Cyclists have won today’s Flight vs Bike challenge, which has just finished in Long Beach, California, coming in a little after noon local time after leaving North Hollywood at 10.50 am.
The challenge pitched cyclists from the Wolfpack Hustle group of riders against a JetBlue airliner – you can read about the background here –with the bike riders averaging 24.8 mph while the airliner suffered a delay in take-off.
From take off to landing, the airliner, a ‘Carmaggeddon’ special laid on by airline JetBlue as a promotion coinciding with major roadworks this weekend, took just 12 minutes to complete the 30-odd miles between Bob Hope airport in Burbank and Long Beach Airport.
As this map of the flightpath shows, despite the brief time it was airborne, the plane didn’t exactly follow the route of the proverbial crow, with its course dictated by the direction of take-off and approach for landing.
The cyclists were given a one-hour head start to reflect the time airline passengers take to transit the airport on domestic flights. They didn’t need it, completing the trip in 1 hour 24 minutes – less than half the time taken to complete the journey by plane and cab.
Others undertook the journey by a combination of metro and walking, taking 10 minutes longer than the cyclists at 1 hour 44, while a rollerblader did the trip in 2 hours 40 minutes, coming home a quarter of an hour before the airliner passenger.
Bicycles of course regularly win commuter challenges, but this is the first one we've come across that involves an airliner - unless you know differently?
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.