On the morning of May 3, 2011, commuters using three modes of transportation traveled from The 88 in downtown San José to the Santa Clara County Government Center. The hour was early, the weather brisk. No one knew who would arrive first. This is the story of the Clean Commute Challenge.

San José City Councilmember Sam Liccardo, Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino, SVBC member Aaron Francis, and SVBC Executive Director Corinne Winter raced by bike. Now, we were pretty sure the bike would win, especially with such a stellar team, but even those of us who roll on two wheels regularly were impressed by the speed of the cyclists and the lag time of the cars.

The bikes rolled in at 5 minutes, 58 seconds, except for Councilmember Liccardo, who rode in slacks and tie and took the longer route. Still, we saw the Councilmember a mere 14 seconds later – apparently that tie doesn't create too much drag.

The first car team, consisting of Ron Heckman and Brandy Bridges, came to the door after 12 minutes – twice the time of the bikes! The second car, driven by Sara Ligda, took even longer – 22 minutes, 12 seconds. The light rail contestant took the same amount of time as the slow car, but, to light rail's credit, the race started late and contestant Tom Rivell had to catch a later train. And let's not forget that the train commute saved parking money, didn't involve driving through traffic, and polluted less!

Thanks to all the participants, thanks to volunteer Justin Meek for putting this video together, and thanks to The 88 for co-coordinating this great race!

Check out the coverage from CBS radio

and Sal Pizarro at the Merc http://www.mercurynews.com/sal-pizarro/ci_17983520?IADID=Search-www.merc…