CleanMPG members are about to embark to the Tour De Sol 2006 ... Beware lots of pics

Discussion in 'Events and Gatherings' started by xcel, May 8, 2006.

  1. invisiblegold

    invisiblegold New Member


    I think I took second place to Wayne and Dan in the competition (93.7 and 80.1 for 84.2 mpg combined). Everything you've read is right. The course was pretty tough on everyone...especially the weather. (big nasty hills, rainy rush hour traffic, etc.) The final results will be interesting to read once they are published.

    Regardless, they drove an excellent race and soundly beat us by 5.7 mpg (4.9 if you count our time penalties) And that includes mistakes that we all made.

    One of the highlights of the competition was meeting and talking to the experts and comparing notes to what they were doing. It was also interesting to drive the "confirmation" route with the same judge. We had very similar techniques except Wayne "lugged" away from lights more and drove slower on the smaller roads. Driving on the highway was about the same. (I mostly drive in l/km mode and keep it between 2 and 4.)



    PS: You can read the blog that I wrote about the trip at
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  2. ericbecky

    ericbecky Member

    First, I want to say congrats to you. As you know coming in second to Wayne (and Dan) is almost something to be proud of. I sure wish the weather would have been more cooperative. Do you think there would have been some 100 mpgs turned in if the weather was better? Or was the route just too tough?
  3. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Congrats to all those that participated. Waynes driving style is impressive. I wouldn't say "lugged" so much as tries to accelerate as slow as possible and safe.

    I just had supper with him and he was telling me what a wonderful group of people he met up there. He said at times it was frustrating and it was a little dissorganized but he had a lot of fun.

    I expect there was a little bonding going on between all you guys having had to fight the same enemy. If I didn't know better I'd suspect the organizers paid the government to seed a few clouds for the race just to make it more difficult ;)

    Everyone competing is a hero in my book for just being able to survive the route.

    Way to go all!
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___All I can add is a few pics and some commentary but most has already been posted. Let say that it sure is good to be home as that was a very long 5 days and 4 nights.

    ___I have to thank so many people but first I want to add that Dan drove well over 600 miles of the Drive in and the 200 mile challenge so it was indeed a team effort and I could not have done it without him. Not only is he a logistic magician, he has the right foot control of a pianist and patience not comparable to anyone I know. Truly the calmest individual you or I will ever meet and I am so glad he joined me for the 2006 Tour Del Sol ordeal and “ordeal” is being kind. Tom did an excellent job helping with weather and temps in real time as we needed them as well as offering encouragement while Dan and I were battling some of the worst spring weather conditions I have ever driven in. He was our real time weather man and oh boy did we need him during the continuous rain storms on Day 1 and after about 200 - 250 miles of the 20 -25 mph headwinds on day 2! Terry, thank you for the funny anecdotes whenever we connected as it made the long days that much easier to deal with :D

    ___I also want to thank Andy Roberts and Doug Schaefer of the YaHoo - Prius_Tech/Prius 2G groups for creating elevations maps of the various routes to the Tour Del Sol as well as the course itself in less then 24 hours after our electronic documents arrived. They were like our 3rd and 4th passenger seat Navigator’s!

    ___Well, here are a few more …

    ___This is how lightly you pack for a cross country FE challenge. Yes, we had soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant but Dan wondered if I was going to let him take anything else ;) We did have HybridFest 2006 and Milwaukee hybrid group material in the small trunk as well as an array of PDA based GPS HW, Cel phones, and a digital camera. Notice the mats were removed and I was using paper mats from the Honda dealership. Every ounce counts when climbing the hills and mountains of Pennsylvania and New York.


    The Shell Gas Station attendant at launch, Marjorie. Getting someone to sign off on the multiple data inputs was more then I could have hoped for from just about anyone? Thank you Marjorie!


    ___A few elevation details of the course … The tough part about this is we were climbing at anywhere from 25 - 65 mpg depending on the steepness of the many slopes but because we could not FAS down the backside, we had to use Regen for Fuel Cut to bring the pack up and then coast for the rest of the ride down when and where applicable. Anyway, this is from the start and what we had to climb right out of the box. As usual, there was a stop light at the base of the first small climb and of course we got stuck there ;)


    ___The next pic not only includes a climb out to almost 1,450 feet, it was in the beginning of this section where me blew a turn and traveled over 2.5 miles past and then 2.5 miles back to get back on course for a total of about 10 minutes. When we passed our turn, we were at 88.0. After the turnaround and climb back out, we were at 87.4 mpg’s :( We sure wish the Tour Del Sol officials would have given us the 10 minutes back as it would have removed our 3 to 6 minute penalty but they said those are the rules. For next year’s course no matter what they create, we will not make that mistake as we will have a completely clear idea as to the courses twists and turns well beforehand. We can only hope they will have marked the course with simple arrows at these splits or Y junctions as I call them …


    ___As to the questions posed here, I hope the following will suffice.

    GoNavy, that traffic jam pic was taken right after a toll booth at I-55 and I-294 just west of Chicago proper and the far left was for cars with I-Pass. So much for a transponder helping out in that nightmare ;)

    Sledge, I was just learning what the cel phone pics were worth. Looking at how cloudy the initial pics were, they are not worth much ;)

    HawkGT647, I knew I had a vapor recovery fill from the station as it was a 12.4 something fill IIRC. I could have probably placed another gallon in there but I figured 80 mpg would be the absolute bottom knowing what we were going to face over the next 2 days and ~ 1,000 miles to go.

    Who in their right mind would take a pic of a gasoline fillup? I know of a few guys that did ;)

    GaryG, it was raining so hard at points and without the ability to use A/C to defog the windows due to FE concerns, we were wiping them off manually!

    GoNavy, when they would not allow our WAI and limited to just 44#’s in the RE92’s to climb the equivalent of 6 degree slopes again and again and again with 2 people in the car, rain for ~ 30% of the route, cold temps, higher speeds due to the time constraint, I could not imagine how anyone could match 40% above EPA combined in anything? We fought the drive in and the course like we have never fought anything in our lives. Every tick of the iFCD meant a change in throttle position and there was a change on almost a continuous basis.

    Eric, Tom and Terry relayed what you had posted and it was actually scary when all we could muster was a lousy 76.x in a heavy rain the only chance we had to take the first 50 miles into the 200 mile course. I was truly worried but with the insight (no pun intended ;)), it gave us a gauge.

    Tarabell, I am working on that California part. Then again, San Francisco’s hills cannot be much better then those hills/mountains we were being slammed with in the NY area either!

    Eric, I can think of more then a few ;) Every time we would pull over w/ E-Flasher’s for Mike and his nephew to go around, they would do the same. It took an 18-wheeler, a P/U truck, and a long light to bring back some distance between us. When they caught back up the next time, I was hard into Regen and unless they wanted to pull the brakes hard, I think they had to go around? Sort of like NASCAR in reverse so as to keep our secrets ;)

    GoNavy, Mike D. just posted the official press release with the categories over at IC but there was no list of the individual FE results. Maybe later? Here is what was linked: The Tour de Sol Reports, 2006

    Phil, we used every gear during those monster climbs!

    John, it was great to meet you and I hope Dan and I see you again in the future. Don’t forget Hybrid Fest 2006 out in Madison, WI. this July as there will be many new people to meet with like minded ideals.

    Eric, if the temps were in the mid 70’s with no rain and sunny, we could run 60 #’s +, WAI’s, FAS, D-FAS, and draft on the highway, and we did not have a time constraint, 100 mpg’s should be possible but those climbs at 30 mpg’s or less in many cases cannot be made up for with a FAS from the other side at infinite mpg’s. The best you can do is a double the rate of the climb over twice the distance of that climb. I would like to take that challenge in perfect conditions but when is NY going to have perfect conditions in mid May? It was an absolutely ridiculous course to try and get 100 mpg’s but it might be possible if everything were aligned perfectly? Those climbs were absolutely horrendous imho.

    ___Everyone knows about the competition’s conclusions but there was a lot more to the event then just the Drive in Challenge and the Monte Carlo Style Rally. I will post those later today …

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2006
  5. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Congratulations Wayne!

    At first this seemed to have something to do with the Honda del Sol. :eek: Getting past my ignorance, there is still a lot of reading to get this to completely sink in, but I'm impressed to see the number of events. The recent trip from Dallas to Fort Collins, Colorado gives me additional appreciation for the effect of rain, hills, mountains, and even altitude. Also, getting above 85mpg on a 5-speed Insight over an extended run is not easy even under ideal conditions. For me, "extended" is 25 miles. :eek:

    The hill climbing should be borrow the name of a notorious incline at the end of the grueling Boston Marathon - "Heartbreak Hill". While it would not be exhausting to a hypermiler, it could easily be heartbreaking.

    I'd be happy to be at this just to have a personal record and glean from what others have done.

    Well done, Wayne!

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