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Old 03-23-2007, 03:36 PM   #1
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City guy, always a thinkin..

I came across this site while searching for info on coasting.

As my commute to work is either a 2min bike ride, 8min walk, or (if I am lazy or it is raining) 10min bus ride, I drive my 1997 Saturn SL1 5-speed only between towns in central Iowa, and the occasional errand I can't do on my bike or by city bus. Living in the college town of Ames, IA, I have a great environment to traverse the city by bike, an unlimited bus pass for $150/yr.

My preferred auto routes include the mostly vacant county roads. As they are usually pleasure/recreation trips, I have the luxury of taking them at a slower pace.
(see: )

One of my hobbies is figuring out "the way the road used to go". I am especially curious about the history of named roads established between 1910s and late 1920s. Many, like the Lincoln Highway, were routed to go around farms and connect to the center of towns. The current road builder does just the opposite.
(see: )

I tend to be more of a lurker, so don't be too surprised if I don't say much. I also operate more on gut instinct than on science, so my musings should be considered as "YMMV"

My politics are quite liberal, but more acted on than espoused, so my political bent doesn't come out much. Living in Iowa (land of the famous caucus) and being active in my labor union (AFSCME) has provided me numerous opportunities to interact with candidates and politicians at all levels. Working at Iowa State Univ (w/emphasis on Ag and Engineering) has given me a front row seat to the bio-fuels 'future' (or will it be fantasy?!?).

Puzzling things out, how things work, what is "the most efficient", and viewing things from the broadest perspectives are constant distractions/occupations of mine. This site should fit right in


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Old 03-23-2007, 03:39 PM   #2
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Welcome welcome! How's the mileage on the saturn?

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Old 03-23-2007, 03:52 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site.

I've learned a lot in my short time on the site. It's a fun little hobby.
- UfoTofU

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Old 03-23-2007, 04:08 PM   #4
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Range is 36-42 using the odometer.

Mon-Thurs this week I did 4 round trips (total land miles of aprox 254 miles) from Ames to Des Moines at off-peak times and lots of coasting with the engine off. On my SL1, no miles register while eng is off. Odometer read 135.6. "book mpg" = 29.32, but "traveled" mpg = 49.3 for the 4 round trips.

I used to keep a log of all gas fills, but haven't done for last year or so. I will start again with this fill, and post my results. (I still haven't figured out how to post to the site though..)

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Old 03-23-2007, 04:22 PM   #5
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Andy -

Welcome! The manual S?1 is a good drivetrain to work with. Your car was built by UAW local 1853.

Old School SW2 EPA ... New School Civic EPA :

What's your EPA MPG?
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:04 PM   #6
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Lincoln Highway sounds familar to me i think it is maple (main street) in omaha where i live. welcome to the site
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:15 PM   #7
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My mom grew up in Des Moines. That is a great area for biking and doing fuel economy related tests. On a side note, I did Ragbrai last year and It was really fun.

Welcome to the site!
2008 EPA adjusted:

Distance traveled by bicycle in 2007= 1,830ish miles
Average commute speed=25mph (yes, that's in a car)
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Old 03-24-2007, 04:15 AM   #8
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Good to see another Midwesterner on board, especially one that uses the Public Transit available.


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