“Some Calculations on Active Mobility” or “Speaking of Resources…“

I turn more and more into an “active mobile person”; in other words: more and more often, I use my own physical energy in order to get to my destination. Also, I now initiated a new personal mobility program for my life. It is called “Away From the Bike”. Simply because I discovered that it can also be quite nice to walk.

My (not so old) winter bike now has almost 10,000 kilometres showing on its tachometer – and I never really liked it. When I recently discovered that my Utopia dream model “LONDON” is now available for a fantastic price as a special bargain “Classic Line”, I gave in to temptation. And the consumption devil took hold of me; I ordered a very basic “Utopia London” – albeit with a Rohloff gearshift.

328_Klassik_Line_111003You get the rather full program, including the 14-G. Rohloff for a price of 2,359.00 Euros. Considering that we are talking an Utopia London with its beautiful steel-cross-frame, this price is almost sensational. But then, the special price is only valid until the end of January.

Reading the technical details, the weight of the bike strikes me: 16.8 kilograms for a permitted total weight of 180 kilograms, which means 160 kilograms of loading weight.

And then I think that 16.8 kilograms is quite a lot, isn’t it? But then, touring bikes with full equipment usually are in that range.

I continue with my calculations. If one bike weighs 16.8 kilograms, then 10 bikes will weigh 168 kilograms. And ten times ten, which is a hundred bikes, will weigh 1,680 kilograms. And then I remember that a normal medium-size vehicle in the auto-mobile (that is: non-active mobile) sector is about as heavy as a hundred of these beautiful Utopia bikes. And that mostly these vehicles also just carry one person.

Incidentally, a hundred bikes are quite many. In order to get an idea, I think about how I would stow a hundred of these bikes on my now smaller property: 10 bikes on my driveway, 10 next to the garden cottage, ten next to the compost heap, 10 on the chess board, … now it gets a little tight. And I still have fifty to stow. Our guest bedrooms will probably also have to serve.

Just out of fun, I continue with my calculations. If I divide 2,359 Euros by 16.8 kilograms, the bike price per kilogram is 140.42 Euros. Compared with this, the car price per kilogram is actually quite cheap. If you take a price of 13,000 Euros for a medium-size car of 1,680 kilograms, you get 17.86 Euros per kilogram (and if you are talking a Daczia for half the price, just half of this!). Basically, this seems rather a low price to me, considering all the steel, electronics, plastic and rare ores and what not that are part of such a car. Not to mention all those five to ten tons of crude oil (source) you need for the production of an automobile.

Damn – riding a bike is rather expensive, isn’t it? How can anybody be so stupid as to buy a bike?

But I continue with my calculations. Our car with a net weight of 1,680 kilograms can usually load no more than around 500 kilograms. Which means that the carrying capacity price is 60 Euros per kilogram. As opposed to this, a hundred Utopias can carry 16,000 kilograms. That is a price of 14.74 per carried kilogram. Now this looks a lot better.

We could continue doing calculations. But then, I would not wish to bother you with it. After all, it is just a joke.

The only thing that is clear is: some way or other, active mobility seems more reasonable than automobile mobility. Except: hiking is even better.

(Translated by EG)

I took the picture from the website of utopia-velo.de.

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