What it Takes to Be a HyperMiler

It’s no secret that I was born to drive like a city mouse. When the streets are dry up here in Canada, I take every opportunity to fly like the wind—I don’t speed {more than necessary}, but I do like to get ahead of the other cars right off the line at a red light.  At stop signs, I wait the cursory three seconds—but not a moment longer.

Stop SignImage from here.

And yesterday, when the idiot woman in the Lexus™ expected me to slow down just so she could merge into my lane (which I did not, because puh-lease…), and then crammed in front of me at the last second, and then STOMPED! on her brakes as soon as she was in my lane, just to make me mad…I may or may not have gestured rudely to her rear view mirror.  I suppose she expected me to let her in—even though I had the right of way—just because most Canadians would’ve.  Drivers in this country are just so courteous, you see, and I…

…I am not.

But all that is in the past now.  It is with much regret that I announce my days of lead-footed driving are no more.  No longer do I “give ‘er” as soon as the light turns green; gone are my days of gunning it just to get ahead of the pack.  Why, you ask?  Why the sudden change of heart?

Thor.

thorThor is a beast of a machine who hasn’t been economical a day in his life.

Ever since I killed Tamra Camry, I’ve had the good pleasure of having Thor as my chariot.  He’s my trusty steed.  Only he’s not very trusty.  Or steedly.  Nevertheless, I’m grateful we had a backup vehicle for me to use after I incompetently destroyed my other one.  I won’t complain.

Or maybe I will, because there’s just one thing:  Thor uses 1/4 tank of gas to get me to school and back—that same drive would have taken Tamra Camry less than 1/8 tank.  It’s kind of disturbing to drive to school only two days and suddenly see the tank on empty.

expensive fuel gaugePeople actually convert their fuel gauges to look like this.  Brilliant.  Image from here.

I was bemoaning these woes to Poor Kyle last week, and he said to me, most unsympathetically, “Well, you’d get better mileage if you’d just slow down.”

I, of course, took exception to that, because I never drive any faster than the speed limit should be, and I told him so.

“It’s more about how you drive than how fast you drive,” he said smugly.

Naturally, I was confused, because that didn’t make any sense—“how fast I drive” is basically my identity, and that’s no different than “how I drive.”

Poor Kyle went on to explain that if I could manage to work my way up to the speed limit *slowly,* and never rev the engine, I’d get substantially better mileage.

“Never rev the engine?” I asked, incredulous.  “How is it even possible?  That’s no way to live!”

But evidently, it’s true: if I keep Thor’s motor revving under 2,000 RPMs, I get better mileage.  I’ve been trying it all week, and I’m sorry to say that it actually works.  Already, I’ve been to town and back twice, and it only took 1/4 tank of fuel—that’s double last week’s average.

Dadgummit.

As much as I’m loath to admit it—and I am very, very loath—Poor Kyle’s method really works.

Poor Poor Kyle; he’s been trying to get me to ease up my driving habits for years now.  Always before, when I asked him why I should drive more slowly, his reason was because I might run over a kid playing in the street.  Horrible reasoning, Poor Kyle; it would never happen—too obscure.  But tell me it could save a gallon of fuel, and I suddenly become the granny driver I always used to tailgate.

rev-ometer (RPM meter)Image from here.

Since there’s really no excuse not to be driving more conservatively {except the sheer tedium of it}, I’ve decided to make my daily commute as fun as possible.  I stare at the rev-o-meter almost constantly; I cringe when I approach an uphill road; I don’t even use cruise control, for fear not being able to regulate the revolutions.

It takes me 20 minutes just to work up to the speed limit.  I’m halfway done with my commute before I ever hit 100 kilometers per hour.  On the highway into town, there’s always a clear open road ahead of me, and a loooong line of cars backed up behind me, itching to pass.

For all intents and purposes, I’m becoming a hypermiler.

Or, in other words, I am now the driver I used to hate. Just shove me behind the wheel of a Lexus™, and I’ll be flipping me off in no time.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
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13 Responses to What it Takes to Be a HyperMiler

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hah!!! No more making fun of me when you drive with me in our land yacht. That will teach you.

  2. Chloe says:

    My father drives like you used to!! And he complains about fuel… I’ve told him about revving motor under 2,000 RPMS, but he doesn’t listen to me… He thinks I’m a granny driver! :( I love you too dad!

  3. raygon says:

    I love Kyles reason for driving slow. So you dont hit any kids playing in the street. What a nice guy. He is welcome in my neighborhood any time. And so are you now that you have changed your ways!

  4. Katie says:

    Chris is always trying to get me to slow down, too. Let’s be sure he doesn’t know about the saving gas argument. We’ll just keep this to ourselves…

  5. HeatherPride says:

    This is only the first step on the road to middle age, Camille. Next stop: the Metamucil purchase. Delicious.

  6. Maureen says:

    My boyfriend is all about driving slow to save gas, mainly because he has no money. He has manual transmission so he can coast most of the way and it makes other drivers really annoyed. He just laughs at them for being in a hurry to get to the next red light.

  7. Camille says:

    Anonymous my sister— You win.

    Chloe— How funny that your dad drives like a kid and you drive like a granny!

    raygon— Yeah, he’s a good man.

    Katie— I know, I’d hate for you to reach the same fate as me!

    HeatherPride— I’ve heard great things about Metamucil!

    Maureen— I never had any money either, but it didn’t stop me from driving like a crazy person. Those days are gone, though. Dead and gone.

  8. jethro says:

    Kyle’s DA MAN!
    How kind of him to explain it as saving children, not saving gas.
    My public transit bus never exceeds the posted speed limits, (think it’s part of the job), could take out a lexus-whatever, ithout slowing down. Lotta diesel fumes though. Damn, nothing’s perfect yet.

    I’m so impatient.

    (Did you hear today the duck loss at the tailing ponds you posted re once was 3 times the original ‘SIN-crude’ press release?
    Sin as crude as you like, dude, i like ducks, yer a jerk.)

  9. Rachel says:

    I wonder what kind of gas mileage a Lexus gets? I’ll stick to the Toyota family myself. Now if the trusty ’99 Corolla will just hold out for a few more years…

  10. HAHAHA
    That’s Terrible News.
    But it made for an interesting and entertaining post!

  11. Oh and his last name is Burbank.
    You may know his sister Vanessa.
    I think she may be close to your age…

  12. Amy Andersen says:

    Oh, Camille. You are hilarious!

  13. anna says:

    When gas was super expensive, I totally started hypermiling whenever I could and I didn’t care if I made people mad, I was saving money!

    I loved your post about the progression, er, digression in your appearance from school. I’ve been so busy lately and looking in the mirror I realized I look totally ragged.

Comments are closed.