Mustache on the Move: Gas Prices Still Way Too Low

Mustache on the Move! A catchy new feature where I capture breaking frugality news in and around the Boulder/Longmont, Colorado area and report back to you. And these reports will always come with an eye-opening image from my handy telephone camera.

I love reading about gas prices, because here in the US, people get very excited about how incredibly crushing they are these days, despite being among the cheapest in the world. (the US national average gas price is about $3.79/gallon today, equivalent to about $1.00 US or $0.96 Canadian/litre for comparison). At this level, even the President talks about it regularly, hard-working families moan and groan, and people even buy, on average, slightly less gas guzzling cars.

But look at this guy driving in Longmont today. He’s getting about 12 MPG driving around in the city in this Ford F-250 pickup truck.

His truck has been enhanced by poking the exhaust pipes out through the cargo bed. That way, the driver can pretend he’s driving a REAL TRANSPORT TRUCK! But with no trailer. Because transport trucks are cool. I wish my bike could look like a transport truck! It also makes it LOUDER! Yeah!

Adding the mufflers to the cargo bed definitely cuts down your cargo capacity, but that’s OK, because this guy is only carrying two little pieces of plastic gutter flashing in there anyway. And they are hanging out the back, because this F-250 wisely uses the “short bed” design which sacrifices cargo space for passenger space. Because a 12 MPG truck is ideal for carrying passengers around. Heck, he could even use it for commuting! But oddly enough, there was only one guy in it when I took this picture.

The final enhancement is that this Longmontian has paid to have the suspension RAISED even higher than normal and added absolutely huge tires with REALLY TALL treads on them. Shiny black wheels too. All of this increases the aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance even further than the stock design. But he won’t even notice because the truck has over 300 horsepower – plenty to keep even this modified F-250 going at over 80 MPH on the Interstate! At that speed, it gets only 10 MPG. Meaning it burns 8 gallons of fuel every hour, coincidentally about the amount the Mustache family uses every month.

When I see things like this, (which I actually see pretty much every day), I believe that gasoline is still way, way, way too cheap.

But you can still save a ton of money by burning less of it yourself. I’ve got two more car-related posts coming up soon on exactly how to do that, so stay tuned!

  • Kevin M May 27, 2011, 2:11 pm

    I love it. This is the rant I wish I would have posted (if I had a cool blog like MMM).

  • ice May 29, 2011, 12:39 am

    Dude, what a great post. Sadly, the gas prices will have to go much higher for people to really feel enough pain to change their actions.

    As one of my friends who hand-washes his laundry said, “I could buy an agitator, but then I wouldn’t get to bitch about it (hand-washing).”

    Many Americans could easily change behavior, but then they wouldn’t get to complain about gas prices.

    I am on a tear reading through your blog as I just found it last week through ERE. Please keep up the good, interesting work.

  • Kim Westlund October 19, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Over here in Sweden the gas price is about $2.12/litre, or $8 per gallon.
    Love this blog. Keep it up!

  • Mark June 22, 2012, 8:36 am

    I notice that your picture is taken through a car window. Have you installed those on your bike?

    • alanb June 24, 2012, 12:53 pm

      He has a car, Mark. Relax.

  • Dvortygirl September 2, 2012, 8:49 am

    I was carrying a good 20lbs of groceries home on my bike the other day and got passed by a rather smug-looking fellow in a white Hummer. Hope he’s enjoying the $4/gallon gas prices as much as I am.

  • missj August 15, 2014, 10:14 pm

    I see this regularly in Oregon too. Big gas guzzlers tricked out with suspension, huge tires and anti-obama bumper stickers. It really makes you wonder if people LIKE wasting money.

    I read a book called “$20 a Gallon” and each chapter forecasts what life will be like as gas goes up a dollar per gallon. It’s pretty eye opening. Spoiler alert…it’s a good idea to live close enough to work that you could potentially bicycle and/or near a rail line (even an old, defunt rail line) because eventually when we go back to moving freight and people primarily by rail they will have to build A LOT more lines and the cheapest place to build lines is right on top of the old arteries.

    In fact, if I had money to invest on undeveloped or vacated land, I would pick a chunk very close to an abandoned rail line stop that could potentially be turned into storefronts or apartment/condo housing in the future.

    I personally cannot wait until gasoline gets uncomfortably expensive, something like $8-$10 per gallon because then we will finally be FORCED to make the changes as a society that are long overdue. Once gas gets really expensive, the environment will slowly start to improve.

  • Benk August 18, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Hey that’s 3rd and Main. Small world. Who’d have thought I’d find a finance blog by someone in my own town of Longmont!!!


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