It started, as so many things do, with a smartass remark on Twitter:
Given airport travel time, security, runway delay, etc., I’d bet a good cyclist could travel BUR to LGB faster than Jet Blue. #carmageddon
In the wake of Los Angeles’ horrific descent into Carmageddon, alternative modes of transportation had their day in the Southern California sun. JetBlue had set up a flight from Burbank to Long Beach, but ultimately the quickest way from BUR to LGB turned out to be, yes, the bicycle.
There were four entries in this ad hoc competition: @wolfpackhustle (experienced cyclists); @garyridesbikes (who didn’t ride bikes, but took the Metro rail system and/or walked); @jennix (on Rollerblades), and two guys on JetBlue Flight 405.
Cyclists will depart from a residence near the intersection of Cahuenga and Chandler Blvd. in North Hollywood at 10:55 AM PT (Saturday, July 16) Flight Departs 12:20pm and we’re basing the cyclists’ departure time on the airline’s recommended passenger arrival time of 1.50 hours before departure. (we’re doing a little less to be fair) Cyclists will be required to follow all traffic laws. The finish line is the light house at the Shoreline Aquatic Park in Long Beach (adjacent to Aquarium of the Pacific) Ezra and I [aboard JetBlue 405] will take a cab from LGB to the finish line courtesy of GaryRidesBikes FIRST TO ARRIVE AT THE LIGHT HOUSE WINS!
It wasn’t even close. The cyclists made it across town in 1:34; Gary-not-riding-bikes showed up ten minutes later, and JenniX hit the lighthouse at 2:40. The airline passengers still hadn’t arrived; they turned up at 2:54, their cabbie evidently having had no idea where the Shoreline Aquatic Park was.
I remember my own battles with Los Angeles-area surface streets, two decades ago. I’d say you couldn’t pay me to do it again, but that probably depends on how much you were paying me.