brother Kurt — who drove the silver
Acura in the background.
(Photos © J. Maus)
The event pitted Rob and Kurt Widmer (founders of Portland-based Widmer Brothers Brewing) against each other to see who would get from NE 18th and Broadway to City Hall — a distance of about three miles — first.
Rob rode his bike (a well-used Trek mountain bike), Kurt drove his car (a shiny newish Acura sedan).
Each competitor took the exact same route (down Broadway to Madison, see map below), they followed all traffic laws, and they had to park their vehicles upon arrival at City Hall (where Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams greeted them).
Rob Widmer came out on top, arriving to City Hall by bike a full five minutes ahead of his brother Kurt (16 minutes vs. 21 minutes).
According to Rob, he never even saw Kurt. Apparently Kurt (in the car) got caught up in traffic on several parts of Broadway and Rob was able to pedal ahead of him right from the start.
A third competitor, Kim Seymour, pedaled on an adjacent, low-traffic, bike boulevard street (Tillamook) and finished only two minutes behind the car.
In the U.S., 40% of all trips are two miles or less. In Portland, and other cities where its relatively comfortable to go by bike, more and more people are realizing that bikes aren’t only cheaper and healthier, they’re also faster.
Here’s the route map: