Cyclists get 912 miles to the gallon – take that you yuppie hybrid owner
I’ve been reading a lot from folks like Brett (zentriathlon.com) who are really promoting cycling to work a few days each week, leaving a set of clothes and then driving in to pick up those nasty clothes all at one time. Now I have cycled from my place in Scarsdale to Madison and 42nd Street, which is where I work in Manhattan, but have been stymied by the lack of support our building managers give to cyclists. There is no place to shower and their response to a safe place to store my bicycle is to leave it locked up outside on the streets of Manhattan. No one will steal it they say. A friend of mine decided to test this theory with a folding bike called the tikit and she too found that bringing a bicycle into our building – even a folding one – is completely unacceptable behavior. You can see her video here below.

Realize that this goes all the way back to when I started working in corporate America, when we were provided subsidies to carpool or to take public transportation in Los Angeles, but when I told them I’d rather ride my bike or run from the westside to work and back, I was considered inelligible for those same subsidies. Back then I was young and trusting and figured that rules and policies were made by people much smarter than I am and there had to be a lot of thought into why it couldn’t work that way or they would have already figured it out. Now we all know better and Policy without Purpose is almost a mantra in corporate America and even more so in the public sector, hence the term public policy is usually right up there with military intelligence when example of oxymorons are thrown out.
Thinking, however, that a more thoughtful appeal might be met with some degree of constructive discourse, I went searching for a more compelling value proposition. In doing so, I came across the article below, which calculates the miles per gallon of the average cyclist at 912 miles per gallon. Now how can anyone argue with numbers like that? We all know that driving faster burns more fuel and this premise holds true for cyclists as well, but even the fastest Tour riders will burn a staggering 300 miles to the gallon. I think that says it all. Enjoy the article below from How stuff works, reprinted and published without any explicit or implied permission to do so. Enjoy!
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It turns out that “biological engines” — which is what the muscles in your body are — are pretty amazing in terms of efficiency. To find out how efficient, let’s look at how many calories a person burns while riding a bicycle.

If you look at a page like this calorie chart, you will find that a person riding a bicycle at 15 miles per hour (24 km per hour) burns 0.049 calories per pound per minute. So a 175-pound (77-kg) person burns 515 calories in an hour, or about 34 calories per mile (about 21 calories per km).

A gallon of gasoline (about 4 liters) contains about 31,000 calories. If a person could drink gasoline, then a person could ride about 912 miles on a gallon of gas (about 360 km per liter). Considering that a normal car gets about 30 miles per gallon, that’s pretty impressive!

To be fair, keep in mind that a car generally weighs a ton or more, while a bicycle weighs only 30 pounds. Cars also travel a lot faster than 15 mph. But it is still an interesting comparison. Note also that people cannot drink gasoline. However, people can drink vegetable oil, which contains nearly the same number of calories per gallon (if you look at How Fats Work you can see that fat contains long hydrogen/carbon chains just like gasoline does).

The people riding in a race like the Tour de France are riding more like 25 mph. Because air resistance rises very quickly with speed, they are burning about three times more calories — something like 100 calories per mile. In a 100-mile stage of the tour, a racer might burn something like 8,000 to 10,000 calories in one day! So they are getting only about 300 miles per gallon. The only way to replace those calories is to eat a lot of food

Big Brother can be your friend – "He put his wallet into his right pocket."

5BBC Group Meeting at Cunningham Park in Queens

So I’ve arrived at Cunningham Park with the group just about to leave on their 85-mile ride. At about the rubicon of my drive, I decided on a plan of attack. As long as I kept the car moving, the battery wouldn’t die so I’ll continue on to Queens, not stop the car, grab a cue sheet from Dennis our ride leader and then head back up to Westchester to find my wallet and deliver my car to Harstdale Mobil, which is where it should have been fixed the first time. In my imagination I figured that I could turn around and do the ride on my own. By now I’m pretty disturbed, so when I make the left turn into the parking area and the car dies, I realize that my plan isn’t going to work out the way I thought and getting the car jumped is not a viable solution because the car feakn’ died WHILE I WAS DRIVING IT! I’m no auto expert but I’m guessing that this is an alternator problem and I’m a little perturbed that this wasn’t addessed when they had the car for the past 4 days. I try calling Cindy to have her read me both the phone number for AAA and our membership number, but by now Cindy thinks I am the devil incarnate so she’s not even answering her phone. Ben, who in the photo is wearing a NYRR race backpack offers to lend me his AAA card and suggests that we ride and deal with this when I get back. Now maybe that is a viable option as an individual, but I’ve already gotten Cindy up to go hunt through a parking lot for my wallet, so calling her up and telling her, hey I’m just going to ride for six hours and I’ll have you come and get me later in Queens isn’t a viable option, unless I want to be coming home to an empty house. So I do the responsible thing and call AAA from Ben’s card and this is where the technology story really begins.

Adam: Good morning, my name is Adam Krajchir and my truck has broken down and before we go any further I need to let you know that I do not have any identification on me nor do I know my AAA membership number.

ACSC Operator: That’s no problem Mr Kraeycherr we have all of your information right in front of us. You’re calling from 310-991-XXXX and we show that you are a AAA Premier member.

Holy crap, I think to myself. I remember in years past when I’ve locked myself out of my car, I’ve called AAA to let me back in and they wouldn’t come because I didn’t have my AAA Card on my person when I called. I remember vividly trying to persuade them by logically suggesting that if I had access to my car keys or AAA card, which were both inside the car, I wouldn’t need to call them, now would I? After a few similar situations, I simply learned how to pick locks and open car doors with a slimjim – I think this is a prerequisite of any solid youth upbringing in Southern California.

Slimjim

But it wasn’t to be an issue this time, the operator I spoke with was a Southern California operator, which means my own phone was used to route the call to the specific region, even though I dialed a number that was on Ben’s NY-AAA card and then she routed me to a NY operator who took down my information, as my phone began to chirp that it was running out of juice – I usually get about 20 minutes of talk time on a full charge – go figure, it means I saw more with less time.

Voila, a tow truck arrives and The Basher is delicately loaded up onto the flatbed for its trip back home to Hartsdale. Pretty cool.

The Basher on a flatbed

So as blown away I was at how efficient and effective the technology was at AAA, Cindy calls me back and tells me: “Adam, you’re not going to believe what happened at CVS.” She goes on to explain that she looked around the parking lot and then went inside and talked to the manager and the security guard. The security guard promptly went back into the back and came out saying:

Security guard: “He was in here at about 10:00PM last night?”

Cindy: “Yes”

Security guard: “He was wearing a plaid hunters shirt, over a grey t-shirt and blue jeans?”

Cindy: “Yes”

Security guard: “He bought two bottles of Gatorade and a bottle of water?”

Cindy: “Yes”

Security guard: “Well, I watched him pay for the items. He swiped his credit card and then put it back into his wallet and then put his wallet back into his right hand pocket of his pants. He then picked up the bottles without taking a plastic bag and walked out of the store.”

Holy crap! They saw all of that? Cindy asked him if they knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding. The security guard laughed. Big Brother strikes again, but this time he scores one for the good guys. I felt like Will Smith in a Disney version of Enemy of the State. What’s the tag line in that movie “It’s not paranoia if they’re really after you.”

What this told me is that my wallet had to still be somewhere at the house because I never would have gotten to the car, reached into my pocket with my hands full and placed the wallet on top of the roof. And as we later found out, iot was in my office, only it was in a place I never would have thought to look. Apparently, in my thoroughness to make sure I had everything ready for the next day’s ride, I put my wallet down in the bookcase by my Garmin 205 when I had to reach down and charge it back up.

Riding back to Hartsdale in the tow truck, I was inspired by the productive uses of technology that I had experienced today. The perfect storm of personal technology had revealed a great swell of ridable waves of confidence in the stuff that I often take for granted. At the same time, don’t be surprised if I cover my head with a hoodie any time I go into a CVS, just in case I’m back on camera for the wrong reasons.

Mugshot

Sorry Kai. No Osama, but this one was as close as I could get. My name is Cornholio, I need TP for my bunghole. Because after all, It’s not paranoia if they’re really after you. Oh, and by the way, I never did get the cue sheet. Dennis, I’ll leave that to you.

Big Brother can be your friend – The perfect storm

When I think of video surveillance I traditionally think of images of hooded people committing armed robbery or fuzzy images of children being abducted in parking lots.

Fuzzy surveillance

So you could imagine my surprise when what was to be an enjoyable yet hardworking Saturday morning consisting of an 85-mile ride from Queens to Lloyd Neck on Long Island turned into a series of activities that illuminated the positive side of Big Brother surveillance intelligence. But here I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning.

I woke up this morning around 6:00am with great expectations of throwing my cycling clothes on and jumping into my 1991 Ford Explorer that I had just gotten back from the car hospital because she had the equivalent of mono – no energy, the battery kept draining and she simply wasn’t holding a charge. The Basher, as she is described by many, has over 200,000 miles of service so we should expect a few creaky joints and aches, but recently she’s been having more than her fair share. So all of last week, she was a resident in Hartsdale and I was thrilled on Friday when I was able to pick her up, which I did by running hills for five miles until I found my way over to that side of town. When I drove off of the lot, I noticed that the battery indicator was on the low side of normal, but since it was still in normal, I figured it must be ok, clearly the mechanic knew more than I about this sort of thing. So it was this morning that I found myself fifteen minutes before I was supposed to leave hunting around for my wallet, well sort of a wallet, it’s a plastic card holder held together with black athletic tape, in which I keep he necessities – drivers license, metro card, a few dollars in cash and my Metro North bike permit. I looked everywhere for this thing and my fifteen minute cushion disappeared and in no time turned into a 15 minute deficit. Knowing that the leader of the group I’m riding with has the only cue sheet and if I’m late, I have no idea where to go, I grabbed a fifty dollar bill and ran out the door with no wallet, no drivers license and no credit cards. As I begin to drive down to Queens, I begin to reflect back to where I used my wallet last, which I determined was the CVS in White Plains, where I bought Gatorade and water for today’s ride. I knew I paid for the drinks and knew that right before I threw the drinks into the back of the car, I placed at least one of the drinks up on the roof of Cindy’s truck and all of a sudden, that sinking feeling fell across me. Having already looked everywhere I would expect this morning – my office, the desk, my car, Cindy’s car, the driveway, the jeans and plaid shirt i was wearing – I surmised that it was indeed possible that I left my wallet on the hood of Cindy’s truck and it found its way at best to the wet and rainy ground of the parking lot and at worst to a random trash bin after a concerned citizen removed the cash and credit cards.

While this self reflection was taking place, I began to watch the battery meter in my dashboard drop lower and lower and the more I drove, the further it dropped into the red; even I figured out this was not a good thing. I called Cindy up and old her my situation and as I did, I realized that even though i had charged my cell phone all night, there were only two bars remaining. I had a feeling I was headed for the perfect personal technology storm – no battery in my car, no drivers license or credit cards to pay for any service and my cell phone is about to die so I won’t be able to call for assistance.

Now a normal and rational person would have just turned around, but given that I’m supposed to be training for Ironman, I really needed this ride as I’ve just gotten back into my training and I’m going to be spending a week in an Orlando Conference Center, so I probably won’t be getting a productive ride in for quite some time. Cindy jumps out of bed and heads to CVS and I head to Cunningham Park in Queens to meet up with the combined riders from the 5BBC and NYCC, two cycling clubs in New York City.

I’m pretty stressed out as I get off of the highway in Queens and just as I’m making my left turn into Cunningham Park’s parking lot and see the group of cyclists congregating, my steering goes stiff, the brakes get thick and the car dies. I roll to a stop in the entry way of the parking lot blocked by signs announcing that my car has now ceased to work in a blocked entrance reserved for today’s Big Apple Circus.

to be continued

Los Angeles' largest field trip teaches kids about the human body

Body Works Hurdler

Get ready Los Angeles because there may be 2,000 students that have a better idea as to what healthy living is all about after tomorrow morning’s field trip to the California Science Center in Exposition Park.

KJLH radio will be broadcasting live from under the Robert H. Lorsch Pavilion increasing the awareness of the kids access to this event and to the exhibit which provides an inside look into the effects of unhealthy and completely preventable behaviors that result in shorter lives and long-term medical conditions such as Type-2 diabetes, heart disease, depression and other chronic illnesses. Race with Purpose team members complete endurance events while raising funds for the Robert H. Lorsch Foundation and this is yet another example of the commitment of the Lorsch Foundation to the betterment of our children and the amazing impact that can be achieved through innovation, collaboration and a shared vision for a future that is filled with healthy, active and educated children and adults.

Listen to the KJLH Promo here:kjlh_largefieldtrip_bw3la

KJLH Header

Tomorrow morning KJLH radio will be broadcasting live at the Science Center for LA’s Largest Field Trip – an event coordinated to share the BODY WORLDS 3 community tickets. Nearly 2,000 students will be here to see BODY WORLDS 3 and the KJLH on-air radio personalities.

Body World skateboarder The KJLH mobile will be stationed in front of Lorsch Pavilion. The Lorsch Pavilion is the entry gateway into the California Science Center and is passed by thousands of runners during the Los Angeles Marathon.

CSC’s very own Jeff Rudolph will be interviewed on the air by DJ Guy Black at 6:20 a.m. to welcome everyone. There will also be a program for these students in the IMAX Theater, featuring a Galaxy player and the on-air personalities in shifts from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

The promo that has been playing hourly for the last two weeks and here is the announcement on their website http://www.kjlhradio.com/

They have been generating a lot of excitement for BODY WORLDS 3 in their morning drive-time programs, including going through the catalogue and giving details on their favorite parts of the exhibit. If you are an early bird tune in tomorrow!