Monday, April 24, 2006

Gas conservsation tips

Gas prices this morning topped off (no pun intended) at $2.949 a gallon. Well, topped off at that price at the station I usually stop in on the way to work. I stop there because they're one of 3 places that sell Diet Vanilla Pepsi.
Other places have been cheaper ($2.91) but I've seen more, especially close to the city. And they (the "they's" that always confirm urban myths) are predicting prices closer to $4 and up by the time things (re: Iran) shake out.

Ignore the usual musings of conservation, like ride-a-bike, and carpool. These are the way to save gas:

  • I've seen the guys racing in NASCAR do this (actually, someone who watches NASCAR told me. Honest). Follow really, really close the car in front of you. This is called drafting. Follow so close that your bumpers almost touch. This lessens the wind resistance on your car, resulting in better gas mileage.
  • Stop using the brake so much. Whenever you brake, you're robbing your car of precious momentum, and using your gas to stop. Instead of applying the brake, anticipate your stops ahead of time, and ease off the accelerator. Like 2 or 3 exits ahead. True, by the time you turn off you'll be going about 11 miles per hour, but think of the gas you'll be saving.
  • Use the cruise control more often, if not all of the time. And don't waiver from it, either. Sure, not all cars are going the same speed, and other drivers may try to cut you off, or slow down in front of you, but by keeping with cruise control, you'll not only save gas, but become a better, more efficient driver. You will become one with your steering wheel.
  • Ignore the "Drive-offs will be prosecuted" signs at gas stations. Especially the busy ones. Have you ever seen the people working there? They sweat just flipping a switch to turn on a pump, so I can't imagine one of them sliding off the stool and lurching out after you. And rationalize; paying for gas only keeps the terrorists in business.
  • Lighten the load in your car. This means no passengers. Detailed studies prove that carpooling actually wastes gas. Your gas, because of your hefty freeloaders.
  • Drive downhill whenever possible. I know, so obvious, it's simple. I wonder why this has never been thought of before?

And make sure to visit Alaska now; in a few short years, it'll resemble the Sahara Dessert. Or is that desert? Whatever.