Saturday, I caught wind of a neat “race” between a LA bicycling group and an airline. #bikevsflight (as the hashtag goes) was prompted as a result of a section of LA 405 being shut down and then JetBlue offering $4 flights over the effected area (tickets sold out in 2hrs). A person mentions that it might be possible to beat the flight (when parking, security, etc. are included, actual flight was 12min) and then it was on.
When it was all said and done, well, even before the flight took off, Wolfpack Hustle completed the route in 1hr 34min, an average speed of 24.8mph. Fast, and impressive. Check out a few slices of the entire happenings via BikeBiz and KCET of the event.
While looking backwards on the conversation on Twitter, I started wondering why it was causing an uncontrollable smile (seriously, I was in a coffeeshop, I might have looked a good bit silly with that cheese on). I realized something similar to intellichick’s observations:
…This all, of course, makes me look backwards at transportation moments in the past – the invention of the car, flights around the world, diving into ocean depths, and journeys into space. And I don’t think we’ve had that sense of wonder in awhile nor do I think we were as entrenched in being used to technology as we are now. All these elements that were once shiny and new in invention are now integrated into our perspectives of how the world is, events like #FlightVSBike & #FlightVSMetro really shine a lot on humans and our oft tenuous relationship with technology…
A bike is no less or more a technology than a plane. There are a lot more hands involved in getting a plane into the air than it is a bike propelled on a ground – but that bike feels a lot closer to what effects us directly. In many ways similar to how I point to the iPad being an emotional computing device, a bike is closer to our senses, and therefore evokes different and more positive feelings of well being. Of course we want it to win, but we’d not catch a vapor of it lost. We know the limits of man versus technology (usually). It’s when we forget our abilities in light of what we’ve created that causes a moment of appreciation and inspiration that can only be felt when we join in.
After tracking that story, I’m more resolved to put myself in a region where I can ride a lot more than I do currently. There is no excuse for cars, planes, or even public transportation to limit or obscure what’s possible in our own bodies. I’m not Lance Armstrong, but I can live stronger than I have been. The victor of bikes over the airplane proves as much.