well, the result of the city challenges - a ride to work week headline-grabber organised by the MCI - was no surprise. the motorbikes won.
They were "competing", time wise, in six commuter dashes and were up against pedestrians, public-ransport-users, car drivers, and in two cases, cyclists.
The only surprise was how close the powered two-wheelers were run by push-bikes.
In the Bradford to Leeds challenge, for example, dealer/distributor, Jason Lodge of Earnshaws, riding a Honley 125, took 28 minutes, arriving at 8:48am, but was just four minutes ahead of local council road safety officer Mark Sadler on his bicycle. It should be noted, however, that Mark isn't your average commuter cyclist. He's a training co-ordinatior who cranks up over 10,000 miles a year.
video of the six city challenge: Bradford to Leeds
EwhenChymera, a road safety project officer, let the train take the strain but arrived 12 minutes later at 9:04am; while car driver Shirley Pattison came in last place, 40 minutes behind Lodge at 9:28am - a total journey time of 68 minutes. we're assured that Shirley, the Ride to Work Day project manager, tried her best!
Her explanation that she was "within sight of the finish at 9:04am, parked by 9:12am and started walking at 9:16am serves as a useful reminder that, not only do bikes provide the quickest commute, they also save on the not insubstantial cost of parking. They are also cheap to run.
OK, so we all know that PTW's make ideal commuters, and that the MCI wouldn't have riked running the City Challenges if the outcome was in doubt, but initiative generated a fair bit of positive publicity for the industry and provide some concrete data to help you guys seal the deal on the show room floor.
Oh, and the other cyclist to coma close second was Tracy Harris in the Seaford to Brighton Challenge. That Tracy cycled 13 miles in 34 minutes, arriving just five minutes behind Collin Pattison's Harley-Davidson, is explained by hi status as an elite triathlete. You can't say the MCI didn't give all modes of transport a fair chance!