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Old 08-15-2007, 01:03 AM   #1
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Side roads or highway?

Highway is 16 miles, but side roads are only 10 miles. The problem with the side roads is I have about 6 additional stops. Highway is only about 1-2 minutes quicker.

I'm hoping that I can maintain the same mpg on the side roads, even with the stops. It seems cruising at 40mph takes a small fraction of the throttle it takes to go 65mph. My biggest concern with the side roads is the wear and tare on my car - Transmission and tires. It's a commute to work, 4 days a week. I'm going to do one tank of gas on my new route (side roads) and see what happens. Another thing to consider is that my car is an auto, so lower speed driving isn't as good as a stick would be.
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:23 AM   #2
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Old 08-15-2007, 01:29 AM   #3
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Side route can be busy on my way to work, but coming home it's dead, at 3am. I drive a civic, and yes I have extensively thought about biking because I am a road cyclist as it is. However, weather and other things make biking less attractive.
The actually trip one way is 14 miles 'city' and 20 of mostly 'highway'. I just changed them to reflect the real differences on miles on the highway for accurate comparison.

I am thinking of the scangauge, but not sure if I want to spend that money. I'm also thinking of selling my auto and getting a stick.

BTW I kind of wish I had a CRX, perfect commuter car. I feel like my 2 door civic is too big. lol
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:22 AM   #4
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On the city route, as you learn to time lights and such, you may have fewer stops than you expect. I would definitely do that route on the way home. On the way to work, it would depend how miserable the city route is vs how steadily you can drive the highway route. Around here, at the busy times, the highway route sometimes has more starts and stops than the city route, just because of the nature of stop-n-go or slow-n-go traffic.
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veloman View Post
....The actually trip one way is 14 miles 'city' and 20 of mostly 'highway'....
I'm hoping that I can maintain the same mpg on the side roads, even with the stops. It seems cruising at 40mph takes a small fraction of the throttle it takes to go 65mph. My biggest concern with the side roads is the wear and tare on my car - Transmission and tires. ....
Lets do some math. Highway route is 6/14 longer than road route. Easier math is from other perspective: Road route is only 14/20 (or 70&#37 of highway route. That means that your 'road' route can get 30% LESS mpg and still break even. So if you are getting 30mpg highway, then road route will be cheaper as long as you get more than 21mpg on road route. In other words just multiply your highway mpg by .7 and you have your target road mpg.

Most cars that do 30mpg highway will do AT LEAST 21mpg city, so my bet right now is to definitely take the ROAD route even if you are using lower city mpg. The overall cost of the trip will be cheaper due to shorter distance.

Now all this math has not taken ANY consideration into careful driving. City mpg ratings take into account stop and go traffic, stop lights and extra idling. If you are careful and try to time lights and crawl to stop signs, ect, you will save a LOT more than on the highway. Like I said, with NO EFFORT at all the 'road' route will be better. With careful driving the road route can be WAY better even if it was JUST AS LONG as the highway route. Pulse and glide ( in neutral since you have auto tranny) will help even more.

As far as wear and tear go, you prob save on your tires with the shorter trip. You arent braking hard at stop signs/lights so the 20 miles will have way more wear/tear on tires than a 14 mile drive. Tranny will take small hit but if you arent changing speeds constantly then I wouldnt worry too much if car is in good condition and cared for
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:06 AM   #6
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I'm liking your math oriented posts, StanleyD. Way to approach things rationally.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:56 AM   #7
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Thanks, I do think the road route is the cheaper route, especially on the way home.

If I take the highway route, I have to climb a hill right out of my driveway, then get on the highway, and then get up to 75mph before the next uphill so as to get over the highway climb at no less than 65mph(below this speed, overdrive will shut off on the hill). This takes a lot of throttle, especially since I'm not running that effecient early on.

I've analyzed my route really well, and unfortunetely, there is no easy non-stop route through town, so I have to stop a bunch of times. If they had turned many of the lights into flashing yellow lights, I'd be golden.

BTW, I'm biking to work today, won't have to slow down for those damn stop signs now!
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:01 PM   #8
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I'd vote for taking the shorter route halfway, bike the rest, especially if that meant that you could hit less than half the stops as driving the whole thing, AND you get excersize!
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
You mean 30% less.
....
Uh, errr, OOPS. How did that happen?? Thanks for noticing. Noted and corrected the thread.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
I'm liking your math oriented posts, StanleyD. Way to approach things rationally.
Thanks!!!
Math major !!
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