Inspired by Streetfilms Bike Vs Car Vs Transit, the Car Free Days family took a challenge of their own: Bike Vs. Bus from our house in Ravenna to Westlake Park in downtown Seattle for a little holiday in the big city action.
A door-to-door speed test pitting Tim’s Xtracycle against Anne and 2 kids on foot to the bus stop, then on the bus to Westlake Park. Our departure times and routes were the same, but the outcome would be different
In our hearts, Tim and I knew this wasn’t much of a challenge, having beat our four-wheeled friends home from restaurants, pubs, and stores. And we know that buses, with all of the waiting and stopping and loading, aren’t known for door-to-door speed.
But, biased as we are toward two-wheeled transport, we still wanted to test our theory. The kids got into it: interviewing and polling bystanders on their opinion of the outcome.
We set out from our North Seattle neighborhood at the same time. (The kids and I actually left a little before Tim – this was totally fair, as walking with 2 kids can sometimes be a slow process). Tim caught us as we approached the bus stop and kept on going.
We, on the other hand, waited at the bus stop for a bus that never arrived. We waited and waited and waited, and the kids got more and more discouraged. They really wanted to win…and waiting for the bus was not part of the plan.
The kids quickly figured out that we were NOT going to win. And they were really bummed. Disappointment quickly turned into frustration. “It’s not fair! Daddy is going to win and we are going to lose”. Where was the bus? We ended up waiting at the bus stop for 30 minutes. The bus we set out to catch never did materialize and we ended up taking the next scheduled bus. We called Tim to let him know that he could claim victory and to meet us 30 minutes later than planned.
Out of breath and already in South Lake Union (despite a mega headwind) when we called, Tim was a little bummed that the challenge would end this way. He really wanted a race to the finish and this was a tad anti-climactic. Though he always knew the bike would be victorious, he didn’t want to win via a Metro-forced forfeit.
We plan to try the race again one day when buses are more on schedule, just to prove without a doubt that bikes are truly still faster. Any one want to join us?
Hope you’re enjoying the Holiday season!