The Most Efficient Machine in History

Here you can see bicycle historian Iain Boal's calculation of just how efficient the bicycle really is.

  • Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 5y

    Mice are less efficient than helicopters -- whoda thunk?

    I wonder where the Space Shuttle and Saturn V rockets fit on this.
  • Cycle Oxford 5y

    Looks like a map of my back garden... :)
  • Colville-Andersen 5y

    back garden...lol! that's bloody hilarious.
  • Bikecopenhagen.dk 4y

    How is the Y-scale read, I sort of forgot ;-)
  • Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious 4y

    "Calories per gram per kilometer". Fruit flies are tiny but they need lots of energy to move relative to their mass.

    I don't see trains on this graph. Association of American Railroads claims 436 miles per gallon per ton. In metric, 30,000 calories takes 900,000 grams a distance of 700 km. I'll need a cup of coffee before my eyes are open enough to solve for calories per gram per km.
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Uploaded on May 14, 2010
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