Carmageddon: Bicyclists start crosstown race against JetBlue flight
A pack of six bicyclists were scarfing down bananas and doughnuts Saturday morning to prepare for their Burbank to Long Beach race against JetBlue.
The plane versus pedals crosstown dash was born when a pair of bloggers dared an urban bicyclists' club to take on JetBlue after it offered $4 one-way flights from Burbank to Long Beach. The airline offered the deal for folks who want to fly over the traffic mayhem predicted during "Carmageddon," the weekend closure of 10 miles of the 405 Freeway.
"It's going good. We got the team assembled. We got the cameras mounted,'' said Don "Roadblock" Ward of Los Angeles, who is organizing the bicycle challenge. "We're going to do it legal, and follow all the traffic laws.''
The cyclists are members of Wolfpack Hustle, a bicycling club whose members ride 50 to 70 miles every Monday, leaving from Tang's Donut in Silver Lake.
The cyclists are slated to take off at 10:50 a.m. Saturday from the intersection of Cahuenga and Chandler boulevards in North Hollywood.
Bicycle blogger Joe Anthony will leave home for the airport at the same time, via car, for a 12:20 p.m. JetBlue flight from Burbank to Long Beach. The start of the race is timed so Anthony can arrive at the airport about one hour before takeoff.
The flight is scheduled to arrive in Long Beach at 1:05 pm. Once he lands, Anthony will catch a ride to the Long Beach Aquarium -- the finishing line for him and the pack of cyclists.
Anthony and the cyclists will be hooked up to GPS, and the race can be followed online at Bikecommutenews.com.
Ward said cyclists will follow the bike path along the Los Angeles River for about 70% of the route –- a leg that's still fraught with traffic lights and cross streets in Los Angeles and Vernon. The total route for the cyclists is 38.4 miles, he said.
-- Phil Willon
Photo: Bicyclists from Wolfpack Hustle gather in North Hollywood, where they are about to start their race against a JetBlue flight from Burbank to Long Beach. Credit: Paloma Esquivel / Los Angeles Times