My Ride. Tarabell’s 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/546/Tarabell_s_2006_HCH-II.jpg[/xfloat]Tarabell - CleanMPG.com – Jan 7, 2006 Mudder is a racetrack term for a horse that likes to run in mud. After I drove my new car home in the rain from the dealer, my husband mentioned he once won a lot of money on a mudder, so that’s what I decided to name my HCH-II. I decided on the HCH-II mainly for the California HOV sticker, the tax credit, and belief that gas prices in the long term are only headed upward. But I didn’t think the increased gas mileage of a hybrid would require any real effort on my part and planned to drive my usual way. Then I discovered the real fun of driving this car was in the effort. Now I rarely even use the HOV lane because the average speed is usually too high for me there—I prefer to stay around 50-55mph in the right hand lane. On a nice morning with the right traffic conditions I can glide a mile or so into small congestion pockets and drive a ~20 mile segment with 70+ mpg. Best tank to date has been 65mpg. I haven’t done any improvements to this car since it’s already much smarter than I am. What’s really needed is to improve the driver. Still, I amaze myself that I own a tire gauge, and can open the hood and locate the fuse box. I never did any of these things with my previous cars. Why I’ve taken this much interest in a vehicle and learning how to drive it for maximum fuel efficiency at this time is probably a good question and my family attributes it to approaching menopause.