• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Are you a gas addict??

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
New Year's Rant: Hi, I'm Patrick, and I'm a gas addict


By Patrick O'Grady
VeloNews editor at large


New Year's resolutions usually bring to mind the "Oh, God, I'll never (insert vice here) again" class of vow taken upon awakening queasily on New Year's Day under your truck in a friend's driveway with a fresh cast on one ankle, your pants on backward and your mouth tasting not of sweet midnight kisses, but of feedlot mire, SuperFund sludge and baboon's ass.

OK, so maybe that's just me.



Whatever. These annual trench confessions, if I am making them, are about as reliable as a baby-kissing politician, particularly if the politician is Bill Clinton and the baby is your teen-age daughter. Indeed, New Year's resolutions are campaign promises we make to ourselves. God only knows what we're running for, or from.

For many years, my campaign platform had a single plank: Quit smoking cigarettes. I had quit smoking dope in my late teens, but nicotine proved a more tenacious bodily tenant than the much more laid-back THC. Consider the dreamlike ease of herding ganja-addled hippies from your rental property like so many dreadlocked sheep, compared to the nightmare of evicting a heavily armed gang of meth-cooking bikers. I'd quit smoking dope for six months before I realized what I'd done. Nicotine never let me forget it was around.

Until I voted for Al Gore in 2000, giving up cigarettes was the hardest thing I'd ever done. Every New Year's Eve, I would renounce the pernicious weed, then celebrate my pledge with a pack or two of Marlboros and many powerful beverages. And every New Year's Day, like some Chuck Jones parody of "The Ascent of Man," I would emerge from my alcoholic morass, achieve a rudimentary bipedal locomotion, and shamble forward, grunting, toward the nearest heaping ashtray, using my opposable thumbs to search it for smokable butts the way one ape grooms another for tasty fleas.

It took a crisis to wean me from Philip Morris's cancerous titty: an upper-respiratory ailment just short of pneumonia that made it tough to inhale air, much less smoke. A few weeks of wheezing and hacking finally succeeded where any number of New Year's vows had failed, and for the first time cigarette smoke didn't smell good, even when I was drinking a beer, or finishing a meal. Nicotine's Pavlovian bell had quit ringing for me; I no longer salivated at the thought of a smoke.

Like most addictive personalities, I replaced my old habit with a new one: bicycling. At first it was simply exercise; I needed to lose weight and flush the smoke from my rusty pipes. But I quickly became hooked, and the rides grew longer and more frequent. I rode centuries, did a team triathlon, then took out a U.S. Cycling Federation license and started racing - first the road, then mountain biking, and finally cyclo-cross. Now and then I dreamed that I had started smoking again, but there was no overflowing ashtray on the nightstand when I awakened with a guilty start.

And now, another crisis looms. I've been addicted to gasoline for a good many years, and my habit abruptly worsened six years ago when we moved to a hillside near the Wet Mountain Valley town of Westcliffe. A 1983 Toyota is reasonably efficient as light trucks go, but even a 22R four-cylinder drinks a good deal of dinosaur wine when groceries, restaurants and other amenities involve a 100-mile round trip at minimum. No 12-step programs address the question of how to get organic produce, a tasty Côtes du Rhône and Black Diamond cheddar from Pueblo to Dog Mountain without an assist from Texaco, and we were going through the 87 octane faster than Ray Milland went through rye whiskey in "The Lost Weekend."

This was only one of the many reasons we left Custer County this past fall for a bungalow in an older neighborhood of Colorado Springs. Like cigarettes, gasoline is for sale here, too, but you don't have to buy it, and I'm trying very hard not to, especially since the government has decided that the stuff is important enough to go to war over (talk about your addictions).
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
We purchase about 5 gallons a week total as a family (2 cars). This doesn't include the occasional road trip - about once a month. That may include up to 15 gallons. So that is 35 gallons a month on average. How does that compare to the rest of you?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
About 175 gallons a month (2,100 miles per month at 12 miles per gallon).
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
Unless we're heading up north to see family, I only use the car about twice a week. I usually only have to put gas in once a month. I think that works out to about 30L/7.5 gallons a month.

If I have to go up north, that's about a 1000km/600mile roundtrip. So that would be an additional 60L/16 gallons.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,887
Points
38
I fill up once a week....about 15 gal. My wife, now that she has an office job, fills up every 10 to 12 days or so, 15 gal.

More on weekends where we go to her parents....that's a 350 mile roundtrip....
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,387
Points
25
I go through about 27 gallons per week just commuting. Even more when the all wheel drive is in heavy use........
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
On a good week I can use as little as a US gallon (4 litres) of gas. On a week like the past one I probably used about 80 litres/ 20 gallons(2 tanks of gas for about 800km).

Mike you'll appreciate this (especially considering the source of your article), some of the guys I road ride with drive to the meeting spot, about 8 km from their houses instead of riding there. Now thats funny.
 

plannerkat

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
4-5 gallons a week. When friends start bragging about how fast their cars are, I feel compelled to gloat that I spend less than $40 a month on gas. If I can ever afford a new car it will be a hybrid.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
I fill my car up maybe every 5 or 6 weeks, rob fills his about every 2 weeks, so maybe a little more than 30 gal/month - but that's not including a trip out to see my parents (13 gallons round trip). Rob's honda usually gets between 21 - 30 mpg.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
donk said:

Mike you'll appreciate this (especially considering the source of your article), some of the guys I road ride with drive to the meeting spot, about 8 km from their houses instead of riding there. Now thats funny.
I've seen Bobby Jullich drive to rides before. He lives in my neighborhood, about 8 miles from where we meet.

For the record: I've never driven to a group ride, except for weekdays when I come from work.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
well in the stop and go DC traffic on 66 i use about a tank a week so its 10-12 gal

:-(
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Terrible gas addict.

I have a smaller car (Subaru WRX), but stepping on the gas at all means the turbo comes on-and you know what that means :(
That's my only complaint about the car. I guess I could drive more sedately, but . . . :)

On the positive side, I "only" live 15 minutes from work (which is great for California). During the summer, I "can" bicycle to work.

On the negative side, I spend way too much time driving to San Francisco and Berkeley and other places on the weekends. I am seriously inflicted with wanderlust.

My Jones is probably about 10-15 gallons per week
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,403
Points
32
about 20 gallons a week if nothing abnormal is planned. The week of Dec 21-27 it was about 70 gallons.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Hmmm...

I thought this thread was going to be about me eating pork & saurkraut, cabbage rolls, a dozen deviled eggs, and drinking beer on New Years Day...

But, I use little petrol here. Now the SO uses quite a bit, to the tune of five 15 gallon fill-ups per month, to make the commute to the valley everyday.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Driving into Madison once or twice a week eats up some gas, as does visiting family in the flatlands. I would guess I average 10-12 gallons a week, or 40 per month.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Mine is about 14 gallons every eight days or so. All of that is pretty much commute. Although, recent forays to Skyreach Centre to watch the Oil has burned a bit more.
 
Top