johnny May 28th, 2008
Well, our house gets about 14 mpg on flat land such as Florida. We got more in the neighborhood of 12 mpg in the Virginia and North Carolina mountains.
I know everyone has been screaming about fuel prices lately, and I’d rather not get too terribly sidetracked other than to say that in less than two weeks while we were at the Bike Rally, we watched fuel prices go up 12% across the street from us.
I know these prices probably look low to many of you, but we are currently in one of the least expensive ‘fuel zones’ according to this map over at gasbuddy.com. The last I heard, diesel prices in Mexico are about half of the prices here in South Carolina. I guess it pays to be a country that is exporting oil and have state run petroleum companies. Hopefully we’ll make it into Mexico in the next year or two and brush up on some very rusty Spanish.
In the meantime, we have to deal with some pretty exorbitant fuel prices compared to a mere few years back. We can’t save much fuel by driving slower as we’re already trying to stay at the most reasonable speeds for fuel efficiency. This leaves only two choices: increase income to offset rising fuel prices or drive less.
The problem with driving less is you can’t see as much of the places you’re visiting if you drive to a campsite, park there for a week or two and then move on. A quick shopping trip on Jenn’s bike convinced me that if we were to rely on pedal power to explore the surrounding areas, we wouldn’t see too much.
A quick spin around the block on my brother’s scooter renewed my interest in hauling one along. These oversized toys are just plain fun to ride.
Our moped gets somewhere between 85 and 105 mpg, depending on which of us is riding or if we are both aboard. It’s not quite broken in yet, but currently manages about 35 mph with a single rider or 30 mph ridden double.
We’ve put a little over 200 miles on it in under a week. While I won’t claim it’s actually saved us much in the way of diesel expenses, it has certainly enabled us to get out and see the surrounding area far more than we could manage walking or riding bicycles.
We even managed to haul the metal detector and a couple of digging tools 7 miles down the road to Atlantic Beach to look for lost trinkets after Memorial Day. We didn’t find anything but pocket change and a toy car, but the scooter allowed us to choose which beach to hunt on rather than being limited to the one we are parked next to.
As someone that grew up in a ‘car culture’, having the ability to just get out and cruise around aimlessly without it costing an arm and a leg or taking time to break camp first makes this entire lifestyle much more enjoyable.