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View Poll Results: What kind of roads do you drive on
Divided Freeway (divided, 2 or more lanes each way) 7 14.89%
City streets (timed lights) 2 4.26%
City streets (untimed lights) 3 6.38%
Suburban streets (more stop signs than lights) 3 6.38%
Rural roads / highways (undivided) 12 25.53%
Balanced mix of one or more of the above 16 34.04%
Other (what am I forgetting?) 4 8.51%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-13-2009, 09:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What type of roads do you drive on?

I usually drive a mix of urban freeways and city streets, and, not having any instant feedback, my mileage reports are always averaged over different size loads, and various traffic conditions.

Recently I had a job which had me drive a long distance empty, pick up a load which was heavy but small enough to keep covered, and return, along a lightly trafficked mostly flat 4 lane freeway.

That got me about 15% better mileage than I have been averaging recently.

It got me thinking (again) about how some people write about techniques like P&G, dwl, dwb (pulse and glide, driving with load, driving without brakes)
I just don't see how it is possible to apply these in the real world, with traffic around.

So I wonder, what kind of roads do y'all drive on?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I live out in the country here in the flatlands of Ohio and 90% of my commuting is on rural roads. One of the reasons for the great fuel mileage I get.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Rural hell. I stick with dirt roads pretty well when I know they're shorter than the main highways.

Most of my driving is on semi-city roads, some with untimed lights, others with pressure sensor lights, which suck if you're the first person to them.

I manage to drive without using my brakes for the most part, unless I have to come to a complete stop, and I drive an automatic most days. Hell, even towing my wife's new car home, I still managed to not use my brakes all that much, but I was being extremely cautious about speed to begin with, given the relative lack of safety involved with using my dad's truck to tow a nearly 5000# load which didn't have it's own braking system.

The brakes on the van squeak unless you really press on them, so I don't like using them anyway. I slow down by downshifting the automatic transmission. I can't verify my DWL skills, since I don't have a vacuum gauge or other instrumentation, but I always drive with as little pressure on the throttle as I can use to stay at the speed I want. I don't vary my speed except on uphill/downhill stints.

Pulse and glide hasn't worked for me, mostly because I don't have the proper instrumentation to identify my "sweet" spot, I presume.
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I drive on every kind of road. from floaty pebbles on an abandoned railroad..with the smacking wooden planks on the one lane bridge that remains, to 80 mph on 128 in massachussetts...and to maines leaning north and bangor maines mini san francisco stunts by brilliant engineers of year ago...potholes included. It isn't until I-495 in mass that I recall, where a sense of smooth starts happening. This year into next with the rain and records..holy cow. I got my camera handy.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I voted suburban. Pretty much our roads are usually wide open but tons of hills and windy, only the main streets are crowded (and our crowded is probably not even close to what yours is)
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I live near the city limit, so I have to go 15km before I get to the center. Most of my driving is to districts around the city center, not in it, though sometimes I have to go through it. If I have to go to the center, I take a train or bus, when I can I bike. On a few occasions I left the car somewhere and walked, bussed to the center.

On the other hand, a few times a year we take the car to the mountains, about 400-500km each way. This is mostly highways which have a 90-100 km/h speed limit, but which go through lots of small urban areas.

Haven't been using the car too much lately (see: fuel log, last entry 2 months ago).
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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JacobAziza -

I drive a mix too, but maybe 80% of my miles are commuting to/from work, and 75% of those are freeway. My normal trek is 7 miles of city streets that I use to warm up the engine and do "on the way to work" errands. The last 27 miles are freeway that I try to hit off-peak. Here's the freeway portion of my to-work commute :

Trip log for: 1999 Saturn SW2, Trip: home to work

I have strategic locations on my route where I can EOC and/or P&G, depending on traffic conditions, but they aren't many. They're usually long stretches of right lanes without merging traffic.

I use the 710 freeway for 5 miles, which is a major truck freeway. Very bumpy but the traffic is mostly tame, so I like it.

On the streets to/from work, I drive "parallel" to main arteries. I've learned that in a lot of cases, even with non-optimum light timing, I can manage better MPG because I can drive "my way" without worrying about bottlenecks.

I stay away from one-lane roads where possible. If I do use a one-lane road, I will drive the speed limit if I am being followed.

The traffic dictates my behavior. Sometimes I just can't win.

If I'm not mistaken, it sounds like you're work trips are usually different, so you can't "optimize" your route.

CarloSW2
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Divided non-urban interstate highway?
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yep, where I am going is different every trip, so no, no real way to optimize.

Also, around here the streets parallel to the main streets either have speed bumps, stop signs every block, or are actually blocked off to through traffic with concrete barriers.

I am not aware of any street in any city near me that has timed lights, and in the downtown areas there are lights every single block.

On the freeways traffic slows to full stop and crawl during both rush hours, and often backs up to crawl at random other times as well.

On the plus side, I can easily walk to the grocery, hardware, auto store, taqueria and pizza from my house, and bike to my 2nd job.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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90 day: 27.54 mpg (US)

Jessica's - '04 Toyota Matrix
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Ninjette - '01 Kawasaki Ninja EX250R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
Divided non-urban interstate highway?
hmm, I suppose I should have just called it divided freeway.

not sure if I can edit polls though...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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