Urban Velo

Reality Does Suck

Good job, Giant.

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  1. john nOctober 13, 2011 at 10:25 am

    That’s just way cool!

    Hard to believe (and hard not to feel guilty about!) all the $$$ I wasted on cars and trucks over the past 30+ years I’ve been driving them.

    I am “car-lite” now…but it’s still just amazing how little I really “need” to get it out and drive it. The bikes do most anything I really need.

    I hope Giant does well with this AD – it’s awesome.

  2. MasonOctober 13, 2011 at 10:33 am

    OK, that did make me laugh out loud.

  3. Antoine RJ WrightOctober 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Bad use of numbers there. Fuel cost for bicyclist is cost of food for rider. Am sure that fueling that engine can be as much as fueling the truck (why not use a compact car).

    I bike and like it, but there are better numbers to use to make the point here than what Giant is “marketing.”

  4. loganOctober 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I like that they did it, but don’t bikes run on the food eaten by the rider? Which costs money? Just sayin.

  5. JohnnyOctober 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Lol, that’s funny. Well done Giant.

  6. Andrew OaklandOctober 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Looks like a response to GM’s ad: http://bikeportland.org/2011/10/11/gm-ad-urges-college-students-to-stop-pedaling-start-driving-60399

    @logan: I was thinking the same thing. I would like to see fuel costs in burritos, which are much tastier than gasoline. I believe it’s 53 mpb.

  7. bradOctober 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    So I’d assume that neither of you eat on days that you do not ride your bicycle?

  8. McwopOctober 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Awesome! I just sold my car 4 weeks ago, and get around via bike, public transit, and occasionally ZipCar. No more crazy car insurance payments, and fuel costs are waaaay down. My stress level has dropped big time, driving stresses me.

  9. McwopOctober 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Logan, I eat the same amount without my car as I did with it.

  10. BluesCatOctober 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Antoine and logan:

    You guys don’t really believe that taking to riding a bike causes your food bill to rise appreciably, do you?

    And you can’t POSSIBLY believe that the extra cost per year is anywhere close to the cost of the yearly gas bill for a Chevy Silverado, can you?

  11. Andrew OaklandOctober 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I eat more, and I’m rail thin. Although I’m sure the caloric expenditure is waaaaaaaay less than that of a car. (My commute is also 17 miles one way.)

  12. Skid MarksOctober 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Love that they are throwing this back in GM’s face

  13. RichOctober 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I do wish Giant put some $$$s up for food cost. Actually, should of neglected the fuel cost all together. Who bike commutes 15k miles a year? Their message would of been a lot stronger if it was accurate. If you want to talk low fuel cost – enter the ebike. 4 cents for 20 miles of sweat free joy riding at road bike racing speeds.

  14. Ghost RiderOctober 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Parody doesn’t NEED to portray accurate numbers — yes, cyclists eat (sometimes more than their sedentary counterparts), but Giant’s response is funny and clever no matter what the actual numbers say or should say.

  15. HenryOctober 13, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I can’t believe there are people complaining about not including food cost on there.

    ARE YOU SERIOUS?! haha.

  16. Joe PeraltaOctober 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Cool. But for fuel, Canadian messengers got a tax deduction for food some years back. My bike runs on beans. Pinto beans are cheap, but espresso beans get pricey. The supermarket keeps giving me discounts on gasoline…

  17. Mike MurphyOctober 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Lots of reinforcement here for the depiction of cyclists as defensive and humorless when their smugness is challenged. WhoTF cares whether you’re “car lite?” There’s just no need to go apoplectic every time someone challenges the Gospel of Cycling. Relax people… riding your bike is supposed to make you happy.

  18. TerryOctober 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm


    Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs.

  19. Bill OOctober 14, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Remember . . .

    The US National Academy of Sciences has determined that a gallon of gasoline is WAAAAAY underpriced in terms of actual cost to society (oil company, highway, tax, military? subsidies, health care costs, etc.). And, a bike is FAR more efficient in converting BTUs into motion. And, food is a renewable energy source!

    As for commuting 12 or 15k miles a year to a job . . . who chose the job? And who chose the residence? Perhaps the ‘choice’ of a job is limited these days, but the residence?

    I have a friend who has a small, but lovely, house in the country, a condo one (driving) hour away in an urban area, and a job one hour away from each. I won’t listen to him complain. Those are the choices he made . . .

  20. willOctober 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    the marginal increase to food costs due to cycling is easily offset by the savings in gym memberships, often used by car people to burn the fuel they consume anyway. in many cases, they drive their cars a few miles to run on a treadmill for same few miles.

  21. Antoine RJ WrightOctober 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    @BlueCat (and others) – the cost of food to fuel the body has to be compared to the cost of gas to fuel the auto; it makes the comparison valid and further *shoud* point towards why bicycling is a better value. Ideally, the [smart] reader also recognizes that the cost of ‘food+gas’ is more than the cost of ‘food.’

    Personally speaking, I bike and I drive. I usually drive in 50-200mil stints. I bike in 10-40mi stints. I drive a Civic. The cost for food and fuel is actually pretty close in this case. Looking at such a use case, and the advertised statistics, I called into question its validity. That’s not wrong on my part, but should be an argument that all bicyclists (whether they also drive or not) have good clarity of data on.

  22. Even Motor Trend Hates the GM "College Discount" Ad | Bike CommutersOctober 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    [...] to the ad comes from Giant Bicycles. As we posted over on our Facebook page, the good people of Urban Velo reported on Giant’s parodical response. Run over and take a look. AKPC_IDS += [...]

  23. laraOctober 15, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Comparing food costs to gas costs would only work if there were a nationwide epidemic of people filling their cars with way more gas than they need and then having to pay for membership at an expensive garage where they race the engine without going anywhere to burn off all the excess gas.

    Back in the real world, biking offers the extra benefit of helping people keep their weight down, thus defraying both gym and medical costs in addition to saving on gas.

  24. Matt WatersOctober 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Spin it any way you want. The real “Reality Sucks” part about this obvious marketing blunder is the fact it became the idea for an advertisement in the first place. Not to mention one that was targeted to college students. I though we had moved further along than that.

    The up-side of course is all of the negative comments caused GM to yank the ad. I suppose cycling as “real transportation” has just moved a little closer into main stream thinking. So I guess we have moved.

  25. T.S.October 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Critical mass should change to Critical Car Mass… to prove how much driving sucks. critical mass with bikes just piss people off. they are fun for cyclists, but dont do anything but further polarize the situation. if cyclists all drove their cars (or rented or borrowed for non owners) through downtown areas in mass protest instead….. people might get that cars are the real problem…..(idea needs some tweaking and fine tuning, but critical mass as a bike event is stupid and counter productive…)

  26. Doug HOctober 19, 2011 at 9:09 am

    as far as cost of fuel…. I figure I get about 9 miles a pint!

  27. dothebartOctober 27, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Cycling holidays on Mallorca,
    ~120 km per day,
    Food Consumed:
    Breakfast: 4 Gems loaded with lots of sweet stuff; Coffee, juice.
    Inbetween: Banana, some dry apricots, lots of whater.
    One big plate loaded with Salad as much as doesn’t fall down
    Two big plates loaded with all kinds of stuff from the Delitious Buffet
    One big Chunk of dessert.
    Two beers.

    If I’d eat that much on my usual schedule (around 30 km per day) I’d get into serious troubles.

    but HELL FUCKING YEA! I enjoyed every bite!

    When did you feel good last time standing at the gas station watching the numbers rise and smell the gas and other car smells?

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