Biking Loses This Years Rush Hour Race

Written by Boston Biker on May 07

It’s not quite the shame on our house that you might think (only a five minute difference from the T, and no EEEEEEEEEEE sound, or other passengers to worry about), but the biker did lose this year…

 

Riders may not think so, but when it comes to traveling from Somerville to South Station during the busy morning commute, taking the MBTA is the quickest option.

On Tuesday, May 7, an MBTA passenger went up against a cyclist, runner, in-line skater, and driver during the second annual “Rush Hour Race” from Davis Square to Boston’s crowded transportation hub. Each participant had to obey the rules of the road while the train passenger dealt with the headache of the crowded subway system and the chance of a delayed ride.

But in the end, the MBTA proved to be the most efficient way to get from point A to point B on a typical Tuesday commute, with the the in-line skater coming in second, followed by the cyclist, who took a long and winding path through Kendall Square, Downtown Boston, before eventually arriving at South Station. As for drivers, well, it took the longest to finish the race to the final destination point with an almost hour-long commute.

 

Read more here.

Personally I think with more optimal route planning, and a bit of hustle its not at all hard to beat the red line. Combined with the health benefits, the money saved, not to mention avoiding the constant break downs and delays, cycling is still in my book the best way to get around.  But even at a leisurely pace, only being beat by 5 minutes is pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of things.

But losing to an INLINE SKATER…that shame will never wash off. Better luck next year..and dear rush hour race organizers are you taking volunteers for next years race?


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10 Responses to “Biking Loses This Years Rush Hour Race”

  1. By PP on May 7, 2013 | Reply

    I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed.

    Why did the biker take a “long and winding route” to South Station? Did the MBTA rider transfer to the Green, then the Orange, and then back to the Red?

    I agree with you though – if run this race over 5 days and average the times, when you include train breakdowns, signal issues, etc, I bet the cyclist would come out on top.

    And I wholeheartedly agree that losing to an inline skater is unacceptable.

  2. By JonT on May 7, 2013 | Reply

    As one of the comments on the article pointed out, by starting the race right at Davis Square and ending it right at South Station, they’re cheating a bit. How many people live right at at a T station and work at another? Usually there’s at least a few minutes of walking at each end, and that’s where riding a bike can really speed things up.

    I’ll also note that if the race had been on the B, C or E branch of the Green Line or on a non-express bus,instead of on a rapid transit line, there’s no way the T would have won.

  3. By BB on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Cyclist chose not to go through the Commons since it’s restricted to pedestrian use. In-line skater didn’t catch that rule.

    I like the idea of doing this for several days, posting average times. Good publicity for the T however, since they routinely get criticized.

  4. By Erik on May 8, 2013 | Reply

    Fwiw, I timed myself at 22 minutes from Porter Sq to Post Office Sq this morning, obeying all traffic lights. I go over McGrath and past the Museum of Science, which is probably faster but much less pleasant than going via Cambridge. I also haul ass, but honestly with all the lights it makes little difference.

    You hit the nail on the head here: Combined with the health benefits, the money saved, not to mention avoiding the constant break downs and delays, cycling is still in my book the best way to get around. But even at a leisurely pace, only being beat by 5 minutes is pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of things.

  5. By Andrew on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    2013 Rush Hour Race Cyclist here.
    My usual route to work goes through the Common, but I confirmed on Monday afternoon with the Boston Parks Dept that cycling in Boston Parks isn’t allowed. So I had to scramble to find a new route. The best, and shortest, route I found was going up Cambridge, left on School, left on Wash, right on Water St, right on Congress, then a right on Purchase to Dewey Sq. With a single-speed (44/16 gearing) I avoid elevation, but it seemed like this route was my best way to Dewey.

    re: a bit of hustle. I thought I was riding pretty hard given I was really really nervous (last time I competed athletically was HS basketball), and paid special attention to passing other cyclists safely (not that I don’t usually, I probably gave it a few more looks behind to check traffic). And then there were the lights. Making two or three more could’ve been the difference.

    re: benefits of cycling. I’d also add getting a daily read on the city. I’m an architect and urban designer, so cycling affords a great way of seeing Boston – the leafy streets of Somerville and Cambridge, the skyline from the Longfellow (seeing the lights on at Fenway in the evening), the tight streets downtown and the importance of how parks provide relief from the verticality of the buildings, etc. I ride year-round so I’m also tuned into the seasons – and the daily weather! On days where rain is forecast, I’m constantly checking noaa site. Anyway, it should be interesting to see the video.

    I’m sorta happy the T-rider won. The T has been taking a beating; getting hammered in the Statehouse about funding, complaints from riders for just about everything (fare hikes, delays, crowding, etc), and other mechanical-related mishaps (aging infratsructure, design flaws). And I depend on the T on those icy winter days, so it’s in my interest for it to be as robust as possible. I just wished I could have won for the cycling community, but coming down off the Longfellow Bridge into Boston there were ~15 cyclists ahead of me – I count that as a win in itself!
    Best,
    Andrew

  6. By Andrew on May 9, 2013 | Reply

    forgot to say…
    re: “But losing to an INLINE SKATER…that shame will never wash off. Better luck next year..and dear rush hour race organizers are you taking volunteers for next years race?”
    Sounds like you think you coulda done better.

    Care to have a friendly race between us doing the same route? Whaddya say Mr. BB?

  7. By mike on May 16, 2013 | Reply

    This could be another reason why the bike didn’t win. Bike traffic jam all through Cambridge and over the Longfellow!!! Here’s a photo I took at Charles Circle: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49752072@N04/8717844370/in/set-72157633425923953

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