Grease Not Gas!

If you’ve been at Breckenridge, Mammoth, Stratton, Summit East, Lake Tahoe or anywhere along I-70 recently, you may have noticed a RV with snowboards on top that strangely reeks of French fries. And you may have wondered whose crazy idea it was to drive cross country to snowboard in an old RV anyway. The idea belongs to Mike Parziale and Ben Fee, who finished up their whirlwind snowboard RV tour this weekend with a bang, namely a party at Jagger Dipola Kemp, a design firm in Burlington, VT.

So let me back up for a minute. What makes this tour really notable and worthy of a big, fancy party is that they have used about one tank of diesel the entire way across country. The rest of the way the RV has been fueled by free, recycled vegetable oil, hence the smell of fried food.

But I am not trying to scoop anyone’s story here, I am just writing about the party that went down on the evening of March 16th. The night started off with a presentation about the wonders of running your car on vegetable oil by Mike himself. It included a video, which in true Bendini productions fashion, was edited moments before it was shown, as well as a Q & A where the residents of Burlington learned all they ever wanted to know about alternative fuel.

And in case you are wondering yourself, I’ll give you a quick run down:-Any diesel can be converted to vegetable oil, in fact, diesel engines were actually originally designed to run on the stuff.

•Converting a vehicle is actually pretty easy, despite what you might imagine you don’t have to mess with the engine. Mike turned his latest vehicle into the grease guzzling monster that it is in two days.

•Vegetable oil gets better gas mileage than diesel, and it also gives the engine more horsepower.

•A car run on vegetable oil gives off relatively no toxic emissions (just an interesting smell.)

•The total cost of running your car on vegetable oil is free. Well minus the cost of converting it and the small amount of diesel you will use while the engine heats up.

After everyone was wowed by the facts at hand, it was time to really celebrate by heading downstairs where there was a mini ramp, hor d’oerves and some booze. JDK had rounded up artists to design commemorative t-shirts for the event, as well as posters, which were actually screen printed as people ordered them. Those items were all for sale. Meanwhile the crowd mingled, slashed and generally felt good about supporting something that could like, save the world. If you want to learn more about alternative fuels, check out Mike’s website and become a better person.