Do not try this at home—it’s illegal, and possibly dangerous.
Still, on the eve of bike-to-work day, it’s worth remembering that bikes are often just as speedy as cars—even on a freeway. It certainly was for these daredevils.
But even if you’re not an adrenaline junkie, bike travel can be a time saver. First of all, consider the health benefits. According to one medical researcher in Britain, accident risks of biking are real—but are vastly outweighed by the health risks of sedentary lifestyles: for every life year lost through accidents, 20 are gained through improved health and fitness. So even if a bike trip is longer than a car trip, it could save you lots of time in the long run.
Just so, simply owning a car is a time-sink. By one estimate—after you factor in the time it takes to earn the money to make car payments and buy gas, plus the time stuck in traffic, searching for parking, and so forth—the average car travels at a mere 5 miles per hour. That’s a speed that even the tamest of bikers should have no trouble besting.
So don’t think that you have to be a daredevil to travel fast on a bike. All things considered, it’s often the fastest way to go.
(Hat tip for the video to Chris Mayda…)