Greasy Rider

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

By Greg Melville

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.

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Greg Melville headshot

Greg Melville

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Review quotes
“An amusing and informative look into alternative fuels, conservation, and what individuals and corporations . . . can do about climate change.”

"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

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

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Publication date
October 21, 2008