Archive for energy

The high price of gas

This morning I stopped on the way to work to fill up my scooter and gas was a whopping $4.699 a gallon, making this my most expensive fill-up to date – $7.32 cents.

I can’t even imagine how I’d feel if I’d filled up my old Volvo V70 this morning. I’m sure I would have paid over $60. I miss having a car sometimes, but right now, it’s easy to be pretty psyched about not having one.

I’m seeing a lot of Smart cars these days. Walking home from work on Wednesday, I saw three. Two in Hayes Valley:

and then in the Mission:

These theoretically get somewhere in the 33-40 MPG range in the city, so the scooter is still a better bet … but they’re interesting. And relatively cheap – $12-$18K. I don’t have one on my list of things to buy, though — I’m happy with my scooter-plus-Zipcar lifestyle for now.

Gas isn’t the only thing I bought today. I also bought a marriage license. But more on that later.

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Scooter mileage

So, I’m wondering if I’ve topped out at the best mileage I’ll get on my Fly. I guess I’ve expected it to be a little higher, but I’m not exactly disappointed. I’d like have amazing gas mileage, of course, to keep me from feeling guilty about driving a gas-powered vehicle at all, but I still feel pretty good.

I do know that having a scooter has given me a level of freedom in the city that I just wasn’t getting with busing, BARTing and biking, and now I’m completely addicted. On Saturday, for example, I went up to the Japanese Community Center on Sutter for a ukulele lesson. On public transit, that trip would have taken me 48 minutes. On my scooter, it took me less than 20.

K. and I completed California’s motorcycle safety class weekend before last. It’s the same as the Texas motorcycle safety class, except that it’s in California. Oh, and I didn’t crash. I’m scheduled to go get the M1 endorsement on my license, which will allow me to legally ride after sundown (nice), ride with a passenger (well, maybe after I get better at it), and ride on the freeway (no freakin’ way!). I think I’ll be able to opt for cheaper, better insurance coverage as well.

K. is now a scooter owner as well, although she hasn’t been able to ride her new scooter much, since she’s also still waiting on a license and insurance. She got a perfect score on her driving test during the safety class, kicking everyone’s butt, including mine. Soon she’ll be shortening her commute, which I think will be great for her.

Odometer at previous fill-up: 310
Odometer this fill-up: 389
Miles between fill-ups: 79
Gallons of gas put in tank: 1.647
Miles Per Gallon: 47.97
$$ spent: $4.81
Cost per mile: 6 cents

Mileage report. Yawn.

I’m not saying that thrill is gone, but will say that this mileage report is less exciting than any before it, mainly because it’s almost exactly the same as last time. I went the same number of miles between fill-ups, and I put in the same number of gallons of gas in the tank. No real fluctuations. Except for the price! Gas has dropped from $3.619 to $3.329 a gallon. I’d probably really care a lot about this if I owned a car, but I only saved 29 cents.

Odometer at previous fill-up: 232
Odometer this fill-up: 310
Miles between fill-ups: 78
Gallons of gas put in tank: 1.53
Miles Per Gallon: 50.88
$$ spent: $5.10
Cost per mile: 6 cents

Scooter mileage report

Posing on the Fly

So, my Fly is T.’s favorite color. No, no, he didn’t go riding on it — I’m a bit too risk averse for that sort of thing.

And, with that, it’s that time again — time for the scooter MPG report. And this time I’ve got good news; gas consumption is down. My mileage isn’t as good as what this guy claims he’s getting, but I’m happy to see it getting better nonetheless. Possible reasons for the up-tick? I did some long rides that weren’t commutes — less stop-and-go traffic equals better mileage, I assume. And, of course, I’m getting further into the break-in period for the engine.

The gritty details: My odometer read 232 when I pulled up to the pump, and I’d gone 78 miles since my last fill-up. I put in 1.53 gallons of gas at $3.619/gallon at the Valencia 76. That means I got a whopping 50.98 miles per gallon, up from 44.74 last fill-up. It also means I’m spending about $.07 a mile for gas.

That economy is good, because scooters do cost money. Today I paid $400 for the extended warranty (from 1 to 3 years), and K. and I have both signed up for the California motorcycle safety class at $235 each. And, of course, there’s the helmet, and the jackets, and the gloves … Still, all of this stuff together plus the scooter still hasn’t cost more than I got from the insurance company for my Volvo (R.I.P.).

Expensive gas

I heard yesterday on The Osgood Files that San Francisco has the highest gas prices in the U.S., averaging about $3.19 a gallon. We don’t have a car here, so that’s not effecting us so much, but we do plan on renting one soon for a road trip.

My dad gave up MPH for Lent, and I’m going to try and do the same when we rent. Here’s his note on this:

It seems like Methodists are getting more like Catholics as the years go by. Anyhow, Lent has become a big thing and we were encouraged to give up something for Lent.

I remembered an e-mail that B. sent a year or two ago recommending an easy way to
– save money,
– reduce green-house gases,
– increase highway safety, and
– decrease our dependence on middle-east oil.

So I’m giving up mph for Lent and I intend to keep on keepin’ on after Lent is over with. This means I’m driving the speed limit in town and 5 mph under the speed limit on the highway.

No big deal, but if everybody in the USA did it … Who knows what the result would be? I know it would have to be good.

SO, take your foot off the gas, and kick them terrorists where it hurts.