The Echo and the Mountains (56k warning)

Discussion in 'My Ride' started by lamebums, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    This is the long story of a gas guzzler - one that doesn't like driving uphill, and one that definitely doesn't like cold weather.


    First, meet the Echo:

    [​IMG]

    2000, everything stock. I picked it up as a salvage after the previous owner got it in a fender bender ($4,000 when the blue book said ~5300). 29/37 EPA (34/41 old). Had about 80,000 miles on it when I began - has just under 86 now. Only maintenance necessary has been an oil change.

    My most typical commute goes like thus (from my house to NKU's campus):

    [​IMG]

    Half a mile up this long hill on my street to Dixie Highway, a four lane avenue. Not a good start to a commute (in this case when my car is facing the other way I keep it off and roll backwards into the driveway, then crank the starter and go up the hill.) But hey, it's an excellent ending. No gas burned at all for the last half mile... :D

    (I make a right onto Dixie Highway where more often than not I immediately hit the first red light, not 100 feet away. I think it has something to do with traffic patterns.)

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    A painful sight for any hypermiler. Cold engine, burning a lot of gas to warm up, and FAS is useless because then the engine won't warm up.

    I then go the next three lights (Orphanage, Buttermilk, and then Turkeyfoot). I make a left on Turkeyfoot (about one mile).

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    My photography suffers from quality control issues. About a quarter of my pictures are so blurry they're useless. :(

    (I timed the Turkeyfoot light perfectly - left turn.)

    Follow Turkeyfoot for half a mile to this onramp (second light in the distance):

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    Left at the onramp (again timed well, with no oncoming cars so I just blazed that turn at 30):

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    Taken from the onramp. All you need to do here is get up to speed and then use NICE-On Coasting for the next two miles (Independence exit, KY 17). Then DWL across this slightly uphill bridge and across the next mountain, which rises some 800 feet over the next two miles (6 or 7 degree grade)

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    A (rather bad) picture of DWL in action:

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    I am dead serious when I say I was in a hurry that morning:

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    Over the next ridge (Taylor Mill) and then some more NICE-On Coasting for the next two miles, across the next valley (another bridge spans the valley, except this one's slightly downhill so it's possible to coast all the way across, too. This downhill has to be at least 7 degrees. It's the only one where I will be doing 50 at the top and 70 or more at the bottom... and then more DWL up the next one in the distance:

    [​IMG]

    Another picture, this one taken while crossing the aforementioned bridge (and as my stomach clenches, knowing I have to give it gas soon):

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    At the top of the next hill (another painful mile later all the while I'm DWL 'ing) the offramp is up ahead (my actual picture of the offramp was so bad it's an assault on the senses). Just imagine a half-mile long offramp which is just begging for more nice-on coasting:

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    Once off the ramp, across University Drive, through the roundabout, and then into the parking lots where I spend several minutes squabbling with 10,000 other commuters for a spot, preferably within half a mile of class:

    [​IMG]

    (The road in is on the lower left)

    The damage done:

    [​IMG]

    Total was 13.2 miles, one direction.



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    Morning commute, topographical map


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    Afternoon commute, different route




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    Work commute - reverse going back home


    (Work in progress. Finishing later.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  2. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    Seriously, it's 2008 isn't it? Who the heck still has 56k?

    Anyways, neat pictures.
     
  3. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    I thought I'd collect all the pictures I ever take of crazy/stupid/just plain weird stuff I see, preferably related to driving and hypermiling, but really, anything.

    This one - snow covered all the lots when I got to class this morning. Around the edges of the lot (where I parked), nobody wanted to park close to each other - with no lines to guide, all the cars were 4-5 feet apart. Each.

    And then this mess, which only became more apparent in the afternoon when the snow melted off the blacktop:

    [​IMG]

    Do cars fly yet, or something? If not they're screwed... :confused::confused::confused:
     
  4. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    Where are the mountains? All I see are some hills. ;)
     
  5. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    The perspective from the camera phone is pretty bad. Do these paint a more accurate picture?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dobsont

    dobsont "How's your mileage?"

    good thread - gives me some real-world sense of what other people are doing. For a newb, that's handy!

    edit: oh, and you think that thing's a gas guzzler!? Ouch for me!
     
  7. fitmpg

    fitmpg Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I enjoyed the photographs and the commute.
     
  8. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Oh, when you're unemployed and $3 a gallon is burning a hole in your wallet, even 300 MPG isn't enough. :p
     
  9. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Can I get this moved to the "My Ride" section? Thanks.
     
  10. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Moved as requested. :)
     
  11. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    I took a picture of this buffoonery today in the parking lots on campus. Sometimes it just cracks me up, but it's unfortunately true...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    did you get all those in 1 day?
     
  13. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2018 Bolt EV and 2017 Prime

    > did you get all those in 1 day?

    I think lamebums' car is light colored/silver?.

    cheers,
    Bill
     
  14. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Hah, yeah, this was someone else's car. I'm not a ticket kind of guy (I couldn't afford it either if I got one so...)

    My advantage comes from driving a compact rather than huge FSP 's such as Chevy Tahoe's and Ford Explorer's - I can put Echo in places that Tahoe drivers have no choice but to pass up. :D
     
  15. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    So, I'm at White Castle tonight with a buddy, and right at about 11 pm, in come these guys...

    [​IMG]

    All of them left their engines idling. :eek::eek::eek:
     
  16. lamebums

    lamebums Member

  17. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

  18. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Weather and memory permitting, I'll have a "forwards facing" commute video tomorrow. I did it backwards and slightly to the left specifically so I could catch all the speeders on camera. Even the cop passed me at 5:35. :D

    Oh, and the enormous black GMC SUV at 0:55? Probably <10 MPG... :(
     
  19. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    As promised, part three.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1VpvBVqRS0

    I tried to get a forwards-facing drive today but the camera fell out of place within a minute and I never noticed - it ruined the perspective. I'll try again tomorrow.
     
  20. lamebums

    lamebums Member

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