View Full Version : New personal best (short segment)
06-13-2006, 07:54 AM
Back roads are my new antidepressant! The six-mile trip between offices went well this morning, despite traffic and my incredibly foul mood at the time. Copious FAS and top-gear DWL made all the difference in the 44.5mpg trip, whereas my previous best for the segment was 41.1. My mood is a bit less foul thanks to that :)
06-13-2006, 10:05 AM
Great Job! I've been not having as much fun on my commute. I'm glad people report good mileage, it cheers me up.
06-14-2006, 12:54 AM
aha congrats brick, you have a next higher coupe in the honda line and getting the same mileage as me! uh oh time to up the ante ;)
06-14-2006, 06:11 AM
Maybe, but can I do that consistently? Not at the moment but we'll have to work on it ;)
06-14-2006, 10:01 AM
Congratulations on your new PR (Personal Record) !
There are so many variables that it seems real consistent mpg day after day is probably the exception. To mention a couple of changing factors, the weather and traffic.
06-14-2006, 10:26 AM
There's also the issue of terrain, particularly net elevation change. I try not to count routes that are heavily biased one way or the other. For example, I pulled off my first segment over 50mpg last night, but it was seven miles downhill, and I was probably in FAS for three of those miles. The return trip was something like 32mpg due to all the climbing, so it doesn't really count.
Tank mileage is where it's at, and I'm only now starting to break into the 40s. This ought to be my first one as long as I can stay in my groove.
06-14-2006, 02:42 PM
Tim it sounds like you've discovered a great alternative route.
Most folks don't realize the impact this can have.
06-15-2006, 06:27 AM
Well, not really. I work at two offices depending on what day it is, and some days I end up having to drive from one to the other. (On average it happens once a week.) This route is the best path between them.
I'm still stuck with my 20-25mile highway commute to and from work, at least until I find something better. So far my alternates have been rather poor, decreasing miles driven a bit but dramatically increasing the number of lights, stop signs, and turns to the point that I just end up burning more fuel, anyway. The good news is that the daily commute has been just a touch over 40mpg all week, owing to better familiarity with the terrain and traffic patterns.
If only they would build another bridge or two across the Connecticut River I would have some more options, and I imagine traffic would be a lot better. It shouldn't be more than 15 miles "as the crow flies" but I'm forced to take this round-about path along with everybody else over one of the two crossings that exist north of Hartford.
06-16-2006, 06:24 AM
Aha. Accidental improvement! I set another PR this morning for my commute to work: ~25 miles, 43.0mpg. I didn't think it was going all that well, but it looks like traffic helped me out a little. My cruising speed was maybe 1-2mph below normal until I entered a different stretch of highway and got stuck behind a school bus that travelling at an unpredictable 50-60mph (not load driving, just inconsistent). So I hung back but had to use the brakes a couple of times when I couldn't maintain proper following distance during very short NICE-on downhill runs. (Sorry, not drafting a school bus ;) ). I thought that was hurting my run but the lower speeds (I usually drive 60mph) seem to have made up the difference.
I don't want to jinx anything, but the scangauge is telling me 40.3mpg on the tank at 350mi. Must...break....forty...
___Have you tried any HS P&G on your route yet? What I find is a copious amount of HS can beat a close-in if you have terrain that allows huge glides across the backside of every ascent. The next time or if you are ever in the Chicago area, there are a number of sections along the Kennedy Expressway (I-90) into downtown, the Eisenhower (I-290) from the Tri-State into downtown, the Tri-State itself (I-294) through the O’Hare area almost to the Stevenson Expressway (I-55), and then again on the Stevenson itself (I-55) from ~ I-355 into I-294 that are very conducive to HS P&G’s. When I begin really pushing a tank, the HS P&G can take me over the top when and where applicable.
___From your posts, I can feel your synergy between man and machine coming together for segment after segment … There will be setbacks of course but you are maintaining > 40 mpg segments in both directions now and that means confidence for future personal bests yet to come :D
___Good Luck in your quest to reach your first 40 mpg tank goal!
06-16-2006, 10:32 AM
I have yet to make a serious attempt at HS P&G on this route, although I have made isolated "lame attempts" from time to time. Now that I think about it, this route might be a pretty good candidate when I don't have people piled up behind me. There are a couple of hills in each direction where I can maintain speed for anywhere from a couple hundred yards to 1/4 mile in neutral, but I'm usually ICE-on because the opportunities are so short. But, there are a few hills (and probably more of them) where I can almost maintain speed on the way down, but not quite. I try once in a while (hoping for a tail wind, maybe) but it never quite works. But to check my understanding of the technique, making these hills into a HS P&G would involve gaining some extra speed at the top, enter FAS while I lose speed on the way down, and then start over at the bottom?
Question: Let's say I have to start ascending again as soon as I reach the bottom of this hill, (usually the case), and now I'm at my low-end speed target already. That doesn't really leave room for DWL, so does the relative efficiency of P&G make up for the fact that I'm going to have to climb at a constant speed? Or would it be better to cut the glide short and begin the next pulse before I hit the bottom?
You are right about the man-machine synergy getting better. The real milestone has been getting comfy entering and exiting FAS without messing up my rhythm. Learning the nuances of my daily routine has been a big help as well.
___A HS P&G is where you usually have to throw out portions of the DWL technique. You do not want to accelerate up any hill if at all possible but in some instances, you are forced too … If done properly, a HS P&G will destroy the DWL technique but it has to be applied correctly or you are simply wasting your efforts and more importantly, fuel :(
___Let me go over a short case study of my own to see if it helps?
___There is an ~ ½ mile distance climb of ~ 50 feet as I enter the Interstate from an arterial-on ramp. I have to accelerate to merge speed on a shallow downhill from a stop light as I enter the ramp itself but with the ramp and Interstate climb ahead, I am screwed either way. After the ~ ½ mile climb to the crest, I have an ~ ¾ mile length segment with a drop of 100’ and then another 1 mile climb back out to my original elevation.
With Draft Target
___What I am looking for is a draft target well before I enter the on ramp to help me up to speed during the climb ahead as well as creating a D-FAS opportunity as I crest and begin an ~ ¾ mile glide down the back side. Speed limits are 55 but most travel 65 down this stretch of Interstate. I am accelerating from the stop light ~ 1/4 mile before the 1/4 mile long on ramp all the while looking over the Interstate about ½ mile behind the actual ramp for a target so I can adjust my attack speed appropriately. With that, I will accelerate down to the ramp and then up the ramps incline to match speed with the target as I merge in. I will maintain the target matched speed over the crest of the climb (the Accord’s iFCD is almost pegged during the last portion of the climb due to the Close-in) and just as I see the iFCD peg/feel the kinetic being helped along by the potential, I D-FAS. Most targets are not DWL, so I can glide at 60 mph all the way down the slope and more importantly, glide up ~ 1/3 of the following 1 mile climb as my target disappears into the distance. I will re-ignite, re-engage, and climb that rest of the slope depending on traffic behind at 45 - 55 mph.
Without a Draft Target but with heavy Traffic
___This solution is a lot more painful but is normally the case given traffic forces me to maintain higher speeds. This is when a brute force accel approach is needed and it is none to pretty … I will slowly accel from the light down the slight incline to the ramp, DWL at ~ 45 mph up the ramp until a very short flat section, accel to 50 - 55 mph and hold that target speed until merged. I will then slowly accel to at least 62 mph by the time I am nearing the crest all the while in the far right lane. Here is the difference between with a draft target and without. Before I reach the crest, I will FAS and glide over the top hitting maybe 58 - 60 mph at the crest. If I have a tail wind, I can usually maintain not only legal but a non-traffic congesting highway speed about ½ mile of the ¾ mile distance. At ~ 50 mph, I will re-ignite the ICE, re-engage the tranny, and begin a slight accel down what is left of the slope ahead to ~ 55 mph, maintain 55 mph though the trough, and then begin the long climb ahead under DWL until a 50 mph target is reached and then maintain 50 mph up that 1 mile ascent.
___This solution is painful but not as bad as with traffic described above. A brute force accel is still needed but it is not as painful due to lower speeds while using the exact same approach as above … I will slowly accel from the light down the slight incline to the ramp, DWL at ~ 45 mph up the ramp until a very short flat section, accel to 50 - 55 mph and hold until merged. I will slowly accel to at least 62 mph by the time I am nearing the crest. Again, before I reach the crest, I will FAS and glide over the top hitting maybe 58 - 60 mph over the top. If I have a tail wind, I can usually maintain legal highway speeds all the way down the ¾ mile distance. Even so, drooping all the way down to 40 - 45 mph is the answer in this instance. If there is no wind or a head wind, I cannot usually make it down the entire down slope while staying above 40 mph. I will reignite the ICE, re-engage the tranny, and begin a slight accel through the trough for the long climb ahead. Because there is no traffic or are all in the center/far right lanes, I will Re-ignite, re-engage, and accel back to 45 - 50 mph and maintain that speed range up the 1 mile ascent.
___I hope the 3 short segment scenarios described above help you with whatever kind of traffic situation you are currently saddled with while driving at or near highway speeds. Highway speeds suck for both of us but there are opportunities you may not have considered if you are actively looking for them.
06-16-2006, 12:49 PM
Thanks, Wayne! That explanation really helps. It's going to be a little tough because the highway limits are 65mph around here, and the slowest I can generally travel in the right lane without getting creamed is 50-55mph. (I usually cruise at 60mph plus or minus.) Still, it ought to work. This isn't such a far cry from what I already do with steep hills except with a little less help from gravity.
Let me give this a shot on the way home and we'll see what happens.
___My fingers are crossed for you and as always, maintain arriving home safely as the number one priority ;)
06-16-2006, 06:38 PM
Well, let me tell you this: Friday afternoon traffic sucks! Here's a play-by-play of what I encountered on the way home.
First, I made the left out of my office and fell in behind an old (maybe mid 70s) Camaro as I approached the light. We stoped the light turned green and...the Camaro isn't moving? I kept seeing him bend way over under the dash as I heard the engine crank...and crank...and crank...and crank...and then the light turned red. I was pretty proud, actually, because not a single person honked during all of this, and I was probably the only one who actually knew what was going on. After a little while the poor guy did the "philanthropic" thing and managed to move his car out of the way powered solely by the starter motor. One might even say that he was a pro at this technique! It fouled up traffic for a while but we eventually got by and I think he even got his car started. However, I did spend a considerable amount of time idling while I waited since I figured he would be off "any second now." Not starting off so well.
Next I make my usual merge on to the highway at my normal, glacial rate of acceleration. And...brake. Apparently we don't know how to merge in CT and slowed down for absolutely no reason, causing me to slow down from a merge that would already put normal drivers to sleep. Ok..minor waste of energy. No big deal.
So I'm cruising along the highway at 60mph in the right lane and see traffic merging. No big deal, just adjust the throttle and fall in line. But no, we're all tailgating! Ok, get to the left lane...but wait! There's a little old lady pacing me right by my door! Fine...brake, get behind her, get out of the way, get back in the right lane when I get an opening. A little more energy wasted...no big deal. Except that this happened at every single exit! Even when I tried to adjust my speed for people to get in they either tried to merge directly into me, ignoring the vast expanse of empty space in front of me, or waited until the last second to accelerate and swerve around. At one point I was in such a bind that the only reasonable thing to do was accelerate quickly to 70mph just to keep my car intact. This kind of thing doesn't happen to me on a normal day, and kept the prevailing speed so erratic that I looked like the 'normal' driver. It was a complete and utter disaster.
But, that doesn't mean I wasn't trying. Not only did I DWB and DWL over the small hills, but I tried to HS P&G on the hills that I thought would sustain the technique. Never have I keyed off so many times during a trip. I screwed it up a couple of time by keying back on too fast, so about half of my first few attempts turned into NICE-on time instead of FAS time. But it was far from smooth owing to the unpredictable traffic and I figured that I would have to chalk it up as a learning experience. But toward the end I had to check the trip FE. Wait, over 41mpg? No, that can't be right. I've been driving like a 16 year old on a permit and practically punted with that full-throttle bail-out half way through. So the final number? 41.6mpg, darned close to a PR for the segment and just above the current tank FE.
So, in summary, I suck at HS P&G :D And I have written a very log post. But I see LOADS of potential there. If it can help me salvage a trip that awful, I can't even imagine what could happen once I actually get a clue about what I'm doing and have a chance to do it when trafic isn't a complete nightmare.
I'll spend some quality time with this technique over the next few weeks and see if it can't be tamed. Won't be easy, but might well be worth it!
___Excellent and funny read at the same time!
___You have some rather large cajones to be trying out a new technique at speed and in that kind of traffic condition. Funny but I seem to know someone that would have done the same :eek:
___For your valiant efforts to save fuel, I officially bestow you with the title of “Hypermiler of the Week”. I think that 40 mpg tank is just about in the bag with your latest escapade so do not throw it away by taking your wife to the local grocery store, movie, or something absolutely crazy like that :D
___Good Luck and congrats on the segment.
06-17-2006, 01:24 AM
nice try on the efforts, practice makes perfect dude.
06-17-2006, 08:04 AM
I think that 40 mpg tank is just about in the bag with your latest escapade so do not throw it away by taking your wife to the local grocery store, movie, or something absolutely crazy like that :D
Ha. It's funny you should mention that, because last night I did have to take my girlfriend to the grocery store , and on the way back (the up-hill part) she started...protesting...about the heat. "Honey, are you trying to tell me that you would like me to turn on the air conditioning?" Fine. It's alright, though. Still over 40 with quite a bit of mileage left in the tank.
06-19-2006, 06:19 AM
Slowly, I'm starting to buy-in to this new technique. This morning's commute was fairly average except for one really good HS P&G cycle (probably a half mile of glide there) and a couple of lousy cycles. But it was a 44.1mpg trip on the ScanGauge, beating my previous best for the route by 2mpg
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