Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fuel - Bicycle Gasoline

Bananas are yummy, and full of potassiummy goodness, as my friend Murray would say. But he's a gorilla, and slightly biased. I like bananas, and I live in the state of the Banana Benders, ie, Queensland, but last summer's floods and cyclones wiped out much of the banana crop and as a result, they have been horribly expensive all year, up to $12 a kg... A friend of mine has recently visited London, where she got to eat bananas at a good cheap price, kind of ironic as they don't even grow them there. I remember visiting eastern Germany during the last banana shortage in 2006, and eating lots of even more ironic bananas there. Because, back in the day, bananas where virtually unobtainable there, a symbol of the decadent west. I daresay they are cheaper there now than they are here...

Anyway, bananas are terrific fuel for cycling, it is said a single banana can give you enough energy for another 10km! According to the how stuff works website '...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!

Actually the average banana contains around 172 calories, so, do the maths, how far could you go? At 21Cal per km, that's... well, only 8.19km, but bananas convert energy much more efficiently than do mars bars for example.

As I was doing this weird little illo for illustration friday, I had the Delirious song going through my mind, the one that goes:
 'She don't need no bicycle gasoline,
She just needs her violets.
She don't need no bicycle gasoline,
She just needs her violets.'

Brilliant song, very clever, slightly weird, but I like it.


caela said...

hehhe this is great ... I love the monkey he make me laugh :D

Kathy said...

1) Great job...I love the expressions on both of their faces.

2) I like bananas -- though it would be nice if they didn't have such a short shelf life - and bike-riding, quite a bit.

3) This post was both entertaining and informative! Though I'll probably have nightmares about drinking gasoline now... :)

4) Thanks for your comment on my blog!