Monday, July 12, 2010

Beeronomics: Beer Pints Per Mile

A comment on my post about how to choose airline travel for maximum efficiency directed me to the AirScape Engineers Blog wherein I found this wonderful little chart (more on the specifics of the calculations can be found there):


Mode
kW-h/km
kcal/mile
Miles/gallon
kW-h/mile
beer-pints/mile
Bicycle
0.0361
50
629
0.058
0.23
747
0.2521
350
90
0.407
1.59
Electric Car
0.1550
215
146
0.250
0.98
SUV
1.5128
2098
15
2.440
9.54
Train
0.0820
114
277
0.132
0.52


Now, why "Beer Pints Per Mile" isn't the metric of choice in the field is beyond me - it is brilliant!  Here is how I figure it: distance from my house to the Pilsner Room, Deschutes Portland Pub, Rogue is about 6 miles, or 12 miles round trip.  Thus by riding my bike, which I always try and do, burns about 3 pints.  It is rare that I even make it to three pints unless I am lounging for many hours, so essentially my beer consumption is entirely guilt free!  HUB is only about 3 miles, so a round-trip is only 1.5 pints, but then they serve their beer in crazy 13-point-something ounce glasses so I am good for about two.  It would be interesting to know how walking fares in this comparison.

Anyway, time for a biking-themed shirt that says "powered by pints"!

And, by the way, AirScape is an Ashland (or Medford?) based company that sells house fans to use natural ventilation to cool houses.  Cool.

4 comments:

Mark Parascandola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Parascandola said...

Hey Patrick,

This is great news. I'm riding 200 miles this saturday (no kidding), so I plan to celebrate after by drinking 50 beers.

Cheers,
Mark P

AirScape said...

I had no idea that the connection between beer drinking and bicycling had such resonance.

To answer the nagging question of whether it's worth walking or biking, let's do some more math. My research tells me that people use about 3x more energy per mile for walking (vs. bike), so the number looks like ~.7 pints/mile.

That doesn't look good. We know walking is not cool compared to biking to the pub, but WHY? Well, if you correct for speed, any but the most relaxed cyclist will easily travel 3x faster than the typical walking speed of 3 mph. So, there you have it, adjusted for time, bicycling still allows us to enjoy more beer per transport time.

Patrick Emerson said...

A trip to Portland will reveal the intimate connection between biking and beer in this city. Makes me think of the Hopworks Bar Bike (http://www.metrofiets.com/profiles/hopworks/#photo4088171961) which carries two kegs. It's heavy so lets give it a .5 pint per mile rating and it carries 248 pints so riding that thing ropughly 500 miles will burn off all of the energy you are carrying. Who is up for it?

Mark, good to hear from you old friend, have one (or two, or 26, for me) but same some calories for some solid food (maybe a pretzel or two?).