Greased Lightning

Is it possible to drive across the country and never stop at a single gas pump? Author Greg Melville knows for a fact that it is possible; he and an old college buddy, Iggy, did it in 2006, driving Melville’s 1985 Mercedes station wagon powered by vegetable oil. And Melville chronicled the experience in Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future.

“The original intent of converting the car to run on fry oil was probably almost more about economics than it was about the environment,” Melville says. “It was a way to drive cheaply and get free fuel and do something about our carbon footprint at the same time, but I can’t say that I was an expert on environmentalism.”

Inspired by the first man to drive across the country a century ago, Melville and Iggy packed up the Mercedes and embarked on their journey. “I’m not really an environmental writer,” Melville admits, “and along the way I’ve learned a lot. Once you learn how much money you save by being more sustainable and how im-portant it is and easy it is, it’s hard to go back. What I try to do is show people what I’ve learned in an upbeat way.

“If two goobers can drive across the country without stopping at a single gas pump, surely there are more sustainable ways to lead our existence,” he adds. Amen.

If you missed Melville’s Greasy Rider signing at the Tattered Cover LoDo on Saturday, then stop by the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street in Boulder, tonight at 7:30 p.m. Call 303-447-1252 for details.
Mon., Oct. 20, 2008

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen

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