Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dutch Citizens Pedal About Everywhere

The Dutch bicycled an average of 1.5 miles a day for every man woman or child in the country last year. Bicycling is taken seriously there - and its not all pleasure-riding either:

  • Since 2002 Dutch citizens have been entitled a tax deduction of up to $950 for the purchase of a two-wheeler used to commute to work.
  • There has been rise in the popularity of "bakfiets" - a hybrid between a wheelbarrow and a bicycle capable of hauling loads up to 175 pounds. [In this country, bakfiets have begun popping up in trendy cities like Vancouver, home of Rain City Bikes, and Portland, Oregon.][Update, 11:47 p.m. - I'm now informed that one can find/purchase Dutch bicycles and bakfiets in St. Augustine.]
Now for some simple calculations:
  • The U.S. population presently stands at just over 302,300,000. If every person in the U.S. bicycled 1.5 miles a day we'd have ridden over 453 million miles in a year.
  • 453 million miles translates to about 22,672,500 gallons of gasoline (20 mpg).
  • 22,672,500 gallons of gasoline produces about 453 million pounds of carbon dioxide when burned (the apparent paradox is explained here).
Summary: If every person in the U.S. bicycled 1.5 miles a day to work, shop, dine out, or visit friends, this country would conserve roughly 22,672,500 gallons of gasoline, and would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 453 million pounds, over the course of a year.


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1 comment:

markstos said...

Since you are in Florida, your readers should know that there is Dutch bikes dealer in Florida,

see Dutch Bikes.us.

Mark Stosberg