I wanted to compare how much energy would have been used if I had been driving my car everywhere instead of biking.
I used the following calculation to find how many gallons are used in each commute:
(33 mpg) (gallons used) = distance
For example on the chart, I would have used 0.53 gallons of gas on a day I commute 17.6 miles. There are 36.6 kWh in each gallon of gas, so this translates to 19.398 kWh saved on that particular day.
In total, I have 'saved' 2.325 gallons of gas and 85.095 kWh this week bicycling instead of driving.
HOWEVER, I AM using some energy to get around with my bike. It is about 500 calories worth of energy to bike 12 miles (typical distance biking). I converted my kWh per day amounts to calories to see how many calories you would need to run a car going the same distance:
1 kWh = 3,600,000 J
There are 4.18 J per calorie so,
1 kWh= 861,000 calories
In a day I commute 12 miles I use 13.176 kWh:
13.176 kWh x 861,000 calories/kWh = 11,344,536 calories that my car uses in a typical day of commuting, versus 500 on my bike. So I am using 0.000044% of the energy my car uses by biking my commute (and I have pretty good gas mileage -33 mpg). Whoa.
To make an even more ridiculous comparison, I calculated how many 'mpg' my bike gets from the energy I have to consume in calories to move myself:
1 gallon of gas = 132 MJ
4.18 J in one calorie (4.18 J x 500 calories = 2090 J)
2090 J/132,000,000 J = 0.00001583 gallons in 12 miles of biking
(mpg) (0.0000158 gallons used) = 12 miles
My bike gets 759,493.67 MPG. Yeah, thats right, try to manufacture THAT Toyota.