Cyclists Win Race Against Plane

Bikers beat JetBlue and L.A. traffic

Jul 18, 2011
Outside Magazine

A group of cyclists beat a Jetblue flight in an unofficial 40-mile race across Los Angeles during the city's weekend shutdown of highway 405, dubbed Carmageddon. Last week, JetBlue Airlines announced that it would offer $4 plane tickets between Burbank and Long Beach as L.A. city officials closed a ten-mile stretch of highway 405 for repairs. In response, the L.A. cycling group Wolfpack Hustle said they could ride the distance faster—and they were right. It took the bikers one hour and 34 minutes to complete the ride, and, factoring in travel time to and from each airport, the same journey took a Wolfpack member about an hour longer using Jetblue. The cyclists were required to depart from the same location as the plane passenger and abide all traffic laws. JetBlue spokeswoman Allison Steinberg told USA Today last week that the airline wasn't involved in the race. "We've not agreed to race the cyclists," she said. "In the vein of safety we would never race a plane." Carmageddon itself turned out to be a bust: the 405 re-opened 12 hours ahead of schedule, and the city's anticipated gridlock never materialized.

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