Yesterday, Somerville Bicycle Committee, Cambridge Bicycle Committee, and LivableStreets Alliance got together to organize a rush hour race. Starting at Davis Square in Somerville, MA, which mode of transportation is the fastest way to get to Kendal Square in Cambridge, MA? Three racers took part – a cyclist (Josh Zisson of BikeSafeBoston), a T rider (the T is Boston’s subway system), and a car driver. Although there is no set route for the participants (except the T rider) the shortest route is approximately 3 miles.

To nobody’s great surprise the cyclist won handily, coming in about 10 minutes faster than the next closest competitor, the T-rider. The driver finished a distant 3rd. And for those of you who might be wondering, yes, the cyclist stopped at all the red lights and obeyed traffic regulations.

Hopefully this race will inspire more people to give bike commuting a chance. Especially if you live within 5 miles of your workplace, you’ll likely find that it’s as fast or faster to ride to work than to drive. You don’t have as high a top speed on a bike as you do in a car, but in stop and go rush hour traffic, being able to go 60mph is not going to be helpful. Being able to travel in bike lanes though, or along the shoulder of the road to the right of traffic (legal in MA), is.

Too Far to Ride? Save Time with a Park & Pedal Commute

Too far to ride? Try a Park & Pedal commute

Of course, not everyone lives within an easy riding distance of their workplace. But even long distance commuters can take advantage of the time savings of a bicycle commute. With a Montague bike folded in the trunk of your car, combining driving with riding a bicycle is easy.

Maybe you can’t avoid the interstate – if so, drive until you exit, find a place to park, and ride the rest of the way. And not only will you be saving yourself time on the commute, you’re getting your exercise in too – so you can skip the gym at the end of the day.

Did you expect the cyclist to win the race? Do you ride to work? Is time savings one of the reasons you do? Anybody out there a Park & Pedal commuter? How much time does it save you?