varies accordingly.

            I see at least 3 aspects to this;

            - Most people in the US eat too much anyway, so if they started
            bicycling, they would likely moderate their appetite and eat less.

            - If they did so, they could save money by not having a gym expense
            that they likely do not use anyway.

            - The cost of an extra side at a meal is insignificant to the
            $0.36/mile cost of operating the automobile.

            The whole point is; What it the big picture?

            Will Stewart


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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Wes Ballew
            The discussion originated by saying that the cost of maintenance of a bicycle is comparable to the cost of maintence of a car. I m assuming you are riding a
            Message 5 of 23 , Mar 4, 2003
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              The discussion originated by saying that the cost of maintenance of a bicycle is comparable to the cost of maintence of a car. I'm assuming you are riding a high end bicycle, and have a car that breaks down relatively infrequently. An expensive bicycle with high end components is not necessary. For instance, I commuted more than 1000 miles over the course of several years on a three speed bicycle that cost $5. I spent roughly $40 in maintenance over those years on that bike. Although the buy-cycling community would like all cyclists to think they have to have high end equipment for a simple commute (or worse a ride on a circular path in an urban park) it isn't true.

              On the other hand, because I can't afford a newer car, I spent several thousand dollars on rapairs and maintenance of the car during that same time. Hardly comparable expenses.

              >>> jason@... 02/28/03 02:32PM >>>
              >In any case the calories per se cost virtually nothing: 100 gramms of
              >cheep oil or butter (=900 calories) may keep you biking for at least
              >1-2 hours (you can count better than me the traveled distance during
              >this time). What you pay for when you buy food, is more the taste and
              >the eating enjoyment than the calories that contains. The possibility
              >to extend this enjoyment may represent more a positive value than a
              >negative cost.

              sorry, I don't fancy eating cheap butter in large quantities. The simple
              fact is that if I cycle into London (11 miles) rather than get the train, I
              have to pay more for food. Whichever way you look at it, that's part of the
              cost that should be considered. I am talking about simple cash outlays that
              have to be budgeted for. I don't really see any way round it. You're
              talking about whether it is worth it, which is a completely different
              conversation.

              To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
              To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
              Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/

              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • Jason Davies
              ... no it didn t, not exactly. It began when I said that riding a bicycle in London was not far off the calculated cost of driving in the US (I noted that it
              Message 6 of 23 , Mar 4, 2003
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                >The discussion originated by saying that the cost of maintenance of a
                >bicycle is comparable to the cost of maintence of a car.


                no it didn't, not exactly. It began when I said that riding a bicycle in
                London was not far off the calculated cost of driving in the US (I noted
                that it would be more here). Since then it has completely baffled me.,
                mainly because (I hate to say it) it has been repeatedly treated as if it
                was a US-relevant discussion rather than a cross-cultural discussion.

                If you want to ride a three-speed 11 miles each way in London, up the hills
                and across the moon-craters, then be my guest, but I would rather walk.
                Those US cities that I hae visited (NY, Denver, Santa Fe, Troy, Schenectady
                (apologies if I have misspelled) are utterly different from London. Your
                worst road surface is equal to our best, and there's precious little of
                that. My bikes cost between £500 and £600: not really top range. I have
                done the journey - once - on a three speed and it took me an hour and a
                half instead of an hour. No thanks:-)

                In the UK, the obesity issue and the gym issue are both virtually
                non-existent. We have a hard time getting employers etc to acknowledge that
                it costs *anything* to cycle (expenses are typically allowed for cars and
                trains, rarely for bikes). It is a bit depressing to find that even
                pro-cycling people also think it is negligable!
                --
                "Always get a second opinion. Don't you think?"
              • Jason Davies
                ... see? US-centred, again:-) -- Car makers are putting so much mobile technology into their cars, why not just insert a SIM card and turn the car into a
                Message 7 of 23 , Mar 4, 2003
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                  >In addition to that, there are potential health cost reductions from
                  >being in better physical condition.


                  see? US-centred, again:-)
                  --
                  "Car makers are putting so much mobile technology into their cars, why not just insert a SIM card and turn the car into a mobile itself?" (Guardian 27.6.02)

                  "The [add stupid car name of choice]: the future has arrived."

                  All you need now is an ice-cream cone stuck on your forehead, a couple of sink plungers stuck in those *essential* 'roo-bars, and you too can be a Dalek.
                • Jason Davies
                  ... oh, except that the only time I have cost the NHS anything since I was 11 is when I have been knocked off my bike:-) seriously though, while I realise all
                  Message 8 of 23 , Mar 4, 2003
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                    >In addition to that, there are potential health cost reductions from
                    >being in better physical condition.


                    oh, except that the only time I have cost the NHS anything since I was 11
                    is when I have been knocked off my bike:-)

                    seriously though, while I realise all these considerations are part of
                    whether it is *worth* cycling, they have no bearing on the cold
                    calculations. It does cost to ride a bike in reasonable condition and an
                    amount that a small budget definitely notices. You can't cook teh books by
                    saying that you will feel better for it. There are health benefits but
                    there are financial costs. I can't tell my bank manager to give me an
                    overdraft because I am fitter than he is, can I?

                    This conversation is very bemusing...I shall desist from it from now on...
                    --
                    Let me see if I have this right...a President elected in a questionable election and a Prime Minister faced with the biggest demonstration in British history are going, without the support of the UN, to invade Iraq and make the government there more, er, *accountable.*? Did I miss something?
                  • Mark Christiansen
                    And that s a bad thing in this discussion? :) From what I ve observed, the US is the biggest contributor to the car problem and thus US comments are important
                    Message 9 of 23 , Mar 4, 2003
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                      And that's a bad thing in this discussion? :) From what I've observed, the US is the biggest contributor to the car problem and thus US comments are important in this discussion.

                      Health care cost is a factor in the financial picture for US citizens. Of course, if I am healthier, then I can use my time off to vacation instead of mope around the house with the flu, so I may spend more money in the end. :)

                      The cost picture is complicated. Any one of us could type pages of cost considerations for somebody trying to decide if it is financially a good idea to ride a bike more or to abandon the automobile entirely. Carefully chosen considerations will show that a car is really the best financial choice and other carefully chosen considerations will show that a car is not the best financial choice.

                      Mark

                      Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.
                      -- John Lennon

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Jason Davies
                      To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 9:07 AM
                      Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Urban automobile cost per mile


                      >In addition to that, there are potential health cost reductions from
                      >being in better physical condition.


                      see? US-centred, again:-)


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Jason Davies
                      ... yes, true, but my experience on mailing lists of all kinds is that topics rapidly become irrelevant to anyone else but the US; and it is frustrating to be
                      Message 10 of 23 , Mar 4, 2003
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                        >And that's a bad thing in this discussion? :) From what I've
                        >observed, the US is the biggest contributor to the car problem and
                        >thus US comments are important in this discussion.


                        yes, true, but my experience on mailing lists of all kinds is that topics
                        rapidly become irrelevant to anyone else but the US; and it is frustrating
                        to be told firstly that my calculations are wrong, secondly that my
                        calculations are flawed, thirdly that I am not taking into account various
                        other factors, fourthly to be told that there are factors I have missed
                        (which I didn't , because they are irrelevant in my explicitly UK-based
                        comment) and fifthly that I have missed some US-specific factors!

                        by all means expand on what I said but I got the feeling that I had somehow
                        done it 'wrong' and that the original small snippet of information was in
                        danger of drowning..
                        --

                        Too late to die young...
                      • Andras Toth
                        Fascinating discussion indeed... to which I would like to add an even more international dimension. Being Hungarian, I have cycled on a day-to-day basis in
                        Message 11 of 23 , Mar 6, 2003
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                          Fascinating discussion indeed... to which I would like to add an even
                          more international dimension.


                          Being Hungarian, I have cycled on a day-to-day basis in France,
                          Belgium and Hungary, and I have been in touch with bicycle advocacy
                          groups everywhere. They all use the health argument.


                          Obesity is NOT a US-only problem. It is particularly present in
                          Hungary where we traditionally eat too much and too fat.* And I bet
                          health experts in the UK would not deny its presence either. It is
                          simply a disease related to the nature of western consumerist culture.


                          I understand Jason is talking about his own particular case and he
                          never meant to speak for the average. However I think there could be a
                          point in making cost calculations for the average cyclist and food
                          consumer in each country with the help of available national
                          statitics, and use that as a reference. What we here could come up
                          with is a common method of calculation. Any suggestions?




                          Andras Toth


                          Budapest




                          * Laughing, eh? Not very polite of you! We call ourselves "magyar", we
                          did not invent the starving English name. One more example of the
                          built-in bias in the English language !
                        • Jason Davies
                          ... It is going to be very approximate. A bike can cost anything from £50 second hand to £3,000. The London Cycling Campaign might have something they have
                          Message 12 of 23 , Mar 6, 2003
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                            >However I think there could be a
                            >point in making cost calculations for the average cyclist and food
                            >consumer in each country with the help of available national
                            >statitics, and use that as a reference. What we here could come up
                            >with is a common method of calculation. Any suggestions?
                            >


                            It is going to be very approximate. A bike can cost anything from £50
                            second hand to £3,000. The London Cycling Campaign might have something
                            they have come up with for London. As I said, London is particularly tough
                            on wheels (to be honest, it depends on where you live).

                            various companies have (finally) started costing cycling as an expense. I
                            don't have any figures but I have seen mention of them; obviously they must
                            be working with something. But of course, car expenses are traditionally
                            overpaid...:-) I wonder if they did the same thing with bikes...
                            --
                            What follows is a real-life A level exam entry...

                            ...Agamemnon has little respect for nobbless oblidged in this passage.
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