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Old 04-13-2008, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: USA
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Hi from the high country

Hi to everyone, I am very glad I found this forum! I've been lurking here for a few months, but had to join the fray on a couple of cycling threads.

My whole experience with "reducing my carbon footprint" started by cycling to work as a way to lose weight. As I did more riding, I realized that I am in a wonderful location to ride all year. Even though I'm in Colorado, I live in the Front Range region where we get over 300 sunny days a year on average. When it snows here, it is usually off the roads within 2 days, so I rarely had to drive. I purchased some winter riding clothes, and improved my wardrobe as time went on. I added lights to my bike and my helmet so I could see and others would notice me (amazing how quickly an SUV will brake when a little flashing LED is pointed at them), and basically got myself setup for riding everywhere I went. In the spring of '06 my wife and I decided to sell our second car since it had been sitting in the driveway with two flat tires for 3 months. At that point I rode everywhere I had to go unless the roads were icy, or it was actively snowing, or below 0 degrees (f).

This all ended on March 1st '07, when a young driver rear ended me at 50mph! I "woke up" in the ICU wing of the local hospital 6 hours later with a broken ankle (read: broken off!), and a brain injury. I give kudos to my Gyro Pneumo helmet for saving my life! Happily my ankle was fixed by an excellent surgeon and two 3" stainless steel screws, so I am walking, running, mountain biking, and enjoy a full range of motion again. My brain injury is also healing, but I still have a ways to go before I'm back to normal there. I am working with a wonderful occupational therapist and we are making good progress.

Which all brings me to EcoModder! Since commuting by bike was pretty much out of the question, I went looking for a car. My most important criteria was that it had to get over 30mpg at its worst. I also couldn't afford a hybrid, so I went looking at little cars. I was reducing my list of cars and had almost given up on finding one that could get 30mpg and wasn't too old when a co-worker told me he was selling a Mazda MX-3 RS. As soon as I saw it, I knew that if the mileage was right, I would own it. He let me test drive it for a weekend, and never got it back.

I am now looking at ways to get even better mileage by some aero mods and probably switching the transmission to one with a taller final drive ratio. I think with a little work, I can get my combined mileage over 40mpg which would make me very happy. I'm also very glad to have found this forum and look forward to learning even more!



*Time period is from 1 January 2006 - 1 March 2007*
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