Mixed Bag: How I Really Feel About the McBike Bag

Once again, it’s been awhile since my last contribution to Commute by Bike. Loyal readers of this wonderful blog may remember some of my posts from years past, which range from insightful (I hope) to asinine (I suspect). I could not, however, miss an opportunity to write about one of the most important recent developments in bicycle commuting: the McBike bag.

McBike Bag
Source: Wired.com
If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you read articles on news, technology, lifestyle, and/or health-related sites as well, which means that there’s a very good chance that you’ve already read about the McBike bag this week. McDonalds latest innovation, the cardboard container that is designed to fit neatly on your handlebars while safeguarding your burger, fries and soda, has been covered extensively, garnering attention from outlets ranging from Wired to United HealthCare (yes, they filed a post about McDonalds under Health in the News and no, the author isn’t quite sure what an oxymoron is). In case you haven’t familiarized yourself with the McBike bag yet, here’s what you need to know:

  • Designed by Tribal Buenos Aires, the new packaging is, reportedly, intended to satisfy the needs and wants of more image and health-conscious millennials.
  • The McBike bag was offered for one day only, thus far, at restaurants in Copenhagen and Medellin, Colombia.
  • Anyone reading about the McBike bag will instantaneously crave McDonalds fries (this data is based on a sample size of one).

McBike on Bike
Source: outsideonline.com
Now that I’ve recapped what you likely already know, I’ll get to my point. Theres a very good chance that the McBike bag is just another brilliant marketing campaign put forth by McDonalds in order to generate brand buzz. If that’s the case, the fast food giants plan is working wonderfully; I’ve typed McBike bag seven times already in this post, and I’m one of dozens of writers to cover the revolutionary new cardboard box this week. However, if this new product really is McDonald’s way of promoting healthy, sustainable food options for the next generation of consumers, well, that concerns me.Lets do the math, shall we? The McBike bag holds a burger, fries and a drink. One McDouble contains 380 calories, one order of medium fries contains 340 calories, and one medium Coke contains 200 calories, for a grand total of 920 calories. According to Bicycling.com, the average person weighing 150lbs. will burn approximately 408 calories per hour when riding at a pace of 10-12 mph. So, for the health and image-conscious millennials out there, that means that you need to ride for more than two hours to compensate for your trip through the drive-through (er, ride-through). And that’s not even taking into account the meals 33 grams of fat (roughly 50% of the recommended daily consumption), unpleasant levels of sodium, and lack of nutritional value (unless you count potatoes, pickles and corn syrup as vegetables).Hamburglar on BikeOf course, it should be stated that if you’re going to eat McDonalds anyway, riding a bike to pick it up is better than getting in your car, both for your body and for the environment. But, for now, if you want to ride your bike to McDonalds and enjoy a burger, fries and a soda, you’ll have to settle for parking your bike and heading inside, as neither the McBike bag nor bicycle-friendly drive-throughs are available to most consumers (or any consumers at this precise moment).If you’ve enjoyed these little nuggets of information (see what I did there?), you’re in luck. Ill be contributing more regularly to Commute by Bike in the future, and I promise to keep that promise until I don’t.Thanks for reading, and your comments are welcome below.

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