The wind, the power, the bicycle

Overheard yesterday on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation”:

“…wind generated electricity is coming online at about half of the cost of nuclear.”

That statement by Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, was in a segment called “Can Technology Solve Nuclear’s Problems?

It caught my attention because I have a thing, you might say, for wind turbines.

There is something oddly soothing and reassuring about fields of stately towers holding giant blades aloft to turn gracefully against the blue sky.

Modern wind energy plant in rural scenery.
Image via Wikipedia

They have their detractors, of course, but the very sight of these elegant, otherworldly machines spread across the landscape can so mesmerize me that I could sit and watch them for hours.

As a cyclist, maybe I have learned to appreciate the wind more than I once did. If you’ve ridden a bicycle much outside the shelter of a tree-lined trail or your own neighborhood, you know exactly what I mean.

If you haven’t, give this a try sometime:

Put on your helmet, get on your bicycle and find the open countryside when the wind is blowing 15 to 20 miles per hour. Pedal directly into that for a mile or two, or five or 10.

Now, turn around and ride back.


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1 Response to “The wind, the power, the bicycle”

  1. 1 Architectural Technologist – Windmills read the wind Trackback on March 8, 2010 at 3:15 am
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