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Commute Race: Bikes Cruise To Finish In 18 Minutes

AAA says slightly fewer people will be traveling this holiday weekend than last year. But our metro area listeners might not notice any difference.

Already this summer, construction and other factors have contributed to heavy rush hour traffic.

After a particularly hellacious homeward commute (a 7.5 mile trip which Google maps indicates should take 13 minutes, but on that day took over an hour), OPB’s Online editor, Rebecca Galloway, challenged OPB staff members to find the quickest way across town.

A vigorous discussion ensued and three teams were formed: Team Car, with Kristian Foden-Vencil and Evan Sernoffsky, the all-female team on Public Transit — Ecotrope blogger Cassandra Profita and Kaila Johnson, our Tuttle intern and Team Bike, Morning Edition Producer, Casey Negreiff joined by Think Out Loud intern Alex Johnson.

  • 4:27 teams depart.
  • 4:29 Team Public Transit awaits their bus.
  • 4:35 Team Bike reaches the Steel Bridge
  • 4:45 Team Bike reaches Amnesia Brewing
  • 4:54 Team Public Transit Takes Second Bus
  • 5:05 Team Car reaches Amnesia Brewing
  • 5:30 Team Public Transit reaches Amnesia Brewing

Casey produced our audio postcard of the journey.

After a series of posts on Ecotrope, we discovered from that Earl Blumenauer proved bikes were fastest way back in 1979. And in New York City, a similar trip pitting subway, cabs and bikes had a similar result.

Earlier this week, the teams left OHSU’s south waterfront campus during Portland’s rush hour (4:30 p.m.) and made their way north, 4.2 miles to be exact. Their goal? Amnesia Brewing on North Mississippi and Beech Street.

To recap, Team Bike arrived (sweaty but victorious) in 18 minutes (they made it to the Steel Bridge by 4:35), followed by team car in 38 (including a fill-up) and Team Transit in 60 minutes (two bus rides).

Though they arrived last, Team Public Transit said they had a lot of fun. Kaila met someone from her home state of Ohio, and Cassandra interviewed another Cassandra along the way. Cassandra also was able to fulfill her goal of trying out public transit here in Portland.

By the way, our Bend reporter David Nogueras took a parallel trip. He traveled 4.2 miles in his city in about 5 minutes.

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