What’s Your Tipping Point?

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What’s your tipping point? The point at which gas prices force you to make some change in your current lifestyle – such as the kind of car you drive or how you drive it?

This post isn’t an article – just a conversation starter. We’d like to hear from you about how the gas price situation is affecting your life – or if it’s affecting your life.

So, let’s hear your stories… !

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  25 comments for “What’s Your Tipping Point?

  1. April 24, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I’ve got a new excuse to ride one of my motorcycles more often! Seriously, though. I specifically searched for – and ending up buying – a low cost ($1,500) older (but in great mechanical shape) touring-type motorcycle (Honda GL650 Interstate) that gets real-world gas mileage in the mid-high 40s and can be ridden in almost all weather except ice/snow/extreme cold. I figured if I ride the bike instead of the car (truck, actually) even 50 percent of the time, it’s the equivalent of cutting my total/actual per-gallon fuel cost by $1 per gallon or even more (the more I ride the bike).

    Theoretically – if things got really bad – I could ride the bike(s) almost exclusively. I have a 250 cc dual-sport that is capable of 60-plus MPG. And if gas gets to $7 or $8 per (either as a result of Middle East chimpouts or because of Fed inflation) then that’ll be my way of getting around….

    • adam
      April 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      I have three vehicles in my fleet one avg 25 mph another 33 mph and finally one that gives me 38 to 40 mph. I use my motorcycle whenever possible my Honda Civic is my weekday ride and Mazda 5 weekend warrior. It’s best I can do can’t afford another car or bike and barely making ends meat. I really don’t know what else I can do the higher gas goes the poorer I’ll be and that’s all there is to it. Maybe living closer to work but sleeping in my car is not an option.

      • April 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm

        I’ve got two compact (four cylinder) trucks that I use as little as possible, both to save wear and tear and to save on gas. The bike helps, but the cost of everything – not just fuel – is going through the roof. It’s pretty scary. I buy a little extra food for our SHTF stash every time I go to the store…

    • dom
      April 28, 2011 at 12:44 am

      I let off the gas and started hypermiling a few years ago. As of right now my Harley gets about 38mpg, Saturn 40, 4Runner 20, and toy car 22. The Saturn and Harley get used the most. I hate saying this guys, but the moment we’ve been waiting for is finally here! Welcome..

  2. AngryOldMan
    April 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I’ve been reading a lot at zerohedge.com and I’d say that if gas gets to $7 or $8 very few people are going anywhere except to the food stamp office to apply for some JPM processed credits.

    That said, we will just let the cost of gas (and the associated cost of food) eat up more of our disposable income and stop doing much of anything away from the house except work. I don’t see how we could buy new vehicles without disposable income. I already use a Scan Gauge to try to ring the best possible MPG out of my truck, which is an endeavor that makes me even more angry at clovers than driving fast does. Also I find that to achieve 27 MPG I must not listen to music, only talk radio. :)

    And no, you will not be riding your bike to work. It doesn’t have the required safety equipment deemed necessary by our fearless “leaders” to be a road-worthy vehicle. It doesn’t even have a seatbelt fer christsakes! Let alone a single airbag or electronic nanny! What planet do you think you’re on anyway?

    • April 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      Same here – but (so far) I can still ride my motorcycles wherever I can take a car. I doubt that’s going to change, much as the Clovers will chafe to know that there are people riding around without seat beeeeeeelts and aiiiiiir bags!

    • clover
      April 26, 2011 at 2:38 am

      I will give you a weekend story that I am sure you all will hate. I drove to mom’s over the weekend. 150 miles one way. About 2/3 of it is interstate. I took it easy because I was not in a rush to save 15 minutes. I stayed in the slow lane on the intersate and took it easy on the non interstate roads. I figured I got 15% better than the EPA rated highway mpg rating. Figuring if someone had to drive their 75 mph speed or more to save a few minutes they or I would have got about 10% less than the EPA rated mpg rating. With this savings I saved at least 2 gallons of fuel in the vehicle I drive. Close to the same mpg as Eric says he gets with his motorcyle. Many of the vehicles that passed me were larger SUVs and some trucks. Those vehicles used at least 10 gallons more than I did on the same trip. Even if you averaged a 5 gallon savings and with the hundtreds of vehicles on just that road there would be a savings of thousands of gallons of fuel. If you multiplied that across the country that would be millions of gallons of savings in just one day. Say what you want to about getting somewhere fast, leaving a few minutes and driving more efficient vehicles and we would not need to import all that fuel.

      • April 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

        Clover, you just don’t get it. You’ve shifted the debate from whether “speeding” (that is, exceeding arbitrarily and under-posted speed limits) is unsafe to whether you use less gas by driving at lower speeds. No one is going to disagree with you that driving, say, 65 MPH vs. 75 MPH will probably save you some MPGs. (And if maximizing your fuel efficiency is your most important goal, then by all means, drive at a lower speed.) But “saving gas” is not the issue; it’s also subjective. Perhaps saving a bit of fuel is more important to you than getting to where you’re headed faster. But to others, getting there more quickly – and driving at a more natural pace – is more important than saving some MPGs. Your issue – the thing that makes you a Clover – is that you always think your way is the only right way and that everyone else is either stupid or selfish or some other thing if they have a different view. And that others should be forced – by laws and regulations – to abide by whatever way of doing things you and your fellow Clovers think – subjectively – is the right way to do things. From speed limits to mandatory (note spelling) insurance to seatbelt laws to arbitrary jihads against trace amounts of alcohol (but never senile old people or terrible Cloverite drivers)… it’s always the same old song.

        The gas I put into the tank is gas I paid for. I will use it as I wish, not as you think I ought to use it.

        I prefer to drive at a speed that is faster than the speeds you apparently are comfortable with. Why the hell should your preferences take precedence over mine?

        Etc.

        • clover
          April 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

          No Eric you do not get it. That gas that you paid for was imported. That hurts our country. That gas that you bought could have went to driving someone else instead of dumping it into the air like you say you do. People need to be educated. How many of those people were going to be late if it would have taken them 10 or 15 minutes longer. I would say very few. Speed is mostly a habit. Anwser me this. How often do you speed when you do not need to? You say that dumping gas into the air is your decision but your decision is hurting us all.

          • April 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm

            Yeah? So? And the watermelon I ate last night was imported, too. Do you also think you have the right to interpose yourself between me and the watermelon I paid for?

            Read my lips, Clover: The gas I buy is my gas. It’s not your gas, Clover. You have no ownership claim over it.

            “People need to be educated.” More Cloverite condescension and arrogance from someone who can’t even spell mandatory correctly. A guy who thinks his “risky” activities shouldn’t be cause for special hassles and government-imposed costs – just the “risky” (as he subjectively defines it) activities of other people. Christ on a cupcake!

            Just to educate you: Merely by not having kids, I have reduced my contribution to energy/resource depletion by a tremendous amount. I work from home, which also “saves” all kinds of gas. I ride high-mileage motorcycles as often as possible. I’ve never bought a new car in my life. We don’t use AC more than maybe two weeks a year – and heat our plce with wood. Etc. Etc. Etc.

            Not that I need to justify myself to you or any other Clover – but just to make the point: You have no freaking clue as to others’ “energy use” – and more, no right to tell anyone else how much or little fuel to use, or how fast (or slowly) they ought to drive. Or whether they should wear a seatbelt, or have expensive “manditory” insurance (car or heaf cayuh).

            The mentality you display is that of a petty busybody who just can’t help interfering in other people’s lives. What we call in the South a Yankee.

            That is the original form of Cloverism.

          • clover
            April 27, 2011 at 2:26 am

            By the way Eric. The food I buy is my food. I think there is going to be a shortage so i will buy it all up. Leaving you none because it is my food because I paid for it. Maybe it will not be me that buys up everything that everyone esle needs. Maybe it will be China or India. I want to know how many articles did you sell to the foreign coutries to pay for all that fuel that is yours? It sounds like it is you that is making our dollar worthless and you are the one that is complaining.

          • April 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm

            Oh my, Clover… where to even begin? So the food you buy is yours? Really? Wow. I had no idea. That is a startling concept. You will be leaving me none, because you paid for it? Ok! Seems logical to me… .

            Meanwhile, I will continue to use the fuel I pay for as I see fit, given that I paid for it – every cent of it – not you.

            Poor ol’ Clover. He seems to think he’s got a proprietary interest in other people’s property! He thinks gas is everyone’s gas, even when it’s not paid for by anyone except the individuals who bought it – just like the porridge po’ old Clover slops into his mouf wif dat wooden spoon. Po’ old Clover bees suffering from an advanced stage of socialism fatalis. It will run its inevitable course…

            As far as the rest: To my knowledge, I have never sold any articles to Indian or Chinese publications, though I would certainly do so if they approached me (assuming the fee was reasonable, of course). This is making “our” dollars worthless. Hmmm… I guess one has to be a graduate of the Advanced School of Cloverite Reasoning to grasp this relationship.

          • clover
            April 28, 2011 at 10:25 pm

            Ok Eric you can do with the fuel you buy as you see fit. You can dump it on the ground or burn it in a fire or dump it in the air. The fact is that the loss of fuel will drive the price up and everything you buy and the value of the dollar will drop. You know it is not really hurting me because I have more money than you have. If you want to make things more expensive then you are hurting yourself. You will like it though because then you wil have more to complain about.

          • April 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm

            Ah, Clover… I see you are as adept at math as you are a master of English composition… .

            Perhaps I use less gas overall than most people, even you, oh Clover. Perhaps you use more gas than I, overall – even though you drive more slowly than I. If you are going to parse fuel usage/efficiency, then you must take into account total consumption, not just what one uses in his car at any given moment. And of course, you have no idea how much fuel I use overall.

            I realize this probably never occurred to you. But you ought to consider it now. Imagine if it turned out that you are more of a resource guzzler than I? What would you do then, oh Clover?

            As to the rest: Perhaps you do have more money than I – but (again) how the heck would you know? Very possibly my net worth is higher than yours. In any event, it’s the pathetic junior high-level boasting of a nonentity who can barely string a few coherent words together and who often misspells those words in the process. Bottom line: My net worth is as irrelevant as yours as far as this little argument of ours is concerned.

            What is relevant is your typically Cloverian authoritarian/collectivist mindset. You view everything in the context of “we” not “I.” With you deciding what “we” ought to do – enforced at gunpoint by such as you.

  3. John van Gelderen
    April 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Gas prices elsewhere in the world are much higher, and they still have cars to drive. They have more public transportation. Cars are used on weekends and special occasions. They live closer to work. Suburbia was based on cheap gas. Eventually the poor people will live in the recently built McMansions,several families in one house.(lots of room). Inner city dwellings may become more popular and expensive.

    Pig trucks and SUVs will go bye bye, and there will be a demand for small cars like the Europeans have. There may even be employment opportunites.Those who cannot afford new small cars will need older crapboxes. Someone could fix and sell the crapboxes. How about a redone Dodge Colt for $1500, or a Ford Escort for $2000?

    We will need to adjust, but life goes on.

    • April 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm

      Yes, but there is an additional element to consider: In Europe and so on, gas prices have historically been higher because of taxes. Here, we’re seeing across the board increases in the cost of everything, not just fuel – driven by dollar deflation/inflation. And while you’re right about Europe and the availability of public transport, the distances within, say, Germany are much less than they are in the US – rendering public transport more economically practical there vs. here. On the other hand, this (rising fuel costs; costs generally) may hasten the break-up of the US into more manageable (more representative and free, hopefully) regional states, or combinations of states.

      • John van Gelderen
        April 25, 2011 at 2:25 am

        We can only hope so.

  4. April 27, 2011 at 6:44 am

    If it ever gets to the point where a fillup costs a hundred bucks or more, screw it – I am going back to the bus.

    It is currently about sixty bucks to fill the tank from running on vapours to completely full.

    Oh, and Clover…higher speeds mean better fuel economy. Want proof? I went on a 700 mile road trip last year – 1400 miles total. I started with a full tank of gas and didn’t need to refill until I was 500 miles through the trip. That same tank is only good for about 300some miles on my commutes to and from work. The difference? On that road trip, I put the cruise control at 70MPH and kept it there the whole way in. The commute to and from the office has more starts, stops, and clovers – and an average speed of about 30MPH, give or take. That was no anomaly, either – I have over a quarter million miles under my belt in 13 states, almost as much as most truckers, so I’d like to think that I know my stuff in this regard. Save the planet – SPEED UP!

    • April 27, 2011 at 10:32 am

      For some truck/SUV drivers, $100 a tank is within sight! Probably the worst part, though, is that taking the bus (or riding a motorcycle, etc.) doesn’t address how rising fuel costs are making everything more expensive, from utility costs to food to clothing to tires.

      That’s the real danger. There are alternatives to driving, but not to eating …

  5. Brent P
    May 1, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Gasoline’s current price in 90% silver US coin isn’t expensive at all.

    The question should be posed in terms of at what point does the loss of buying power of one’s income and savings force a change.

    If gasoline was $49.999/gal that would be fine if my income also went up by a factor of 20 and my savings earned interest rates high enough to keep pace.

  6. Brent P
    May 1, 2011 at 7:05 am

    The current price of gasoline is rather inexpensive in terms of 90% silver coin.

    Thus the real question should be is at what point does the loss of buying power of one’s income and saving force people to live a poorer lifestyle.

    Even at $49.999/gal I wouldn’t need to change my driving if my income also increased by a factor of 20 and my savings earned the interest rate required to keep up.

    If gasoline gets expensive enough and I don’t know where that point is, I have a bicycle and a little 4 cylinder car to get me through.

    • May 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

      I agree with your point in re inflation. It’s insidious because so many people have no understanding of the process involved; they just see that “things cost more than they used to.” I’ve tried to invest in land, as land is a tangible asset and has intrinsic value. But of course, the taxes on real property negate much of the benefits of doing so. In a word, we’re screwed…

      • Brent P
        May 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm

        Yep. The property taxes kill… Affording the land is easy. Save money, buy land. Affording the tribute, the property taxes requires an income.

  7. Steve
    May 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Our cars are a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2008 Nissan Frontier, both 6 cylinder. I have always ridden my motorcycle as much as possible when the weather is nice just because I enjoy it. Now I’m riding any day that it isn’t raining in the morning which has been no small feat here in rain-soaked Pennsylvania.

    My wife needs to use the Jeep as the kid taxi and grocery getter, but my truck really only seems to move for trips to the Big Box Home Improvement stores.

    My Honda is a 1 Litre bike, but it still gets ~40mpg if I am riding sanely. It dips as low as 25 when we go out playing. I have justified all of this saving on gas to purchase $150 worth of new motorcycle pants however..

    • May 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Pretty much the same deal here! I use my Frontier(s) when I need to; otherwise, it’s (weather permitting) the bikes. The worst of them gets 40 MPG, like yours. The best of them gets 60-plus.

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