‘Helmet time’ is when you have time to let your mind wander (assuming riding conditions allow) while riding. The other day, as we are riding and frequently gassing up in in the upper midwest (MN, WI, IA, NE, KS) this ‘hmmm moment’ occurred to me. Almost all gas stations have two pumps for regular gas (87 octane) with one being more expensive. I found that odd at first until I read the labels on the pumps: E0 vs E10.
Starting in the 1970s production of corn ethanol went into higher gear as the goal of energy independence was at the forefront. Production got another boost in the 1990s with amendments to the Clean Air Act calling for oxygenated fuels. Now, whether it’s a smart idea to grow corn/food to make fuel is debatable, the fact is that E10 and E15 (10% and 15% ethanol added to regular gas respectively) is now the norm.
Finding ethanol free gas in the western U.S. takes some serious effort and searching. Gas stations that have it are far and few in between in AZ compared to Iowa for example. So after this lengthy pre-amble – Why do the states that grow all this ethanol producing corn have so many gas stations that carry ethanol free regular? Hmm. I know, I’m weird.