A surgeon in Baton Rouge, La., unwittingly recreated part of an episode of uber-popular motoring program “Top Gear” by beating traffic in a novel way. En route to a surgery, she was able to bypass stop-and-go traffic using a child’s bicycle.
Helmet thrown in as bonus for surgeon Catherine Baucom
Fans of the BBC’s uber-popular motoring show “Top Gear” might remember a few episodes where the hosts pit various methods of transportation against each other. Usually, a car, often a very expensive sports car, races against anything other than a car. One episode had a race across London, at rush hour, where the car was pitted against a boat, public transportation and a bicycle.
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Dr. Catherine Baucom, a surgeon in Louisiana, according to AutoBlog, recently did something similar, in that she bypassed completely stuck traffic by riding a children’s bicycle to arrive on-time at a surgery she was due to perform. She beat the traffic and even got the pink “Princess” helmet thrown in as a bonus.
Ambitious, and far from rubbish
The traffic jam was caused by an accident that was almost tragic. According to the Huffington Post, the traffic jam that resulted in Catherine Baucom riding the bike to work was a multi-vehicle accident, wherein a car rolled over, causing a semi-truck carrying flammable liquids to jam on its brakes and was rear-ended by another 18-wheeler, carrying a shipment of beer.
The truck that was rear-ended, according to WMBF, a Baton Rouge ABC affiliate, began leaking isobutane. The leak was sealed and the excess was safely burnt off by fire safety personnel. More importantly, the beer in the second truck wasn’t lost to the accident.
When traffic was backed up, Dr. Baucom pulled off the interstate and drove to the home of a friend who lived nearby. She asked to borrow a bike, the only available one being a children’s bike and pink “Princess” helmet, which the six-foot doctor started pedaling away on. Luckily, she attracted the attention of police, who escorted her to the BRASS Surgery Center, where she arrived on time to perform a surgery. Dr. Baucom is an oncologist, specializing in mastectomies.
The car is unmatched for convenience; with no departure/arrival schedule, one can hop in and get heading out to the highway. Except, as Catherine Baucom demonstrated, when confronted by traffic. Some other examples have proved the same. Bikes also don’t require a loan, unlike a car which needs a bank auto loan to buy. Perhaps urban commuters are better off visiting a BMX dealer rather than BMW.
Last year, during “Carmageddon,” when a busy section of freeway in Los Angeles was closed for a weekend, a number of commuters staged a “Top Gear” style race, according to Slate, where bicyclists, a rollerblader, commuters on a Jet Blue flight only going across L.A., combined with a cab ride, public transport raced from Burbank to Long Beach. The cyclists won with a time of 1 hour, 34 minutes, besting public transportation by 10 minutes, the roller blades by 66 minutes and the plane by 84 minutes.
Other bike vs car challenges have been staged, some going to the car, some to the bike. Another instance was last may in Gainesville, Fla., where the mayor of the city, on a bike, raced a Gainesville police officer in his squad car, making more than seven stops at area businesses over a several-mile course, according to the Gainesville Sun. The bike won handily, beating the car by 25 minutes.
Gainesville Sun: http://www.gainesville.com/article/20110531/ARTICLES/110539903
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