Nothwithstanding the losses in moving "limbs" with hydraulics, how would a
be in energy efficiency as compared to a wheeled vehicle? Seems like a
less robust walker, coupled with well designed bearings might be more
efficient. Besides, you could walk over a traffic jam.
David A. Smith
Dear DT: *Not* the same amount of food. Riding a bicycle is considered aerobic
exercise, and burns more calories per minute than walking. Though not "20
times more". On a velocity per velocity basis, riding a bicycle is less
Other points well taken.
David A. Smith
Well, Dave, as a engineer and former, serious bicycle rider and distance
runner, I take exception to your statements. On a velocity per velocity basis,
a wheeled rider is FAR, FAR more efficient that a walker/runner. You can ride
nearly forever at a casual 10 mph pace, but few people can even run that fast
at all, unless they are in training, and then only for a relatively short
distance. To maintain a walking pace, a bike rider only has to gently stroke
maybe once every 10 seconds or so.
At faster speeds, the difference grows exponentially. I could ride at 20 mph
for 100 miles, yet I could hit 20 mph while running for maybe 10 seconds before
becoming completely exhausted.
Yes, bicycle riding is aerobic, that's what you want! Aerobic means your body
can supply energy at the same rate it is using it, a continuous process
providing you 'refuel' often enough. But running at the same speed as even very
slow riding is anaerobic excerise, and your body is quickly depleted.
Riding does NOT use more energy per minute than walking. Much of the effiency
of riding comes from the wheels, being able to coast between strokes,
maintaining forward progress with zero energy input. This is simply impossible
while walking/running. Stop moving your legs, you stop, period.
Even going downhill while running is tiring, very punishing. A walker gains
very little from a downhill path, while a rider gains, well, an infinite
amount. As long as it is downhill, he expends zero energy.