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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Always wonder, Am I actually faster than the car traffic.

    I've always wondered if my commuting by bike 15miles across LA was actually faster than driving. Last night I had found out that at least part of it is.

    I was riding down Santa Monica Blvd and a bright new bright yellow Fiat 500, with dark haired female driver passed me at La Cienaga. This car stood out because it was a bright yellow the Fiat 500's are still pretty rare. She was also heavy on the revs so it brought a lot of attention to her.
    Shortly after she passed me I continued on my usually route and turned off the street we were both on, eventually my route meets back up with Santa Monica Blvd, but I don't take it the whole way. 5.5 miles later, when my route meets back up at a stop light, I roll up to the stop light and stop, and a few moments later, there she she is. Same Fiat 500 as 5.5 miles earlier. We both gave each other a look and went on our way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Spoonrobot's Avatar
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    Any hits on the missed connection post?



    Srsly, I've noticed this as well. Any time I ride in the city I'm close to moving just as fast as the vehicular traffic.

  3. #3
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on your location,
    in my area bikes are definitely faster than cars

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    I guess it depends on your location,
    in my area bikes are definitely faster than cars
    I definitively have some segments like that in LA. That is part of the reason I started riding my commute. I cross 15miles of city so some areas are terrible like above but then clear up after a bit.

  5. #5
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    After those guys demonstrated that biking across LA was faster than taking a plane, I thought bike vs. car would be a no brainer.

    For me, driving is about 10-15 minutes faster, depending on traffic. If I leave work at about 5:15, the first street away from my office complex is usually backed up close to half a mile with cars waiting to get through a single traffic light, while I cruise past them on the bike, but within a mile roads open up significantly and a car from the back of the line going the same way I am would probably pass me about the time I'm halfway home. I'm OK with that because I didn't spend the first 15 minutes of my commute wishing I was doing something else. I see the way they look at me while they're stuck at that red light, and I know that they're jealous -- not jealous enough to give up their precious car, but still jealous.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    After those guys demonstrated that biking across LA was faster than taking a plane, I thought bike vs. car would be a no brainer.

    For me, driving is about 10-15 minutes faster, depending on traffic. If I leave work at about 5:15, the first street away from my office complex is usually backed up close to half a mile with cars waiting to get through a single traffic light, while I cruise past them on the bike, but within a mile roads open up significantly and a car from the back of the line going the same way I am would probably pass me about the time I'm halfway home. I'm OK with that because I didn't spend the first 15 minutes of my commute wishing I was doing something else. I see the way they look at me while they're stuck at that red light, and I know that they're jealous -- not jealous enough to give up their precious car, but still jealous.
    A car probably could have beaten them on that day because traffic ended up being super light. Everyone stayed home that day instead of risking the traffic. Those guys (Wolfpack Hustle) are great though.

    It all really depends on time of day and location. When I do drive to work, I take the freeway which is longer distance, but short time(sometimes).

  7. #7
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Door-to-door, I'm about 25 minutes faster by car. That said, I usually dawdle on days I drive, so I rarely save time by driving.

    - Scott
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ira B's Avatar
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    My commute is rural roads and much slower than driving....but worth every second.
    Getting around Coupeville or Oak Harbor point to point is way faster by bike. I can take a lot of "shortcuts" that are not an option in a car and there is almost always a way to avoid a red light.
    Yep, THAT Ira

  9. #9
    Airborne Marauder Decatur_Tide's Avatar
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    More than likely, the girl in the bright yellow fiat stopped and had a pizza and a couple of beers.

  10. #10
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    Within the downtown area, I find cycling to be much faster at peak hours. The other route I travel (not downtown) regularly is about even, because I can cut off a few major intersections and some distance using a short, conveniently placed MUP.

  11. #11
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    time of day and level of traffic congestion is key. there are times when i'm absolutely faster than car traffic on my bike. but in off peak hours, it's probably faster to get around the city by car, though not by a whole lot i imagine, unless you're talking about going the full 20 mile distance from one end of chicago to the other.

    a big chunk of my commute takes me along chicago's lakefront path which parallels lake shore drive (an expressway). if traffic is backed up, i'm faster on my bike than the cars stuck on LSD.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    I guess it depends on your location,
    in my area bikes are definitely faster than cars
    cool song on the video. I was looking up some videos with the GoPro Hero cos the new Hero 2 is coming out this winter. Sure, the quality of the video was better but the soundtracks just wrecked it. What did you use to record this?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Sometimes I'm faster than rush hour traffic, and sometimes not. But it always takes about the same amount of time to get home, so I can plan my social life reliably if I commute by bike. Plus, if I don't commute by bike, I'll be going for an evening ride anyway, so I can kill two birds with the same hour.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Most of the time I am not. But some days, like this morning, I'll ride underneath the I-90 or I-190, and they'll both be backed up with standstill traffic, meaning my commute in a car would have taken 2 hours, whereas my commute on the bike takes 1:15. I love these kind of days.

  15. #15
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurlyLaika View Post
    cool song on the video. I was looking up some videos with the GoPro Hero cos the new Hero 2 is coming out this winter. Sure, the quality of the video was better but the soundtracks just wrecked it. What did you use to record this?
    I mounted my Nikon COOLPIX P100 on the bars, it's a bit bigger than a compact camera.
    Song used was "Où Veux tu qu' je r'garde", originally composed and sung by the group Noir Désir. The version I used was a remake by the group Nouvelle Vague.
    I guess the heft of the camera contributed to the shakiness, I had both optical and elctronic image stabilizers on but the footage is still shaky. Gopro on the helmet is definitely more stable:

  16. #16
    Senior Member spunkyj's Avatar
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    In downtown Toronto, most of the time I'm quicker than traffic, or at least catch the same cars at the lights. With better bike infrastructure, cycling here could be even quicker. Most of the time I'm travelling at about half my top speed so that I can stop for the unexpected (lots of cars parked to the right, pedestrians, long-boarders, crazy-rule-breaking-cyclists).

    I'm definitely faster than the streetcars, which only travel at ~15-20 km/hr and stop every two blocks!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    I guess it depends on your location,
    in my area bikes are definitely faster than cars
    In San Francisco, for some reason, people in cars, always arrive about five minutes before me. No matter what the occasion or where it's located.

    - Slim

    PS.

    Interceptor!

    You've always got the coolest videos!

    Thanx
    Last edited by SlimRider; 10-28-11 at 07:27 PM.

  18. #18
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Top Gear proved a bike was faster across London than a car, boat, or public transit.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  19. #19
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Interceptor!

    You've always got the coolest videos!

    Thanx

    - Slim
    Thanks, you keep watching - I'll keep taping

  20. #20
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    I guess it depends on your location,
    in my area bikes are definitely faster than cars
    Bravo 1nterceptor... et j'aime la musique.

  21. #21
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Bravo 1nterceptor... et j'aime la musique.
    Thanks, I was going to use this one but changed my mind
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx2O13f40SE

  22. #22
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    The fastest way to get across South Minneapolis during rush hour is the Greenway. To my girlfriend's: 24 minutes on the bike, 30 something in the car, close to an hour on the bus.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    In San Francisco, for some reason, people in cars, always arrive about five minutes before me. No matter what the occasion or where it's located.

    - Slim

    PS.

    Interceptor!

    You've always got the coolest videos!

    Thanx
    From Ferry Building to Ocean Beach, I'm definitely slower than automobile, even in the midst of the evening commute at 5:30pm. I am, however, just as fast at taking the express bus. Driving takes about 20 minutes less.

  24. #24
    $ sudo shift sudoshift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weshigh View Post
    back up at a stop light, I roll up to the stop light and stop, and a few moments later, there she she is. Same Fiat 500 as 5.5 miles earlier. We both gave each other a look and went on our way.
    Stoplights are the equalizers! Its funny 'cause the other day, I was driving on the way back from a tune-up on El Cajon Blvd. where I passed up a cyclist. Then he quickly caught up and passed my group of cars after the light.
    david@bikeforums:/sudoshift$ | Call me a "hipster" or an "UrbanCyclist" but I just like to ride bikes
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  25. #25
    Acts 2:38 rex_kramer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudoshift View Post
    Stoplights are the equalizers! Its funny 'cause the other day, I was driving on the way back from a tune-up on El Cajon Blvd. where I passed up a cyclist. Then he quickly caught up and passed my group of cars after the light.
    lol. So true, even on the expressways in my area. Depending on the hour of the day and traffic density, I can continually catch the same groups of cars at the lights. I don't ride that fast either.
    Philippians 2:9-11

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