Fastest Urban Commute: Cycle vs BMW 730LD vs Delhi Metro

Who will win a 20 Km three-way race between a BMW 730LD, a bicycle and the Delhi metro in peak hour traffic?

Tech and Auto
2 min read

The story has been republished from The Quint’s archives as the odd-even plan makes a comeback in Delhi.


It’s World Car Free Day on 22 September, and what better way to celebrate it than with a unique three-way challenge. We pit a luxurious sedan, the BMW 730LD, against a humble mountain bike and the Delhi Metro, to see which is the fastest way to get to work in peak-hour traffic.

Setting up this challenge was a challenge in itself. The race had to kick off in the thick of morning traffic on a Monday – when traffic is at its worst. The 20 km route we picked was one that was fair to all three modes of transport.

The BMW 730LD, priced at Rs 1.12 crore ex-showroom Delhi, is a luxurious sedan that pampers its occupants to the hilt. It comes with four-zone climate control, ventilated seats with massage function, a sunroof, a moonroof, ambient lighting to suit the mood, and even has a fragrance control where you can select the kind of perfume you want in the car.

The car is capable of an electronically limited top speed of 250 kmph. Power comes from a 3-litre, 6-cylinder diesel engine putting out 265 bhp power and 620 Nm torque with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in less than seven seconds. But none of that matters in traffic.

That's where the Trek 3700D, an aluminium-alloy mountain bike, with 21-speed gears and mechanical disc brakes has an advantage. The average speed one sees in urban commutes is barely 15 kmph. The cycle can easily average 20-22 kmph and dart through gaps in traffic. However, if traffic opens up, the BMW will have it eating dust in seconds.

The Delhi Metro network has been steadily connecting the city. It does not have to deal with car traffic, but commuters have to deal with the morning rush, standing cheek by jowl in the train. However, last-mile connectivity is still an issue – between the metro station and your destination. That could serve as a great equaliser in this race.

We set out at 9:25 am on a Monday morning. Watch to find out who wins this one!

Camera: Athar Rather, Abhishek Ranjan Chaudhary, Danish Qazi, Abhay Sharma

Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia

Anchors: Aaqib Raza Khan, Cyrus John, Roshun Povaiah

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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