My New “Gas Game”

pedal pusher

Personally, I’m happy that gas prices are high because people are finally looking to public transportation, working closer to home, biking and walking places. Although the earth is surely benefiting from a lesser consumption of fossil fuels, I hate that the oil companies are enjoying record profits. If gas prices have to be so high, I’d like it to be because the profits are going to researching cleaner alternative fuels or to improving and expanding the public transportation system.

Anyway, I have a new game I play with myself when I am in the car. I try to keep my miles per gallon as high as possible. My small wagon is equipped with a gadget that tells me exactly the miles per gallon I am getting moment by moment. With another hit of a button, it tells me what the average is based on the last time I filled the tank. I watch these numbers constantly. My goal is to keep the average above 20 miles per gallon. As of yesterday, it was over 22! How do I do this? Well, I have completely changed my driving habits. Through trial and error, I have learned that the best way to keep up the miles per gallon is to use my cruise control. On cruise control, I can get anywhere between 30-55 miles per gallon (that is, while I am in cruise control). The biggest gas guzzling times are, obviously, when I am coming off a stop and pressing on the gas. At those times, I get 5-10 miles per gallon. I used to “put the petal to the metal” off a stop light to see whether I could beat the car next to me. I have totally stopped doing that now. That’s just dumb b/c it wastes gas. Another way I save gas is I go the speed limit. I no longer care that it feels like I’m crawling at 25 or 30 mph. If that is the speed limit, that is what I do. I’m not in a hurry, I’m saving money.

I’d like to formally issue a challenge to Gadget Man (and to you out there). What’s the best average you can do? What are you doing to improve your gas mileage? At the very least, I urge Gadget Man to stop driving with the air conditioning on and the windows open — this kills me! The second thing he could do is to ease up on the gas pedal. I get nauseous from all the harsh stopping and starting whenever he drives. I wish you all luck in your own gas game.

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