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Old 06-25-2014, 12:58 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Last Sunday's day trip up to Richmond was traffic so heavy you get the "accordion effect" when one car hits the brake lights and a chain reaction goes on for 50 cars behind that first brake light. If you fall for that and try to draft you will never get decent mileage. I just reduced my average speed to 60-65 in a 70 zone, since the traffic density would not allow anyone to average the posted speed.

The wife commented "why is everyone passing you". "Because they are idiots". I was watching for the brake lights, as far as I could see, and when I saw them I started coasting or slowly slowing down depending on the distance I had in front of me or whether the grade was uphill or downhill, coasting in neutral on downhills with almost no loss of speed. Cars in the left lane are blowing by me at 70-80 only to join the accordion, sometimes with near panic stops as they realized how slow the accordion was actually going. Separation in the accordion was 4 car lengths or 60 feet at 100 feet per second velocity (INSANE).

In less than 1 mile the average speed had dropped to less than 40 MPH and I started P&G, engine on. This continued for several miles until we passed the exit to the 295 beltway around Richmond. I had moved to the left lane since 90% of the traffic takes the 295 north exit. One Maryland driver almost stopped before figuring out that the exit was a two lane exit. I was ready for this and prepared to swerve over to the left shoulder should she stop completely in heavy traffic with a 65 MPH limit and almost certainly cause a pileup.

After that exit (which was still backed up 6 miles 5 hours later, Sunday vacationers going home) things got very mellow until the intersection of 95 and 64 and then until 95 separated and went north. My exit was two exits after the 95 North exit. When we stopped at the Antique Mall myMPG reading was 55.2 (38 highway rating).

In the whole 50 mile ride there were no safe opportunities to draft, but the "corridor effect" helped my mileage anyway.


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Old 06-25-2014, 04:01 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Joggernot View Post
I ride and was drafting a truck across NM when the truck went over (straddled) a dead tread, which I hit. No crash, just hurt on the left side. I don't draft anymore because I want to see ahead of the truck.
Good point. That is my biggest concern when I'm behind a truck, and I follow at a distance that gives me enough time to avoid debris.

Your observation that you can't see beyond a truck is one of my pet peeves when a truck or SUV races ahead of me and then pulls into my lane. I look through the windows of cars ahead of me to see what traffic is doing and avoid road hazards, but this is not possible when the vehicle ahead of me is much taller.
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:30 PM   #23 (permalink)
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+1 for no drafting.

My whole goal in hypermiling is to save a few bucks, body and suspension repairs are costly. Slowing down lightens the load on the engine too, so internal parts last longer as well. Win-win-win.


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