After one day with the CleanMPG guys, I wish I could tell you I'm a reformed lead foot. But I'm not. Yet. They do, however, have one more day to convert me.
Day 1 was a tough day for the 30 mpg fuel challenge in the 2011 Ford F-150 with EcoBoost as we traveled through the mountains out of LA and into Williams, AZ. Lots of ups and downs. Lots of headwinds. Sadly, we didn't quite make 30 mpg. I managed to get up over 30 mpg in one long stint of downhill driving, but the overall MPGs for my segment rang in at 28.5 mpg. Which, coincidentally ended up being the best numbers of the day. Not that I'm bragging.
The numbers for the car at the end of the day yesterday were 26.8 mpg.
The toughest part for me, though, was consistently driving 30 mpg under
the posted speed limit. On Highway 40 heading east from LA, the speed
limit was 75 mph, yet we consistently hovered around 45 so that we could
fight the winds yet keep the F-150 in 6th gear.
4.5 hours at this pace, I was ready to die. Or at least mash on the gas
pedal. Which I accidentally did a couple times. Hey, I was tired. And may I point out (again) that I had the highest numbers of the day?
We traveled a total of 458 miles, and while something like that would normally take me less than 7 hours, it was an all-day endeavor with the CleanMPG guys. We left the hotel around 8 a.m. and didn't get to our campsite in Arizona until about 11 p.m. We stopped for a late breakfast (Burger King, LA), a pit stop just before the AZ boarder and dinner (Calico's in Kingman, AZ), but that was it. The rest was drive time.
The good news for Day 2: looks like we have a tailwind.
Stay tuned for notes from the road on my last day with the team. To follow the entire trek, you can watch the #F150Challenge tag on Twitter or go to CleanMPG.com. To follow my journey with the team on Facebook, be sure to visit the Drive, She Said page.