Sao Paulo staged the ultimate inter modal commuter challenge last month as part of World Car Free Day. Cyclists competed with a helicopter, car, bus, runner, and a competitor in a wheelchair to find out which form of transport would make it across town to City Hall during the evening rush hour. The bike won, as you can see in the video below.
In fact two bikes, one ridden by a commuter cyclist the other by a courier finished before the helicopter which took second place. The cyclists did the journey in a time of 22 minutes beating the helicopter by over 10 minutes, the car took a whole hour longer to complete the trip doing it in a time of 1:22, slower than the bus which took 1:11 and only 10 minutes faster than the person who walked… the runner was quicker than both in 1:06.
The challenge was staged to make people aware of other forms of transport, Sao Paolo is the business capital of South America, and though it has bus and a subway network it doesn't have enough of either forms of transport to cope with demand. By contrast the city has, by recent estimates, more than 6 million cars on its streets and that figure is climbing. The average Sao Paolo resident spends 3 hours a day stuck in traffic, that's 15 hours a week or the equivalent of two working days. The main roads are often the scene of 50 miles worth of tail backs.
The idea of the challenge as to draw attention to some possible alternatives to all that wasted time, pollution and stress.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.