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Old 05-04-2006, 01:22 PM   #1
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You think you have a commute?

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/3839244.html

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May 3, 2006, 10:35PM
His commute tops them all
Think your daily drive stinks? Meet the winner of Midas' contest he drives 372 miles a day


By GARY RICHARDS
San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, CALIF. - If you're howling about paying a lot more to fill up these days, thank your lucky nozzle you're not David Givens of California.

Every weekday, Givens drives 372 miles commuting from Mariposa, Calif., to his job at Cisco in San Jose.

Last week, as prices skyrocketed and Exxon Mobil reported a historic first-quarter profit of $8.4 billion, Givens talked with resignation of doling out $40 a day, $200 a week, $800 a month in gas money.

For his daily round-trip journey, Givens won the "America's Longest Commute" contest conducted by Midas Muffler, which received nearly 3,000 entries from New York to the Golden State as part of a 50th anniversary celebration. Considering the average one-way commute nationally is 25.5 minutes, you can call Givens a runaway winner.

"I was surprised to win," said Givens, who won $10,000 from Midas along with an array of maintenance services and products. Nominated by a co-worker in North Carolina, he said, "I thought for sure someone else would have a longer commute."

That would be hard for most to fathom.

For the past two years, with kids grown up and a desire to get home to his wife and their 7 1/2 -acre ranch, the 46-year-old electrical engineer has commuted every workday, from the Sierra through the Central Valley to the Bay Area alternating over Pacheco Pass or the Altamont Pass, depending on traffic.

That's 3 1/2 hours one way: a decent trade-off, insists Givens, for living the outdoor lifestyle he and his wife relish in the pristine mountains of Mariposa County.

"It's actually exhilarating," Givens said of his journey, likening it to TV commercials "driving a fancy car down Highway 1 with the top down. I enjoy taking the curves. It feels like I'm a professional driver going down a closed course."

Because this road warrior finds that gas along the major highways tends to be more expensive, he gets his at Pacific Pride Commercial fueling stations off the beaten path back home. And mileage counts: He gets 30 mpg in his 2005 Accord.

Givens began the mega-commute in 1989, spending a couple of nights a week overnight in the South Bay. But that was when he was a project manager and working 15 hours a day.

Now he's an eight-hour-a-day guy, and instead of spending time at the office, he's inside the confines of his Accord tracking traffic reports, listening to talk radio or cowboy novels on tape.

Handlebar mustache trimmed and boots on, Givens is out the door heading down Highway 140 about 4:30 each morning. He stops at Starbucks in Chowchilla "to do the coffee thing." Then he heads down Highway 233 and 152 and 101 to Great America Parkway and Tasman Drive, changing radio stations constantly, listening for every traffic report possible.

By 7:45 a.m., he's in his Ciscoland cubicle fresh, believe it or not.

"When I get in, I'm pumped up, ready to go," Givens said. "Everybody else is dragging in looking for the coffeepot. I just drove 200 miles, dodging rain, fog, deer, elk and everything else. No problem."

At 5 p.m. he's out the door, back in the car and heading home with slightly more than a half a tank of gas to reach Mariposa. Typically, he arrives home about 8:30 p.m., often well past sunset.

Givens and his wife, Connie, raise horses, and she trains search dogs. He's on a local search and rescue team. The kids are grown.

By the time he gets home, he and his wife have a few hours each night for each other, good quality hours, he maintained.

"I could not have the lifestyle I want in the Bay Area or even Gilroy," Givens said. "To own 7 1/2 acres over here would break the bank. But there I have enough land."

How long can he continue a commute that many would describe as unthinkable? The $10,000 check will cover gas for another year.

"I've got another five or 10 years in me," Givens said. "I don't see any end in sight. "Unless gas prices get too high."
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:27 PM   #2
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WOW!! I thought I had it bad when I started having to commute 40-miles each way... in an H1!!
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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fu*k that i'd quit.. I used to work in Magnolia and that was wayyy too far
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:28 PM   #4
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:32 PM   #5
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxVrod
WOW!! I thought I had it bad when I started having to commute 40-miles each way... in an H1!!
you drive a H1?
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:40 PM   #7
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:47 PM   #8
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Dang!! If you insist on living that far from work, you don't get to complain.

I used to drive from east Houston to Sealy.. about 140+ miles round trip.. daily. I didn't complain though, cuz the contract we had paid us .50/mile and we where on the clock when we left the house. :icon_smil
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:50 PM   #9
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Almost does not make sense but it is Cisco and he is in California. Probably a beautiful drive everyday.
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:51 PM   #10
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:54 PM   #11
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I drive less than 10 miles a day.
My work is 3.5 miles away from where I live.
One of the reason why I don't ride my bike to work.
I get all the gear on, ride 10-15 mins, have to get off already.
With the gas price like nowadays, I can't complain.
:icon_smil
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutmegchoi
I drive less than 10 miles a day.
My work is 3.5 miles away from where I live.
One of the reason why I don't ride my bike to work.
I get all the gear on, ride 10-15 mins, have to get off already.
With the gas price like nowadays, I can't complain.
:icon_smil
Lucky Beyatch! :laughing6
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdmpastx
Lucky Beyatch! :laughing6
And did I tell you I live few blocks down from Allen Parkway?


Sometimes I look at Boo Boo (my track GSXR600) and think "maybe I can take it out for a spin real quick. This poor thing gets out once a month at the most. It's just right down the street. Maybe I won't run into cops....".
Very tempting.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:17 PM   #14
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I live by Katy and I work at 59 and Buffalo Speedway
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:19 PM   #15
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I live by Katy and I work at 59 and Buffalo Speedway
Where do you work?
I work at 12 greenway on Richmond.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:20 PM   #16
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I work at Phoenix tower... that big building that looks like there is a park on the roof... 3200 Southwest Freeway
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutmegchoi
I drive less than 10 miles a day.
My work is 3.5 miles away from where I live.
One of the reason why I don't ride my bike to work.
I get all the gear on, ride 10-15 mins, have to get off already.
With the gas price like nowadays, I can't complain.
:icon_smil
3.5 minutes from the shop. 1 if the alarm is going off.:icon_bigg Could ride the fifty pocket.
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutmegchoi
And did I tell you I live few blocks down from Allen Parkway?


Sometimes I look at Boo Boo (my track GSXR600) and think "maybe I can take it out for a spin real quick. This poor thing gets out once a month at the most. It's just right down the street. Maybe I won't run into cops....".
Very tempting.
I would have ridden it already...especially on the Heights blvd to Memorial clover leafs.
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdmpastx
I would have ridden it already...especially on the Heights blvd to Memorial clover leafs.
But it's SO street illegal.
No registration, license plate, lights....
I don't even wanna think about the mess I have to go through in case get caught.
Last speeding ticket was too painful to deal with government for another while...

Last edited by nutmegchoi; 05-04-2006 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:19 PM   #20
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I work at Phoenix tower... that big building that looks like there is a park on the roof... 3200 Southwest Freeway
Is there a park on the roof?
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