The Wolfpack Hustle on the Tour de Carmageddon.
The Wolfpack Hustle on the Tour de Carmageddon.
Flickr user waltarrrrr

Cyclists Race JetBlue's Carmageddon Flight, Win

The biggest Carmageddon victors weren't the road workers (though they did a fantastic job completing their bridge-demolishing project about 17 hours ahead of schedule), or the Southern California drivers who emerged unscathed by the 405 shutdown and even experienced what people are now coining "Carmaheaven" (gag).  

No, the true victors this past weekend were a group of guys who raced a passager on one of JetBlue's famous $4 flights from Burbank to Long Beach--and won! 

A collective of bicyclists called Wolfpack Hustle took on the challenge as an opportunity to show "how feasible cycling is in L.A." and "maybe how ridiculous it is to fly 40 miles," the airplane passenger, Joe Anthony, told the Los Angeles Times.    

The wings-versus-wheels race, prompted by Slate writer Tom Vanderbilt and followed obsessively on Twitter, began at the same intersection in North Hollywood at the same time.   

Anthony was required to go through all the obligatory pre- and post-flight rituals--drive to the airport, arrive an hour before his flight, check in, pass through security, yada yada, and upon landing, catch a ride to the Aquarium of the Pacific, the finish line. 

The results? The Wolfpack completed the trip in an hour and 34 minutes, just as the plane departed. 

Vanderbilt writes that the stunning victory might help open the gates to alternative modes of transportation:     

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..


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