Flights v. Bikes

As Carmageddon took hold of Southern California and the world waited to see what may come of Los Angeles during the dark days without the 405, there was still a bit of fun and competition in the air.

I saw it posted and re-posted many times on my Facebook account before that fateful weekend:  Jet Blue offers $4 fares from Burbank to Long Beach

A brilliant marketing campaign.  From what I’ve read, seats sold out in mere hours.

I’m sure at one point or another we have all been stuck in an airport facing security lines, flight delays, and unexpected stopovers between our originating point and final destination.  And, I must admit, with the amount of traveling I’ve done over the past three years, my airport habits are lacking.  I am often that person you see running through the airport with shoes and belt in hand after exiting the security line trying to catch the flight before airline personnel shuts the door.  Once that door is shut, you need to be an extra special person to get it open again.

It’s during those moments that I often thought, “I’m going to X city.  That’s really only 30-40 miles away.  I bet I could make it there faster by driving.”

Well, Wolfpack Hustle, a group of L.A. cyclists, took that same thought to a whole new level during Carmageddon.  The gauntlet was thrown: who would win a race between a plane and bicycle going the distance from Burbank to Long Beach?  Jet Blue accepted the challenge.

I followed the race on Twitter.  Apparently, the original challenge inspired others to join.  In the end there were four contenders for the medal:  (1) Plane/Taxi, (2) Bike, (3) Metro, and (4) Rollerblader (though there is some question whether the rollerblader was an actual contestant/entrant).

In the end, cyclists beat out Jet Blue by more than an hour of travel time.  I would like to note that the Metro rider came in second place and only ten minutes behind the cyclist.  I’m not sure whether the rollerblader truly thought it was possible, but if the feat was attempted, then I commend the effort.

Congrats to @wolfpackhustle and all of the people who participated in the challenge.