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Old 02-08-2008, 02:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Cost of Gas VS Cost of Food

So I checked out my current Geo costs since joining Ecomodder and it looks like my car costs me about $10 per day with an average of 80 kilometres driven per day.

My used bike is already turning out pretty cheap as I've only spent $69 on it for the past week and I predict it will stay under $100 for a fair bit of time.

But here's the dilemma:

Today was the first day I took my bike out for a ride with no designation in mind. Just a leisurely cruise in sunny, -9*C weather. I travelled about 10 kilometres 'round trip and noticed I developed a ferocious appetite. I stopped at a toasted submarine location and spent $7 for a 6" sub, chili and lemonade. 2 hours later I ate another large meal back at my university dormitory for supper.

So it got me thinking: is it more cost effective per distance travelled to take a car (since apparently 80 kilometres a day costs $10 in the Geo) compared to a bicycle? I totally neglected to take food and drink into account for 'fueling' a bike!

What are your thoughts?

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Old 02-08-2008, 03:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd only count food above-and-beyond that which you normally eat. Natrually, if you're prone to eating more expensive food (ie-dining out) then it'll cost you more.

When I was biking 15-45 miles per day I made sure to eat at least one huge meal of cheap carbs like pasta, rice, etc.

Seems I'd still be unable to sleep at night because my stomach was growling. That's where the PBJ came in.

I believe that Ken Keifer had (has) an article about the food thing too...
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup, depends on the cost of the extra food you eat.
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey, AndrewJ -

Pasta is a great choice! And here I always thought that kilojoule / cost was always the fatty, high calorie stuff (hence why most everyone in residence buys the $2 pizza, not the $2.50 salad).
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you are only really going to know if you keep track of it for at least a week, a month is going to be even more acurite, keep track of money spent on days you bike, and days you don't bike, and I would say another chart for the day after you bike.
I have heard of bike messngers who were able to convice the IRS that food should be a buisness expence.
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I DEFINITELY eat more biking, sometimes. As said, ken Kifer has an article about it where he describes his appetite and weight gain throughout stages of getting in shape. You hit a point where you consume more than you need and eventually return to a stable appetite.
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Haha, when I used to ride 20-30 miles per day my appetite was crazy big. I used to have to eat 5 good sized meals per day just so I wouldn't feel hungry. It's easier to eat inexpensively, though, then it is to buy gas inexpensively these days. As long as you don't eat out a whole lot and do most of the cooking yourself you can survive on $10/day easily. Right now I try to eat 5 times per day (supposed to be better for you or something) and I probably spend about $50 every week on food at the grocery store, so if I just ate that food and didn't eat out, that's less then $10 per day right there.
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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a friend used to bike alot, and figured for cross country rides he would spend $20 a day on food, buying food that you can either eat cold or cook on a camp stove, this included a jar of peanut butter per day, at home it comes down to about $3 per day for food, plus what we grow, so $5-7 per day if we bought everything and cooked it.
To give a base leavle, poverty line food budget appears to be $21 per week...
so it can really varry alot.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I figured that out once and the car was cheaper. When you're putting a lot of miles on the bike it can be expensive not only to eat but also in parts. Tires, chains, cogs, tubes etc. don't forget the extra laundry and showers if you are in the warm climate. So if you're only doing it for financial reasons it might not be cheaper.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Depends on distance... A 400 mile trip will take a lot of time, food, etc.

While the 80km average per day equates to $10 per day.... But what are you saving (other than money) VIA bike? Consider current and future health - I know that's hard as it's not exactly tangible... It takes me, at a mostly recreational pace, 20 minutes to go 5 miles... 20 minutes a day of physical activity is the general consensus for getting a significant drop in cardiac risk (around 33% for women IIRC). 60 minutes being best

So lets say that - despite your car usage, you always do at least 20 minutes of bike riding but transportation bike riding can substitute. If 20min = 5 miles... That's 35 miles per week. That means, 35 miles (specifically 5 miles per day) of biking food fuel is already covered to maintain health every week.

Just something to consider

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