CleanMPG members reenact the Centennial of the 1908 NY to San Francisco Race

Discussion in 'General' started by xcel, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Rough Draft …

    Two Honda Civic Hybrids take on the continent in an around the clock hypermiling-adventure with members in tow.

    [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/569/Thomas_Flyer_in_Reno.jpg[/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - February 12, 2008

    The Thomas Flyer - 1908 Automobile Race Champion driven by Montague Roberts and George Schuster.

    An ever changing world brings with it new modes of transport. Starting with mastery of bipedal motion and ranging to beyond the time man walked on the moon, the destination has always been the same -- somewhere beyond the horizon …

    During the dawn of the 20th century, America itself was in the midst of great change. Enter the automobile. At first cars were fragile luxury items but thanks to those tireless few who drove them around the world in 1908, the contraption once thought to be less reliable than a horse was now carrying the dreams of our forefathers not just over the horizon but much much further.

    The 1908 Automobile Race was not so much a race as an endurance challenge conducted to determine whether or not it was actually possible to drive a motor vehicle across the United States (which in the winter had never been done before), and then completely around the world to Paris. In 1908 roads were nearly non-existent and much of the route was across horse and buggy paths or worse yet, nothing but unplowed snow or muddy fields. Anywhere from tens to hundreds of miles of back breaking work separated unscheduled way points and uncertain lodgings.

    Building upon the illustrious history of the automobile, a team of CleanMPG members gathered to commemorate the dawn of the automobile age. Rather than looking back at the past, we drove cars that are the future of transportation in a bold reenactment of the Greatest Automobile Race ever held. Though very different from the Thomas Flyer, the same pioneering spirit was with us as two Honda Civic Hybrids traversed the country in a 24/7 marathon -- won not by speed, but by best conservation of fuel.

    February's temperatures and our tight schedule were both less than ideal for a fuel economy challenge but in 1908, winter timing was crucial for the race. Back then, it was believed the entrants would be able to drive across the frozen Bering Strait... but they would need to do so before the ice broke up. Little did they know such a crossing was completely impossible due to inaccessibility and ice structure. We would not cross the Bering Strait either. Neither did we drive into and through Japan, China, Siberia or Europe, but we did retrace nearly the entire route for the US segment of the original challenge.

    Launch on the morning of February 12, 2008: New York City, NY, Times Square

    [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/569/Great_Race_North_American_Route.jpg[/xfloat]New York: New York City, Hudson, Fonda, Canastota, Geneva and Buffalo

    Pennsylvania: Erie

    Ohio: Toledo

    Indiana: Kendallville, Wawaka, Goshen, South Bend, New Carlisle, Rolling Prairie, Chesterton and Burdick

    Illinois: Chicago and Rochelle

    Iowa: Clarence, Belle Plaine, Ogden and Logan

    Nebraska: Omaha, Columbus, Lexington, and Sidney

    Wyoming : Cheyenne, Laramie, Walcott, Rawlins, Granger, and Evanston

    Utah: Morgan, Ogden and Promontory Point

    Nevada: Cobre, Ely and Tonopah

    California: Ballarat, Bakersfield, Los Banos and San Francisco

    Destination - San Francisco, CA

    Enter the 2008 North American Centennial Reenactment Automobiles

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    ------Laurie’s 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid 5-speed---------------------------Honda supplied 2008 HCH-II w/ NAVI Press Vehicle

    2008 - North American Centennial Reenactment Automobile Drivers
    • Bailout - Known for his escapades driving up one side and down the other of those almost always snow covered Sierra Nevada’s -- all while maintaining an expert rating in his Toyota Yaris!
    • Billy - Anyone who has seen the most beautiful Insight on the planet has seen Billy behind the wheel. He is usually found in the upper reaches of Washington State but when out to hypermile, watch records fall!
    • Tarabell - If you own an HCH-II and do not know who this young lady is, you have missed out on a gold mine for far too long ;) She is author of the most famous Honda Civic Hybrid-II driving document of all, Adapting Basic Hypermiling-Techniques to the HCH-II.
    • Right Lane Cruiser - Coming out of nowhere with a 30 mpg Hyundai Elantra, he figured out a way to pull 60 mpg in the middle of a MN winter before transitioning to the ultimate fuel saver of them all -- the 5-speed Honda Insight. Managing 100 + mpg segments in 30 degree temps is among his latest accomplishments.
    • Slow Hands - Driving an ancient by today’s standards '96 Ford Ranger, he has accomplished lmpg numbers beyond anyone’s wildest imagination while running deep inside some of the worst that Chicago has to offer.
    • Xcel - Ringleader of the band -- or is it the asylum? :)
    1908 New York to Paris – Thomas Flyer Automobile Driver and Passengers
    • Montague Roberts - 25, Race Car driver and demonstrator for the Thomas New York Dealer.
    • George Schuster – 35, E. R. Thomas Motor Company Chief Mechanic
    • T. Walter Williams - NY Times Reporter
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    Pre-launch …​
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    Brian and Wayne installing Bob's HCH-II WA Kit.---------------------------Bob’s WAI in its final form in downtown NY City.

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    HCH-I and II setup just before driving off to Times Square.

    Launch!

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    Montague Roberts (driver), T. Williams (passenger) and George Schuster
    (in the back seat) of the Flyer awaiting the gun signaling the start of the grandest
    racing adventure in automotive history. Over 250,000 New Yorkers were standing
    by to watch the launch out of Times Square on Lincoln’s Birthday, 1908.

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    Xcel and Tarabell at Times Square with HCH-II.--------------------HCH-II leaving Times Square 7th Ave and 43rd Street.

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    Sean FAS'ing the HCH-I in Times Square in an impossible attempt to save precious ounces of fuel in the traffic maelstrom.​
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    First fuel stop in Hudson, NY.​
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    Our two steeds in Geneva, NY during a lull in the blizzard.​
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    Erie, PA waypoint -- Snowing and cold :)------------------------Billy handing off in Erie during the snowstorm.​
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    Brian cleaning the headlights and windshield in Toledo, Ohio.----------------Bestmapman and his Red Prius-II following in Toledo, OH.

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    Toledo waypoint behind with over 3,000 miles to go.---------------------------HCH-I at Josh’s Bar– Lunch in Kendallville, IN.​
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    Buried above the axles and thousands of miles to go …

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    Wawaka, IN and I think enough said about that :rolleyes:----------Goshen, IN – DiamondLarry’s stomping ground ;)

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    Coming up on South Bend, IN.-----------------------------------------Tarabell, Ken, Brian and Sean before Chicago.​
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    Wayne and the HCH-I in his (its) element ;)------------------------------Attempting to leave Chicago at Rush hour - Typical.

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    Chicago at Rush hour again :D or :( depending.------------------------------------Proctologist on I-88 West of Chicago at dusk.

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    Fuel Stop in Belle Plaine, IA.-------------------------------------------------Dickie Doodles – Columbus, NE.

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    Dickie Doodle’s Gas station Chili – None of us took them up on the offer for Tarabell’s sake :D
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    Cornhusker Honda in Grand Island, NE. - oil change.-----------------------------Stunning museum overpass in Kearney, NE.

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    HCH-II RR in Western Nebraska.--------------------------------------------The Nebraska Cows kept coming and coming.​
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    The Thomas Flyer mired in the mud between Ogallala and Sidney, NE. Locals helped as we pulled the Thomas back out of this axle-deep bog. Just one of hundreds we faced crossing the country.​
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    Brian in the HCH-II approaching Sidney, NE laughing at the cows or something :) If he wasn’t driving or a passenger laughing aloud, he was out cold!​
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    Sean smirking at the Shell Fuel Stretch sign in Sidney, NE.

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    HCH-I from fumes to a top off yielded a whopping 16.352 gallon fill with a 13.2 gallon capacity tank :rolleyes:

    [flash]http://www.youtube.com/v/pkKcsnwZJEo[/flash]
    Somebody was pushing a hybrid out of a mis-parked face-in spot (you know who ;)) and
    said pusher forgot that a certain other someone wasn’t in the car yet. A short time later, an expletive
    was loosed into the wild from the last person we would have expected :D :D :D
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    Fuel stop in Wamsutter, WY. HCH-II showing an 58.5 mpg segment in - 3 degrees F temp. After a fresh oil change and decent fuel, even the colder temps could not keep the HCH-II from waking up.​
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    Dawn on the WY Ice-Road (I-80).-----------------------------WY Ice-Road (I-80) – just ice and snow!

    Only a patch of real pavement every so often while climbing and descending up to 5% grades! The 18-wheeler’s were blowing by at upwards of 40 mph :angel:​
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    The ever elusive Jackalope spotted in Central WY. Who would have thought ;)

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    Evanston, WY waypoint.------------After the WY I-80 Ice-road.------------Utah was beautiful!​
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    After the WY I-80 Ice-road #2!----------------------------------------------Driving by the Great Salt Lake.

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    Gorgeous while driving towards Salt Lake City, UT!----------------------------Utah Salt Flats before driving into NV.​
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    Tree of Utah – An interesting marker on the Salt Flat’s along the route to San Francisco.

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    Utah Salt Flats with a little water on top.-----------------------------------Middle of Nowhere, Nevada ;)
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    Since there were no roads, there were no railroad crossings!

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    Welcome to Ely, Nevada!​
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    Ely to Tonopah on Rt. 6 – Vista #1.------------------------------------------Ely to Tonopah on Rt. 6 – Vista #2.

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    Ely to Tonopah – Tens of miles of ruler straight roads. Rt. 6 was a hoot!

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    Ely to Tonopah – More miles of ruler straight roads.-------------------------Ely to Tonopah - 10 + mile long FAS anyone :D
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    Nearing Tonopah - Fun with cameras while in a long FAS :D-----------------------Entering the infamous and historic Tonopah, NV.​
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    Ballarat, CA Ghost town - Jail-Morgue.---------------------------------------Interior of the Ballarat Jail-Morgue.

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    Ballarat, CA. Ghost Town – Post Office closed in 1917.-----------------------------Ballarat, CA. – Ken, Wayne, Brian and Tarabell.​
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    Bakersfield, California.---------------------------------------------------Los Banos, California.

    Final Destination of the 1908 - 2008 US Centennial - NY to San Francisco Race Reenactment
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    CleanMPG members and the Hybrid vehicles near Fisherman's Wharf – San Francisco, CA.
    Left to Right: Tarabell, Ken, Sean, Bill, Wayne, and Brian.​
    2005 Honda Civic Hybrid – FE data and Driver Swap Locations

    Column1Column2Column3Column4Column5Column6Column7Column8Column9Column10Column11
    Town/CityDriverTemp(F)Trip A MPGTrip A OdoTrip B MPGTrip B OdoOdometerFuel consumed (gal)Actual MPGNotes
    Times SquareSean34--------69,040----
    Hudson, NYSean3664.7131.161.4131.169,1722.1361.1First fill – 131.1 miles/2.13 gal.
    Fonda, NYBill1866.0078.066.0078.069,250----Dinner.
    Geneva, NYWayne2565.1152.965.8230.969,403----
    Erie, PA.Brian2556.7206.061.3436.969,609----
    Toledo, OHKen1563.2225.261.6662.269,834----Snow part way than wet roads.
    Gary, INRani1965.8214.662.8876.970,649----Light head winds.
    Chicago, ILWayne2373.8044.963.2921.870,09315.05261.24Second Fill – 921.8 miles/15.052 gal.
    Clinton, IAWayne1666.9155.066.9155.070,249----
    Clarence, IASean1465.1064.966.6220.070,313----
    US 30 & I-35Bill1164.3124.065.8344.070,437----
    Grand Island, NEKen1961.6292.163.9636.370,730----Some snow and 40 + mph cross winds.
    North Platte, NEBill2158.6155.262.8791.570,855----40 + mph cross winds.
    Sidney, NESean2162.8105.362.8896.970,99016.35254.85Third Fill – 896.9 miles/16.352 gal.
    Laramie, WYWayne464.3151.864.3151.871,142----Climbed from 4,200’ to 8,800’ and down to 7,200’ – WOW!
    Wamsutter, WYRani-371.5139.067.3290.971,281----
    Little America, WYBrian-357.7104.167.7395.171,386----
    Salt Lake City, UTWayne2870.4167.768.5562.971,553----Fell out of the Rockies – 7,200’ to 4,235’.
    Ely, NVSean3353.7218.563.5781.471,772----High speed runs making up time.
    Tonopah, NVBrian4059.8170.162.8951.571,94214.98463.5High speed. Fourth Fill – 951.5 miles/14.984 gal.
    Ballarat, CABrian5170.0252.370.0252.372,194----High speed through Sierra’s and Death Valley.
    Bakersfield, CASean5154.5154.963.2407.272,349----High speed and climbing most of the segment.
    McDonald’s (84 miles from Los Banos)Sean3968.8077.063.9484.372,426----20 miles of slow roads from 40 – 55 mph.
    San Francisco, CAKen4660.5204.963.2689.272,63111.44760.21High speeds. Fifth Fill – 689.2 miles/11.447 gal.
    San Francisco, CA (Fisherman’s Wharf)Ken5055.2019.555.2019.572,651----Finish – 19.5 miles/.353 gal.

    Total Miles and Fuel consumed from NY City - Times Square to San Francisco - Fisherman’s Wharf
    3,611 miles/60.32 gal. = 59.86 mpg. -- 3,611 miles/94 hours = 38.4 mph.

    2008 Honda Civic Hybrid – FE data and Driver Swap Locations

    Column1Column2Column3Column4Column5Column6Column7Column8Column9Column10Column11
    Town/CityDriverTemp(F)Trip A MPGTrip A OdoTrip B MPGTrip B OdoOdometerFuel consumed (gal)Actual MPGNotes
    Times SquareRani34--------5,630----
    Hudson, NYRani3651.6129.551.6129.55,7592.50951.6First fill – 129.5 miles/2.509 gal.
    Fonda, NYBrian1852.1077.552.1077.55,836----
    Geneva, NYKen2552.4150.353.1229.35,988----Heavy sleet and snow.
    Erie, PA.Bill2548.4202.350.8431.66,190----
    Near Cleveland, OHWayne1754.5133.051.6564.76,323----
    Toledo, OHSean1253.7090.051.9654.76,41412.08554.17Second Fill – 654.7 miles/12.085 gal.
    LaPorte, INBrian2452.7179.052.7179.06,593----Strong head winds.
    Davenport, IAKen1553.4232.253.1411.36,825----
    Clarence, IARani1457.7077.453.8488.76,902----
    Ogden, IABrian3053.7157.553.7646.37,060----
    Logan, IAWayne2857.8095.254.2741.67,15513.56654.67Third Fill – 741.6 miles/13.566 gal.
    Grand Island, NEWayne2152.7159.552.7159.57,315----Some snow and 40 + mph cross winds.
    Outside Grand IslandRani1952.5035.252.5194.87,350----Test run after oil change.
    Sidney, NEBrian2052.4222.752.4417.67,573----
    Laramie, WYKen453.6150.552.7568.17,723----Climbed from 4,200’ to 8,800’ and down to 7,200’.
    Wamsutter, WYSean-358.5137.853.7705.97,86112.55456.23Fourth Fill – 705.9 miles/12.554 gal.
    Little America, WYBrian-358.8100.058.8100.07,962----
    Ely, NVKen3349.9386.151.5487.08,348----Mountains, desert and sunny.
    Tonopah, NVBill4056.7167.052.7654.08,51512.40952.70High speed. Fifth Fill – 654.0 miles/12.409 gal.
    Ballarat, CARani5161.7248.061.7248.08,767----High speed through Sierra’s and Death Valley.
    Glidden, CA.Wayne3957.0228.459.4476.48,995----20 miles of slow roads from 40 – 55 mph.
    Burlingame, CABill4652.4202.757.1679.29,19811.28455.83High speeds. Sixth Fill – 689.2 miles/11.447 gal.
    San Francisco, CA (Fisherman’s Wharf)Bill5054.2019.554.2019.59,218----Finish! – 19.3 miles/.353 gal.

    Total Miles and Fuel consumed from NY City - Times Square to San Francisco - Fisherman’s Wharf
    3,588 miles/64.76 gal. = 55.40 mpg. -- 3,588 miles/94 hours = 38.2 mph.​

    All said, the 1908 race generated much needed press about the poor condition of America’s roads and upgrade work began almost immediately following. With the race as its impetus, the first transcontinental road, the Lincoln Highway was initiated in 1912. That highway laid the ground work for an even larger project, that being the current Interstate highway system.

    About the Fuel Economy of the Honda Hybrid vehicles. Given the winter conditions, full loads (3 people + 250 #’s of gear), huge climbs (from sea level on both coasts to over 8,000 feet a number of times) and high speeds from Salt Lake City to San Francisco (averaging over 70 mph in some areas), the Honda Civic Hybrids achieving 59.9 mpg in the HCH-I and 55.40 mpg in the HCH-II proved that the current EPA estimates of just 41 for the 2005 and 42 for the 2008 are labeled far below what can be achieved in the worst of conditions. In more temperate conditions, you could easily tack on another 10 mpg for each vehicle given both have seen over 80 mpg’s over a tank with single drivers in summer like conditions. With a little work, you should see the same.

    We have to give Honda credit for the older 2005 HCH-I with its leanburn technology proving itself the most fuel efficient highway hybrid sedan through the worst that America has to offer in terms of weather and terrain.

    A huge thank you goes out to our friend Laurieaw who could not participate due to a scheduling conflict but was willing to lend out her vehicle in exchange for an Insight for a week. I want to also thank Chuck Schifsky, Chris Naughton and Chris Martin of the Honda Motor Company for the use of a 2008 HCH-II for the reenactment with a unique delivery and drop off location. Additionally, I want to thank Meghan Lynch of Specialty Transport for transferring the HCH-II to Tarabell at the Long Island NY Airport. Finally, I want to thank Bradlee Fons of the MiHG who donated enough $’s to cover the cost of the HCH-II’s fuel. Without any of the above, this event would not have been possible in the manner completed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___The rough draft is still a work in progress but I hope you saw how I formatted what we had from the previous threads, updated for the finish, added a ton of quotes and such including those from George Schuster in 1908. I want to add quite a few more of his but am really too tired to keep following up on the history tonight.

    ___If the rest of you could start adding your comments in Quote form (unless you have a better idea), have at it and the sooner the better.

    ___Rani, I know you have a journal full of entries and if you need me to help splicing them in, just ask.

    ___Good Luck to you all

    ___Wayne
     
  3. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    I will add some stuff later tonight, and more tomorrow.
     
  4. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    OK I got some stuff in and may have a little more this weekend. Feel free to fix the formatting or whatever.
     
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rani:

    ___What wonderful additions!

    ___I will PM the rest so they can add similar that they remember. Billy should get a kick out of your comments too :)

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___I think I am done. 2 of the 1908 photos of questionable Copyright but the rest should be complete other than your input :)

    ___I might still add the 1908 NY to San Francisco timelines but am not sure where to fit it in?

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___I think I have added the appropriate number of George Schuster – 1908 comments to make the story. Anyone have an idea how to differentiate his comments from ours any better? I placed his quotes over ours whenever they overlapped but it gets a little messy as you read the article.

    ___I also have some NY Times dispatches from Feb, 1908 showing T. Williams leaving the Thomas Flyer team in Chicago in a fit of rage vs. George’s recollection the book “The Longest Automobile Race” saying it was a cordial departure and happened in central Iowa? I should post the comments per the Times write-ups as that was who Williams was writing and working for at the time?

    ___I also found an excerpt from the Italian team lead mentioning that approaching Chicago, it was – 13 degrees F on I believe March 1, 1908. A little behind the Thomas but I left out the temperatures and the Italian’s comments from the story.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  8. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    Can we double check the Bakersfield entry for the 2008 Honda? I could swear that I only drove up to Ballarat and Wayne drove to Bakersfield...

    I'll do some more final edits in a while.
     
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rani:

    ___Fixed ...

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  10. SlowHands

    SlowHands Hypermiling Ironman

    A very nice read... There are a lot of 'Tarabell' quotes, but to me that is just fine since she's such a wordsmith. Everyone gets mentioned throughout the article. Sure there are more tales, but hey this isn't the novel its an article. Looks really good to me.
     
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Ken:

    ___If you want to add something, I am waiting for Sean and Brian to add their pieces and parts if they would like. It will probably go up later today in fact so there is some time.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  12. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    I was assuming Sean, Ken and Brian would add stuff too. Payback time and all that... :D

    Also, are those TBDs in the 2008 log going to have real data filled in?
     
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rani:

    ___I do not have any data for the HCH-II’s final segment and trying to backfill would be creating fiction on my part more than likely :(

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  14. tarabell

    tarabell Well-Known Member

    I'm done as far as any more changes.
     
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rani:

    ___About the only thing I can think of adding is the pic of Brian crashed out in the back seat and placing it just below your description of him waking up as if he had 12 hours of sleep.

    ___I am going to call Sean and see if he is ready to add anything to the article himself?

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  16. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Wayne, I've changed the text color in the first Schuster quote to set it apart from the other quotes. I chose blue but if you like some other color and think it is a good idea I suggest applying that to all the other Schuster quotes.

    I'll see what I can do about adding comments -- I don't really have that much to put into this as I didn't keep a journal and my descriptions of this type of thing are typically pretty dry anyway. :eek:

    I'll add another post when I'm finished, okay?
     
  17. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I'm finding I have more to type than I thought... I'll have to finish this tomorrow morning.

    Sorry! :eek:
     
  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Sean:

    ___No problem. Brian left me a text message that he is swamped at work and said there is enough of his commentary in it to let it loose. Billy? He disappeared into the abyss somewhere as usual???

    ___I changed the entire Schuster quotes to various colors and the std. Blue looked the best. I only colored his name and date however. What do you think of that difference? When the entire quote was the same color, it did not have the same impact although I have been behind this monitor for over 15 hour today and every color is but a hazy shade of gray about now ;)

    ___Every time I read through it, I have other ideas for changing positions of my own stuff and bolding others. The final MPG’s are now bolded, I moved the impetus for change paragraph to the bottom section, I removed your 35 to 70 psi in the quotes and I changed all the Schuster quotes to the blue name and date and std. black wording.

    ___I tried to fit in the orange/green/yellow light over the mountains pics in but Ken’s were not really clear enough to fit in the after Tonopah segment. If any of you have some better ones, by all means, get them uploaded and I will take care of the rest on my end!!!

    ___I still have to find a source to verify Montague Roberts and Walter Williams were in the respective positions in the pic (I believe they are as Roberts was the driver) and caption at the launch but I cannot think of anything more this morning …

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  19. SlowHands

    SlowHands Hypermiling Ironman

    I have been crushed at work with a load of $#!+ work... its like I've been gone for a while or something... I will try to add a few comments at lunchtime today.
     
  20. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Wayne, I'm finally done with my edits and additions.

    Just so you know, I ran into the (previously unknown to me!) 6000 character limit on posts while doing that -- I backed off some of my additions a little and there should be a 250 character buffer now. :)
     

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