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Old 12-09-2016, 08:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi, I'm Scott.

Hey folks, this may be a circuitous intro, but bear with me.

These days, I tend to think of myself more as a commuting cyclist, but winter always finds me driving more to get to work and other places. And thus, I find myself thinking about *how* I drive...

I'm on track to put about 4,000 miles on my car this year, which I consider to be an improvement over the 12,000+ I did for many years before (re)discovering the bike. That car, by the way, is a 1996 Subaru Outback. When I picked it out in 2007, I wanted something with AWD and ground clearance for snow, a manual transmission, and a reliable engine (EJ22). I'm pleased to say that while some of the accessories no longer work, it's still a solid car.

I got the hypermiling bug in January 2014 when I calculated my mileage for the most recent fill-up and was appalled to have gotten 17.9 MPG! I think that was also around the time I discovered Mr Money Mustache, so it didn't take long to find his column on hypermiling. Before long, I was putting more air in my tires, coasting to intersections, and experimenting with grille blocks. After the subsequent tank, I never got below 20 MPG again, and have averaged 25.9 this year.

So that's probably plenty for now. You likely won't hear much from me once Spring rolls around and I'm on my bike again, but after getting so much good from this site, I finally decided to join.

Cheers!
- Scott


Last edited by ThermionicScott; 12-09-2016 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I tend to think of myself more as a commuting cyclist, but winter always finds me driving more to get to work and other places
A friend of mine who died last year used to commute by bicycle, but the city where he was living didn't have such an extreme weather in the winter.


Quote:
That car, by the way, is a 1996 Subaru Outback. When I picked it out in 2007, I wanted something with AWD and ground clearance for snow, a manual transmission, and a reliable engine (EJ22). I'm pleased to say that while some of the accessories no longer work, it's still a solid car.
What accessories are not working? Is there any feature that you would be OK getting rid of for the sake of weight reduction? Anyway, since you use it mostly in bad weather, fitting it with LED lighting all around would be useful to decrease the electric load and allowing you to eventually run the alternator with an underdrive pulley to decrease its drag. I'm just not sure if a smaller battery would be so suitable due to the cold-starting routine.
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Old 12-10-2016, 05:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Scott,

Welcome aboard. Loved to hear about your rediscovering of the bicycle It sure is as green as it can be. It is nice to hear that you have been applying the knowledge you've read here on your vehicle for some mpg benefits .
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Winter Sacrifice - '96 Subaru Outback
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
A friend of mine who died last year used to commute by bicycle, but the city where he was living didn't have such an extreme weather in the winter.
Sorry to hear it, man. I've lost a couple of friends this year, and I didn't expect this to be happening until we all got older.

Quote:
What accessories are not working? Is there any feature that you would be OK getting rid of for the sake of weight reduction? Anyway, since you use it mostly in bad weather, fitting it with LED lighting all around would be useful to decrease the electric load and allowing you to eventually run the alternator with an underdrive pulley to decrease its drag. I'm just not sure if a smaller battery would be so suitable due to the cold-starting routine.
Let's see -- the chief ones are the air conditioner and CD player in the radio. A couple years ago, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to pull the fuse to the AC compressor to save energy, and despite replacing the fuse, it hasn't clutched in since. Biking to work in the spring/summer/fall, the AC isn't really missed unless I have to take a road trip somewhere.

The CD player isn't really missed. The radio still works.

LED lighting is a good idea... I replaced one of the fog lights yesterday, and it consumes 55W all by itself.

As for the battery/alternator, it was 6F when I drove to work this morning, and we're supposed to see temperatures under 0 in the next few days. I replace car batteries often enough that I'll probably keep the full-size battery and alternator. I do plan to use the block heater and trickle-charge the battery more often this winter, though!

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Originally Posted by RAV4 EV View Post
Hi Scott,

Welcome aboard. Loved to hear about your rediscovering of the bicycle It sure is as green as it can be. It is nice to hear that you have been applying the knowledge you've read here on your vehicle for some mpg benefits .
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We are something like 10x more likely to die on a bike per mile compared to driving those miles in a car.
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Winter Sacrifice - '96 Subaru Outback
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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
We are something like 10x more likely to die on a bike per mile compared to driving those miles in a car.
There are different ways to look at the available data. I'm not interested in having a debate about it here.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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welcome, and there is something feel so sorry
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
...until we all got older.
We already are, unfortunately.

Welcome aboard! Kudos on the bike- the secret here is to drive your car the same way, conserving momentum.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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.... You likely won't hear much from me once Spring rolls around and I'm on my bike again, but after getting so much good from this site, I finally decided to join. ...
There is a fossil fuel free subforum here, and an alternative transportation forum too. I post in them sometimes about my eBike 12 speed roadbike conversion. Which I am using today for my commuting and trips. Cali winter is pretty mild. It was in the 50s and slightly drizzly this morning at dawn when I left home. Nothing like the Old Country (NY/NJ/PA).
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Winter Sacrifice - '96 Subaru Outback
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Originally Posted by Fat Charlie View Post
We already are, unfortunately.

Welcome aboard! Kudos on the bike- the secret here is to drive your car the same way, conserving momentum.
Thanks, Charlie! Even before I knew what "hypermiling" was, some of my bike habits (good and bad) started leaking into my car driving. Like shifting to neutral and "coasting" down hills. I've also noticed a tendency to slow-and-go at stop signs, since stopping completely enough to put a foot down on the bike if no one else around is annoying. So that's something to keep an eye on, since getting pulled over (in the car) for failure to come to a complete stop can't be good for FE.

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Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
There is a fossil fuel free subforum here, and an alternative transportation forum too. I post in them sometimes about my eBike 12 speed roadbike conversion. Which I am using today for my commuting and trips. Cali winter is pretty mild. It was in the 50s and slightly drizzly this morning at dawn when I left home. Nothing like the Old Country (NY/NJ/PA).
I need to check that out more, thanks. I don't have a whole lot of interest in powered bikes at this point, but I can see the utility for a lot of people.

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