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Cycling Can Teach People How to Drive More Efficiently

(updated: Jun 1, 2008)

My wife was watching The Today Show the other day (a program I absolutely loathe and if you put it on I will walk out of the room), and they were talking about "Hypermiling", also known as "Eco Driving". It seems to be the in-thing these days with high gas prices, and probably underscores how far we'll go to keep automobile-land running. There's even a website But what surprised me was just how clueless people are that they don't understand these simple things like not accelerating and braking hard that it has to be explained to them like little children by talking heads.

Talk to any cyclist and they are acutely aware of these things. Things such as:

- The importance of correct tire type, condition and pressure
- The importance of not carrying unnecessary weight
- The effect of wind drag
- The importance of not pedaling when stationary
- The importance of smooth, fluid progress and not accelerating or braking without good reason
- The importance of changing gears for optimum cadence with least effort
- The importance of anticipating traffic flow

A better way to promote more fuel efficient driving is to encourage people to get a bike and ride it around. These things will become apparent when you are the motor instead of 200+hp under the hood doing all the work for you.

Simple really, but shows how fossil fuels disconnect us from underlying physical reality. Yet this escapes most people, and for many of the ones that do realize it, it's too much of a bother. They are still expecting technology to come to the rescue with 50mpg 400hp Yukon's any day now.

See how fast and efficient cyclists can be:

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