Who drives at a constant 20MPH? around here, its 0-50-0 wait for two minutes
idling- 50-0 wait for two minutes.... Same thing with the 55 freeway during
rush hour. it will vary from 0 to 80 back to 0 again. If you leave any kind
of cushion, even just one carlength, so you can kind of just coast when the
car stops, then goes again to smooth out your speed. Someone will cut you
off and there goes your cushion. There are just too many cars. Get rid of
about 15% of the cars on the freeway (ether by carpool, mass transit, or
telecommuting) and the traffic would be a lot better. Get the traffic to
move at a steady pace, and everyone's fuel economy will improve.
Fewer cars on the road PLUS the improved economy of the cars on the road
equates to less fuel burned, less money spent on fuel, and less smog.
Hmm, I wonder.. do you think its a "too many cars" thing? or a "too many
stupid drivers" thing? Here is SoCal its legal for motorcycles to split
traffic. So when traffic gets bad, I split the lanes on my motorcycle. I
will be splitting along, then all the sudden, I will pass a car in the
middle lane that is doing 45 MPH and everyone is trying to get around them..
after I pass that one "lead slow car" its smooth sailing at 85+. They don't
even realize they have two miles of cars backed up behind them.
As for on the street with traffic lights. They are getting smarter, but they
are still pretty darn dumb. I have spent a countless collective hours
waiting at a vacant traffic signal, waiting for the light to turn green for
me. I have sat there for as long as ten minutes before, yeah TEN minutes.
without a single car go though the green. I also love it when one light
turns green, and you see the next light, about 100 yards up just turn yellow
for you. then after coming to a full stop, it turns green, and you see the
next light 100 yards up turn yellow and you roll up and stop just in time to
I recall a late evening/early morning return from a party
stopping for a light out on the edges of College Station, TX.
Waited for a few minutes while giving the gal I was with an
earful about how humans should not be subjected to the mindless
idiocy of machines. Absolutely no one around.
Finally, the woman said "Why don't you just go through then!"
So I did, and encountered the cop sitting in the dark up ahead
waiting for people dumber than stoplights! Got a ticket for
running a red light, which I've always felt was really unwarranted.
I had actually stopped for it for a period before passing through.
Always felt it should have been a warning, but considering I
might have flunked a breathalyser at the time, I suppose I
made out as well as could be expected.
That is especially frustrating on the motorcycle since most the time I dont
have enough steel to trip the lights... I will see the "smart" lights cycle
though a few times, skipping me since it doesnt see anyone in that lane.
Yeah, I bicycle commute, so the problem can be even more
They say you can try leaning the bike over a bit to help
the light recognize you're there. More detectable magnetic
field? No, matter, never seems to work.
And not effective if the bicycle is aluminum, or on a motorcycle
that you can only lean over so far. Maybe a motorcycle lying
on its side might trip the light. Probably best not to try!
I have tried this with mixed results. Not enough data to tell if it's me or
just some coincidence. IOW, it seems to work sometimes and not other times,
all at the same street/light.
It's a bother no matter what. ;-)
Usually, you can see where they have cut the ground to put the loops in.
Passing right over the middle does nothing. I try to hit just inside the
side of the loop at a reasonable speed. that seems to trip most of them..
However. I think the signal polls the loops. so if I pull up on a yellow, I
know I trip the signal, but by the time its cycled though the other
directions, its almost like it forgot I was there... I just roll the bike
back a little and then move forward real quick and it trips it again and it
turns green. There are some though, where a 4" think steel plate wont trip
As for bicycles, I have the same problem. My old Canondale is all Aluminum,
and my new Litespeed is all Ti. My friend has a Carbon Colnago C40, and
seems to be able to trip them some how. This summer, I plan on cycle
commuting, save gas, AND get some miles in for the race in October.
Correct but different cars are optimized for different things. A Hybrid is
optomized for mileage but to take advantage of that, you need to drive it as
efficiently as possible to gain those benefits.
Perhaps if you cleaned the inside of you windshield every now and then it
wouldn't fog up so bad. As for Florida and the deep south, that perhaps is
not the best place for a first generation hybrid vehicle.
Normal for them and in these areas, the current hybrid technology mignt not
be the correct fit. You have to be willing to give a little to get a
Not every vehicle is capable of significant mileage.
Sounds like justifications and excuses to me. Just because people decide to
drive wastefully doesn't make the car a bad thing.
No, that is normal for the older tech cars but hey, if people want to
continue to drive gas sucking pigs then they had better get used to dishing
out a large portion of their income for the privilege.
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving
Right, but unfortunately that opportunity doesn't present itself all
that much in real world driving. Thus the decreased actual mileage
a) I've always cleaned the windshields every weekend, and (b) using
the defroster's got nothing to do with dirt. It's got everything to
do with humidity.
First, there's a substantial number of people that live in warm
climates here in the U.S. There are also a helluva lot of people that
use their a/c 24/7/365, even in cooler climates. Running a/c all the
time is real world - it's standard equipment, btw.
Nonsense. Companies selling hybrids know all this, but yet they
continue to market their cars as across-the-board alternatives.
That's simply not true. It's ridiculous that we'll pay an extra
whatever thousand dollars for a car that's not going to get the
advertised mileage, and we have to drive it in a "special way" to come
anywhere near that advertised mileage.
I'll bite - what is "significant mileage"? Is there some universal
cutoff point where a mileage figure becomes "significant"? So maybe
29mpg isn't significant but 30mpg is?
Driving wastefully is not the same as driving normally for most
people. Like I've already said below, pick any day and go out and see
how people drive. Some will drive conservatively, others will drive
wastefully, but most will be driving normally.
What I read said the cars were long term test vehicles...driven during
the summer and into the winter...driven normally as you or I may
drive...Nowhere did it indicate they were driven in any abnormal
way.. The point of the article was that if the driver needed to use
the cars defroster or heater or god forbid the air conditioner (things
I know at least I "want" to use when required for both saftey and
comfort...the fuel effeciency went down the tubes...
Honestly IF I were in the market for a new vehicle I would consider
buying a hybird but It would be stupid financially to buy one purely
to save money on fuel...
Agreed. The savings is nice, but not enough to pay for the increase in
cost over the same model with a 100% gas driven drivetrain, unless you
are driving a good distance. In fact, I drive about 140 miles per day
... and even at that, the ROI for a hybrid Civic is negligible.
I'm still going to buy a hybrid or other alternative energy vehicle
within the next 3 years ... but the thing driving that decision is not
saving money ... it's to support the technology that will free us from
the grip of the Arabs and improve the environment ...
No offense, but the change to alternative energies is not about $$$,
it's about doing the RIGHT thing.
I don't really see it as a "right thing" or "wrong thing" except
of course in political terms.
Is it really more "right" burning, say hydrogen, or using electricity
via batteries with their own manufacture complications as well as
Seems we're simply exchanging one set of positives/negatives of an
energy source with another.
I like "gasahol". My truck seems to like it too. And the idea I
might be helping out some American corn grower has its attractions
too. But of course its an energy net loss IIRC in the grand scheme
I look forward to the maturation of alternative energies in propelling
me about town or keeping me warm during winter, but I don't think
there's going to be any great financial or even political liberation
coming out of it. Just means some other energy producer instead of
Exxon will have their hands in my pocket!
That depends on who you choose to believe. Properly produced, ethanol
produces a net energy _gain_ of about 1.2:1, and can have other positive
environmental benefits as well.
The major problem is that gasohol, or e85 if you can get it, requires
_anhydrous_ ethanol, and most anhydrous ethanol in the US is made not
from corn, but from _coal_.
It'll probably be Exxon. Don't understimate the oil companies. They
can see the writing on the wall just as well as anyone else, and they
have been for some years now moving into the alternative energy arena.
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