Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Metro Wins: Tales of Transport Time in Montreal

I've heard it said that the quickest way around a city for distances under five kilometers is by bike. I don’t know, and I don’t think I’m ever going to find out because for me riding a bicycle is like diving: something I could do if someone’s life depended on it, but which I’m not going to volunteer for.

Walking and taking public transportation is another matter though, and yesterday I thought I’d see how long it would take to walk from my house in Outremont to the Westmount Library on the other side of Mount Royal.

Mapquest says the distance is 6.48 kilometers or 4.03 miles and should take 13 minutes in a car. I probably travelled slightly less far since I was cutting through park land for a good part of the way, but I did have to climb to the top of the mountain and then go down the other side. Time elapsed: about an hour and a quarter.

Then on the way home I decided to take the Metro around to a camera store where I had some photos waiting. According to Mapquest that’s 15.4 kilometers or 9.6 miles, and should take 17 minutes in a car (the route suggested would take you up on two expressways, however, and I know that frequently heavy traffic would make the time much longer.) On this one, the Metro was actually faster than the time Mapquest calculated for a car—about 15 minutes.

This morning my walk was nothing major, just one of the circuits I often use to start my day with a little exercise while thinking about writing projects. As I enjoyed the cool morning in greener parts of the city, it occured to me that my experience yesterday is another reason why the Toronto City Council should get its act together to save public services in that city.

When a couple of tax increases were turned down last month, the council there started talking about cutting service on one subway line completely. What a way to not make a city liveable. This is a file to watch, for certain.


Jean Asselin said...

On average about 15 km/hour assuming stopping at lights and such.

Individual spirnts on a bike would quickly be 25 km/hour.

200 to 300 calories (830 joules to...) average cycle burn rate.

Tires need to be pumped hard for less resistance (about 95 pounds per square inch, 655 kilopascals), and you should know your gearing pattern.
Buying a bike from a shop without selecting individual gear ratios will lead to a mixed bag.
Front gear x back gear x circumference of wheel. As these are 'ratios' they are log plotted on a scale (Excel spreadsheet can do it) to determine the "real" next gear which might be one over and down, rather than the 'next' gear.

One cycles at a constant clip of 60 to 75 pedal revolutions per minute and adjusts the gears to the slope of the hill.

Thus you become one with the bike and it is physically easier to pedal.
Don't forget helmet, gloves (to protect your palm and finger from : vibration of the handlebars, gravel embedding in the flesh if you fall off, warmth for the control fingers.) And lights, reflective vest or bike, fenders and a carrier and saddlebags on the frame. Lock too.

So your Outremont to Westmount treck would take less than 30 minutes, much faster than walking, and not much over a car which has to be slowly parked before the key is shut off.

The camera shop distance implies about an hour.

On Radio 2, I see that the depute for Mercier, Daniel Turp is making La Presse for the SRC Espace musicale, and has a full plainte on his website. http://www.danielturp.org/

He also talks about the Route verte, the cross-Quebec bike route.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Yes, I saw Daniel Turp's intervention, and I'll probably talk about it in a later post.

But what great info about how efficient bike-riding is? My reluctance to ride one has much to do with being hit by one as a small child as well as taking a great pleasure in walking. I understand the attraction of bikes as a means of getting arond.