28.6 MPG – woot!

I think it may have been the strong tailwind I had going home Friday coupled with no wind coming back on Monday, but I managed a whopping 28.6 miles per gallon on the last tank of gas. In the old ’02 MCS this would be nothing to write home about but in the convertible I rarely see more than 26 for my Brawley to San Diego commute.

Interestingly though, I put 13.1 gallons in this morning and the OBC said I had 19 miles left to go which would be less than a gallon left in the tank. Too bad I didn’t make the 400 miles, am yet to manage that on any journey.

Gas this morning was $3.56 and rising. Ouch.

Driving Peeves of the Day

Been thinking of cataloguing my pet driving peeves for a while but never got around to it. Until today. Here are some of my current peeves, all of which happened at least once on my way home tonight.

  • Moving left just before turning right – indicator is on to turn right, then just before the turn is made the driver moves into the middle of the lane to make the turn. In theory nothing wrong except that in heavy traffic those of us behind will try to squeeze by and run into trouble.
  • Left turn traffic cutting corners – I’m at the red light waiting to turn left. The traffic on my right is turning left and decides to cut the turn and try to take out my left front bumper. Some scary moments, especially when they’re on the cell phone paying no attention whatsoever.
  • Only one car going through the green light on metered freeway ramps – sign says 2 cars per green, so just because the front car was slow off the mark doesn’t mean you have to wait because the light went to yellow. It’s 2 cars per green, not 2 cars while it’s green.

Add the usual cell phone inattention, crazy attempts to make sure I can’t change lanes etc and it’s just another evening on the CA freeways.

Motoring Embarrassment #5

Shortly after getting the ’05 cabrio, Teri and I were driving top down on a perfect autumn day on the outskirts of Palm Springs. We exit the freeway and see a brand new convertible PT Cruiser, top down, at the light. Simultaneously we remark to each other what a hideous vehicle it is; I am stunned that the soft top made it look even worse. We pull alongside at the red light. The drivers are a friendly old couple, they wave and shout “great looking car you have there” and smile. Clearly they are waiting to get their compliment back. I look at the stop light, still red. Dammit, I turn and say “yeah, you too”. The light changes, and off we go.


Today Gabe over at MotoringFile.com announced his new BMW-oriented site which I presume hopes to do for the BMW what he, and his helpers, have done for the MINI. I say presume because I have absolutely no interest in looking at the site. Nothing against the site but I’ve never understood the affection many MINI owners have for BMW.

To me, BMW is the antithesis of MINI. It is based on elitism, money and the ego that come from both. Yes, I agree that MINI owners are elitist (and you sure need to have money to buy one!) but it’s based on our affection for the brand, a desire for others to see the purity of experience that driving a MINI brings.

When I get my MINI serviced, you can easily tell the owners apart; it’s so stereotypical as to be funny. The MINI owners dressed casually, usually typing on Mac Books, often smiling. BMW owner dressed “to impress”, bluetooth headset stuck to head, blackberry out desperately trying to look important. When a MINI owner sees another, there’s almost always a conversation. Approach the BMW owner, probably get knifed (with a Gucci knife, of course!).

Yes, this is a little over the top but the underlying theme is true. I just don’t see the connection between the brands beyond the obvious one of birth.