“Carmageddon” will finally arrive in Los Angeles tonight when the 405 Freeway, one of the busiest highways in the United States, is completely shut down over the weekend for construction. The much-dreaded closure has been causing city residents to hyperventilate, with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa warning, “It will be an absolute nightmare.” With the promise of catastrophic traffic jams looming, JetBlue Airlines saw a sweet marketing opportunity and announced that they would offer special flights from Burbank to Long Beach on Saturday for just $4 each way.
Believing that two wheels can beat two wings, a group of LA street cyclists known as Wolfpack Hustle have challenged JetBlue to a race, pitting bike against plane. The race is door to door, and cyclists and passengers will both leave at the airline’s recommended check-in time. Google Maps estimates that the driving distance is around 37 miles, and JetBlue says the flight time will be 45 minutes, but with the time it takes for passengers to get to the airport via taxi or car, it could be a close competition.
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Thanks to Twitter, the pedal vs. jet power challenge has gone viral. In fact, the airline has even comped seats on the flight for Joe Anthony of BikeCommuteNews and Ezra Horne to live-tweet and video document the race. Want to follow the battle of man versus machine? The hashtags are #flightvsbike #bikela #raceajet and #carmageddon.