Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future

Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and a Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future

by Greg Melville
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Is it possible to drive coast-to-coast without stopping at a single gas pump? Journalist Greg Melville is determined to try. With his college buddy Iggy riding shotgun, this green-thinking guy—who's in love with the idea of free fuel—sets out on an enlightening road trip. The quest: to be the first people to drive cross-country in a french-fry car. Will… See more details below

Overview

Is it possible to drive coast-to-coast without stopping at a single gas pump? Journalist Greg Melville is determined to try. With his college buddy Iggy riding shotgun, this green-thinking guy—who's in love with the idea of free fuel—sets out on an enlightening road trip. The quest: to be the first people to drive cross-country in a french-fry car. Will they make it from Vermont to California in a beat-up 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon powered on vegetable oil collected from restaurant grease Dumpsters along the way? More important, can two guys survive 192 consecutive hours together?

Their expedition on and off the road includes visits to the solar-powered Google headquarters; the National Ethanol Council; the wind turbines of southwestern Minnesota; the National Renewable Energy Lab; a visit to one of the first houses to receive platinum certification for leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); an "eco-friendly" Wal-Mart; and the world's largest geothermal heating system.

Part adventure and part investigation of what we're doing (or not doing) to preserve the planet, Greasy Rider is upbeat, funny, and full of surprising information about sustainable measures that are within our reach.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Joshua Hammer
…the book comes alive when this enterprising pair burn through their waste-oil stockpile and start cadging the stuff from fast-food restaurant managers—or foraging in Dumpsters with the aid of a not very reliable handheld pump…What could have been a tedious primer on sustainable energy consumption becomes an entertaining combination of On the Road and An Inconvenient Truth.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Early on in this eco-travelogue, mechanically-disinclined magazine writer Melville notes, "I simply needed to look at my reflection in the rearview mirror to realize that nearly anyone can operate and maintain a french-fry car." Indeed, it turns out Melville is easily able to convert a diesel-engine Mercedes into a vehicle powered entirely on fryer oil, collected (usually for free) from restaurant grease dumpsters. Joined by his college friend, Iggy, Melville embarks on the first oil-powered cross-country road trip. There isn't really much suspense to the quest, especially once it's clear that they can use oil purchased at the supermarket. Unfortunately, greasy restaurant backlots don't make for great anecdotes, and the duo's banter isn't as funny or insightful as Melville seems to think. What keeps it from reading like a padded magazine article are Melville's side trips: he learns how Fort Knox has converted to geo-thermal heating and cooling, investigates just how eco-friendly Al Gore's mansion really is, and talks to representatives of various "green" U.S. Government agencies. These insights, and the simplicity of his grease-powered transport, propel an otherwise slight read into a thought-, and perhaps action-provoking lesson in alternative fuel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
SEED Magazine
“An amusing and informative look into alternative fuels, conservation, and what individuals and corporations . . . can do about climate change.”
Newsweek
"Melville's tale of a cross-country drive in a decades-old Mercedes converted to run on used cooking oil is... a hopeful, goodhearted portrait of those he meets—be they Minnesota wind farmers or hippie diesel mechanics — who are getting a head start on building the post-carbon future, a tomorrow fueled by a refreshing optimism, as well as by grease."
Newsweek
Audubon
“An amusing and informative look into alternative fuels, conservation, and what individuals and corporations . . . can do about climate change.”
Booklist
"From its punny title, to its unique premise (a man decides to drive from coast to coast in a car powered by used French fry oil), to its serious message (you, too, can be more environmentally conscious), to its easygoing writing style, this is just a splendid book. . . .An exciting and occasionally nail-biting adventure. . . .[Melville] is a lively stylist, and the book is both entertaining and educational."—Booklist, starred review

New York Times Book Review
“An entertaining combination of On the Road and An Inconvenient Truth.”—New York Times Book Review

New York Post
"From its punny title, to its unique premise (a man decides to drive from coast to coast in a car powered by used French fry oil), to its serious message (you, too, can be more environmentally conscious), to its easygoing writing style, this is just a splendid book. . . .An exciting and occasionally nail-biting adventure. . . .[Melville] is a lively stylist, and the book is both entertaining and educational."—Booklist, starred review

From the Publisher
“An entertaining combination of On the Road and An Inconvenient Truth.”—New York Times Book Review

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565126695
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
257
File size:
2 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >