A race starting in North Hollywood Saturday proves again that some of the best ideas begin as jokes.
That’s what a few cycle and public transportation advocates must have thought as they traded tweets Thursday, including this one:
@Tom Vanderbilt Given airport travel time, security, runway delay, etc, I'd bet a good cyclist could travel BUR to LBG faster than Jet Blue. #carmageddon
Soon after, writer Joe Anthony had tweeted his way into a free ride on a $4 Jet Blue Carmageddon special between Burbank and Long Beach airports.
And Silver Lake-based bike crew Wolfpack Hustle had lined up the elite riders who would race the plane: John Gabriel, Jon Budinoff, Fabian Vasquez, Evan Stade, Stephen Andranian and Aram Dellalian
According to its website, the Wolfpack meets every Monday at 10 p.m. at Tang’s Donuts at Sunset and Fountain for 30 to 40 mile “hustles" through Los Angeles.
The group rides fast, in tight formation, on city streets.
Which, of course, makes it ideal for the task at hand.
So at 10:50 a.m. Saturday, the six Wolfpack elites--the Wolfpack A--will ride off to Long Beach, leaving Anthony at his home in North Hollywood.
He'll head toward Burbank Airport for Flight 16 departing at 12:20 p.m. for Long Beach.
The riders finish when they hit the lighthouse at Shoreline Aquatic Park in Long Beach—a distance of about 40 miles.
If they beat Anthony and his flight, they win.
According to Twitter, as of Friday night, the Wolfpack riders were still trying working out their route.
They were hoping it would be scenic—they had already pledged it would be legal, using open roads and bikepaths.
Early Saturday morning "Roadblock" of Wolfpack Hustle emailed Echo Park patch saying, "We won't be passing through Tang's area unfortunately."
L.A. Streets Blog is hosting the live stream from a GPS on rider John Gabriel’s bicycle.
Anthony will also be tweeting from the plane @ohaijoe.
You can also follow on Twitter by searching on the hashtag #flightvsbike.
The story has gone viral and has been picked up by national media including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
Maddow is betting a dollar on the cyclists.