What happens when a profession cyclist and a profession stunt car driver race Los Angeles traffic to see what mode of transport can get from point A to point B faster?
BMW p/b Happy Tooth neo-pro rider Michelle Khare, who works for Buzzfeed Video, puts Andy Bell to the test in a race from the top of the Topanga Canyon to the Santa Monica Pier.
“Everyone always jokes about how bad traffic in L.A. is, so we wanted to see if a human-powered machine could beat a car during rush hour,” explained Khare, “This has been tested in New York City and Chicago, but I hadn’t seen a large-scale test in L.A.”
The Buzzfeed producers wanted to use professional cyclists and stunt drivers for the test so approached Khare and she jumped on the opportunity. With her 2015 team edition Axino SL Blue Bicycle, Rotor components and FFWD Wheels, Khare and Bell hit the road on a beautiful L.A. day for filming.
Battling the infamous L.A. traffic every day on her commute to work, Khare said: “It blows my mind how bad it is sometimes, even on the weekends. There is a lot of tension between cyclists and the drivers as there are very few bike lanes within the city.”
Both modes of transport estimated their time of arrival to the Santa Monica Pier before the race start, Khare with an 18-mile journey ahead of her estimated time of one hour and Bell with a 22-mile journey believed he would be Khare with a time of 45 minutes.
Khare was quietly confident that she would be able to beat the car there: “Based on my knowledge of my power on the bike, I had an estimated time of arrival but it was really close to the car’s estimated time. I knew it was possible to beat the car, but it would really come down to how much traffic the car hit on the way down.
“All I could do was go my hardest for that hour.”
There were points throughout the journey where Khare was worried about her time but she finished the 39 minutes and 37 seconds, almost five minutes before Bell in his 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia, but enough for bragging rights.
Khare said: “There was one specific time in particular when I was really concerned about losing to the car. I hit a light that lasted FOREVER, which was frustrating because it made me feel like my hard effort in the section prior was for nothing! But it just made me go faster when the light turned green.”