Avid MNN readers know that during Carmageddon — the much feared weekend-long shutdown of the 405 freeway in Los Angeles — JetBlue offered some $4 flights
between Long Beach Airport and Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. What you may not have known is the fact that a group of L.A.-area cyclists decided to race that plane!
Yes, the cyclists, a racing team called Wolfpack Hustle, won — by more than an hour. Public transit taker (and also a cycling advocate) Gary Kavanagh beat the plane, too. So did a tweeting
woman on rollerblades!
Clearly, fighting traffic to the airport, making it through security, and relying on a cab driver to know the way is not as efficient as traveling across town in more eco-friendly ways. Slate
has the unofficial finish times, calculated by @bcgp:
Plane/Lost Cabdriver: 2:54
"In the face of this fanciful idea (a traffic-busting flight!) it became possible to demonstrate that cycling, often taken as a non-serious or marginal or even annoying (to some drivers) form of transportation in the United States, could seem eminently reasonable: not only the cheapest form of transportation, not merely the one with the smallest carbon footprint, not only the one most beneficial to the health of its user, but the fastest...
"But the race today wasn't only about the cyclists. Gary Kavanagh, who had reacted enthusiastically to my initial daydreaming about a 'Tour de Carmageddon,' was the day's dark horse, revealing the secret efficacy — and perhaps, for some remote Twitter spectators, the existence — of Los Angeles' oft-derided subway system. (When I thought of a cyclist racing a jet, I admittedly wasn't even aware one could take mass transit between BUR and LGB)."
That's one big idea — and GOOD asked for more this morning by kicking off a new project: "Imagine Your Los Angeles Street Beyond Cars
." Submit your best car-free vision by July 31 for a chance to get it seen at the A+D Museum on August 11 during the Moving Beyond Cars party. One winner will get GOOD goodies and other prizes. RSVP for the party
now to find out who the winner is then.
In the meantime, filmmaker Ross Ching reedited footage from one of his films to show what L.A. would look like without cars (via LAist
Other interesting posts for those who can't get enough of #flightvsbike: