"As TEBA Chairman, I strongly encourage bicycle companies to improve themselves using the methods pioneered by the A-Team." --Y.M. Yang
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
· On a bicycle you take up little space, burn no gasoline and produce no waste, and A bike can travel 1,600 kilometres (960 miles) on the equivalent energy of a gallon of gas.
· Between 70 and 100 bicycles can be built with the resources required to build one car.
· In a North American urban environment, people living up to 12 kilometers (7.2 miles) from their workplace can commute by bike in less than one hour (some, a lot less!) Also, a roadway can carry about three times as many cyclists as people in cars.
· Per mile, a 12-foot wide bike path costs about 5% as much as a 12-foot wide road to construct. A bike weighs just one one-hundredth what a typical car weighs--27 in comparison to 2700 pounds, and when moving takes up just 3.3% to 5% as much space as a moving car and five percent of the parking space. As a result, the construction and maintenance of bicycle paths and parking places is--commuter mile for commuter mile--vastly less expensive.
· In urban areas, according to the EPA about 40% of the hazardous air pollutants come from mobile sources (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). Elsewhere, 80% has been cited.
· Less than one trip in 100 is by bicycle. If that ratio were raised to one and one half trips per 100, which is less than one bike trip every two weeks for the average person, the US would save more than 462 million gallons of gasoline per year.
· Bicycles use 2% as much energy as cars per passenger-kilometer, and cost less than 3% as much to purchase.
· “In 1969, about half of all students walked or bicycled to school. Today, however, the story is very different. Fewer than 15 percent of all school trips are made by walking or bicycling, one-quarter are made on a school bus, and over half of all children arrive at school in private automobiles.”
·4.3 billion is the estimated annual cost of traffic jams to commuters in 29 major U.S. cities.
· 100 bicycles can be produced for the same energy and resources it takes to build one medium-sized automobile.
· Industrial world cities typically use at least one third of their land for roads and parking lots for vehicles.
‘‘ 'During race, I am going crazy, definitely,’’ he says, smiling in bemused despair. ‘‘I cannot explain why is that, but it is true."’
The craziness is methodical, however, and Robic and his crew know its pattern by heart. Around Day 2 of a typical weeklong race, his speech goes staccato. By Day 3, he is belligerent and sometimes paranoid. His short-term memory vanishes, and he weeps uncontrollably. The last days are marked by hallucinations: bears, wolves and aliens prowl the roadside; asphalt cracks rearrange themselves into coded messages. Occasionally, Robic leaps from his bike to square off with shadowy figures that turn out to be mailboxes. In a 2004 race, he turned to see himself pursued by a howling band of black-bearded men on horseback.
‘‘Mujahedeen, shooting at me,’’ he explains. ‘‘So I ride faster.’’
His wife, a nurse, interjects: ‘‘The first time I went to a race, I was not prepared to see what happens to his mind. We nearly split up.’’