‘Rush Hour Race’ pits cyclist, MBTA rider, driver against each other

From left, Laurie Deitemeyer, the T commuter, Josh Zisson, the cyclist, and Ken Carlson, the driver, took off in the Rush Hour Race yesterday, which was won by the cyclist.

If you’re trying to navigate your way to work in the shortest time possible, strap on your helmet and grab your bicycle.

Gearing up for Bay State Bike Week, the LiveableStreets Alliance launched the first “Rush Hour Race” from Davis Square in Somerville to Kendall Square in Cambridge.

The race, in conjunction with the Somerville and Cambridge Bicycle committees, was held to determine who could get to Kendall quicker during a packed and gridlocked morning commute — a car, bike or a person riding the MBTA.

“Bicycling and riding public transit are at an all-time high, and also the most affordable way to get around, and this was asking the question ‘which is the fastest?,’ said Jackie Douglas, executive director of LiveableStreets.

The rider on two wheels, Josh Zisson, took the lead during yesterday’s experiment, arriving at the front steps of the Genzyme building in Kendall in 20 minutes flat.

Trailing behind was Laurie Deitemeyer, better known as RideLikeCharlie on Twitter, who took the Red Line and strolled in after a 29-minute journey.

“A bike is definitely the best way to get around,” said Zisson. “And you don’t have to worry about parking.”

The driver, who had to park his ride prior to arriving at the selected destination, showed up a few minutes later than Dietemeyer and slightly flustered.

“Sitting in traffic is definitely not fun,” said Ken Carlson, who works in Kendall and usually bikes. “The inner city is a bit frustrating.”

Out for a jog

Avid runner and exercise guru, John Wichers, decided to unofficially take part in yesterday’s race by running to Kendall Square.

He set out on foot the same time as the T rider, cyclist and driver, but came in second place, landing at his destination in roughly 23 minutes.

“If you take the T to work, that’s an hour and 10 minutes on the train each day,” said Wichers. “If I run, I get to and from work in less time and get the benefit of exercise.” 


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