Its 5:30am in Greenville, SC. You need to get to south Alabama as fast as possible. Today we compare riding with flying.
The Flight Option:
Leaving after 6:00am, the earliest arrivals in Mobile get there at 10:40. If you only have carry on luggage. You then can find a car. The airport is still another hour away from the destination. Figure 10 minutes to get to your car.
Best Case Arrival Time: 11:50am
Riding Your Motorcycle:
At 6:00am, you throw a leg over the big BMW RT and roll out. You stop to eat when you’re hungry. You stop for gas three times, and you arrive happy and hungry.
Real World Arrival Time: 11:35am.
Total cost for the flight: $286, plus a bonus TSA rape.
Total cost of the ride: $25 in gas and $8 in food.
A lot of people don’t seem to understand this. “Oh, we’ll take a plane, that’s faster.”
The plane, by itself, traverses space faster than a car, but, such is the nature of things, the process of getting on and off the plane with several hundred other people makes it longer than simply getting up early and utilizing our very efficient highway system.
The next question would be figuring out what is the shortest flight where driving would not longer make financial or emotional sense. I had a trip from Phoenix to Salt Lake City recently and I quickly choose driving in my truck. Yes there was most of a day taken up by driving there and back with any risk. But I did not have to rent a car, I did not have the TSA “swipe right” on Tindr in an airport, I listened to podcasts and music the whole way, and I was able to stop at the Hoover Dam and Tommy Burger in Las Vegas. No regrets.
700 miles and 10 hours of driving still beats flying.
This point was often the plot of Top Gear and Grand Tour episodes. Granted, Jeremy cheated a bit from time to time, but he almost always won with the car.