PoV documentary on underground bike-messenger racing

Here's a trailer for "Line of Sight," a documentary on underground bike-messenger racing that uses helmetcams to capture some pretty insane (and often terrifying) examples of cycling skill:

Line Of Sight is a rare view into underground bicycle messenger racing which has become a global phenomenon. For over a decade Lucas Brunelle has been riding with the fastest, most skilled urban cyclists around the world while capturing all the action with his customized helmet cameras to bring you along for the ride.

This is bike riding like you've never seen before, in gripping first-person perspective through the most hectic city streets, on expressways in Mexico City, over the frozen Charles River, under the Mediterranean Sea, across the Great Wall of China and deep into the jungles of Guatemala.

LINE OF SIGHT - Official Trailer


    1.  I thought I saw two guns.  One on a shoulder strap being fired from the hip and the other a handgun at the end.  Very weird.

  1. thrilling to watch i guess, but on the real: fuck these people. There is zero difference between shooting out into wrong way oncoming traffic on your bike, and driving like an inconsiderate asshole in your car. “Share the road” works both ways you entitled jerks.

    1.  Hate to say it, but you’re right. Doing this is incredibly dangerous. You may be in control, but what about a pedestrian, or driver, or motorcyclist that freaks because a cyclist is flying towards them, causing an accident and possibly even killing someone? Ya I dunno…

      1. Perceptions of control within a multi-user system of chaos made predictable by a general consensus on usage of all or most users automatically negates the reality of control. The perception they have is false, if they have it.

        1.  It still hurts like hell when you get hit by a car swerving to avoid a less respectful cyclist.

        2.  You sound pretty neat but you also likely walk down the sidewalk/drive down the street/get on the bus under the same perceptual trappings as the rest of us common folk.

      2.  They announced in SF today that the cyclist who killed a pedestrian a few months ago (by hurtling into a cross-walk at 35MPH in a 25 MPH zone) is getting charged with manslaughter.  It was the first thing I thought of when I saw this.

        1. Same here.  These people are behaving poorly and putting innocent people at risk.  You can see a similar incident at 1:40 of this video.  No excuse for this.

    2.  no doubt. makes me think of the squirrel suit guys, the free-climbers, the knife-and-blanket winter survivalist, the underground MMA peeps, cliff divers, mountain bikers, BASE jumpers….

      why? because all of these people CHOOSE to risk their lives for whatever reason, and they do it with other people who are doing the same. while some of the mothers of the world are not ok with all these activities, i’m all 1000% in support of their choices.

      these bike fucks? sorry. that vid was full of people almost getting creamed, mostly the elderly when it does happen. i live in nyc and am on the streets all day every day, and with out a doubt the #1 risk of injury (not death) to pedestrians is certainly undercover frat guys like these. and even almost getting run over by cars is shite as well. can you fucking imagine the trauma of killing someone with your car?

      and for what? some “fuck-the-establishment-that-i-am-not-actually-fighting” chest-bumping?

      i say this as someone who has made his living for over 12 years pedaling, so anything anyone wants to say along the lines of “hater” can go fuck themselves with a 52.

      1.  totally agree–decades and thousands of miles on the bike for me, and my highest priority has always been to be safe and don’t hurt others. 

      2. I ride about 300 miles a month, and, yeah, I obey traffic laws too. Anything else (like, say, the shenanigans in this video) is assholery.

        Ride not just to keep yourself safe, but in a predictable way that enables others to keep themselves safe.

      3.  I also bike NYC almost every (not cold/rainy) day, and sometimes I think I’m the only one obeying the law. What bothers me the most is people on fixies without brakes. I don’t care if you have no helmet, you’re only hurting yourself. If you have no brakes, that is like an absolute guarantee that you will hit somebody.

        1.  Especially in a city where the local pastimes include wandering blindly into traffic whilst looking in the opposite direction (south of Canal and in Bushwick anyway)

      4. Road raging couriers are not the majority, but the minority there are, are up there with the road raging motorized vehicle operator. 

        Perhaps if municipalities (or State/Provincial law) used their by-law powers to license plate ALL vehicles ( to including bycycles) and use yearly sticker renewal, as well be insured. The reckless operators will be identified and held accountable for harm’s way egressions. 

        Will it harm low income persons. Yes. Sorry about that. Hopefully a plate and sticker will not cost all that much. The intention is to curb danger to the public at large, and promote a safer environment.

        This is all off the cuff, so forgive the over sights, should they be raised.

        1. i’m a london commuter/cyclist and can’t condone the insanity in the video, though the doco looks entertaining.
          but I wanted to comment on the inevitable license plate call. it’s just a ridiculous thing to suggest that this would stop these guys. they care not for personal safety (yours or theirs), road rules, laws, courtesy or (apparently) gun control. so why the fuck would they ride around on a properly licensed and insured bicycle? they break the law all day, every day. you think they give a shit if their bike has been purchased through official channels or in some fictional government controlled store where each one has an impossible to remove or obscure license plate that law enforcement would easily be able to identify as it disappears between two taxis? i can’t even see what colour shirt they wear let alone read a number on a tiny license plate. unless the vanity plate said “eat my dust” in day-glo letters a foot high you’re living in a fantasy if you think it would have any benefit.
          license plates would be for cyclists like drm is for media. it only hurts the people who already play by the rules.

          1. Yeah.  Plus, is he also advocating that an 8-year-old kid needs to get a license plate and insurance to ride their bike around the neighborhood or to school and back?

    3. My thoughts exactly! “Skilled” cyclists? In some of the cases, yes – but mostly they’re just inconsiderate assholes that are totally unsafe and give cyclists in general a bad name.

  2. yeah, very cool and everything but what about the poor motorist who hits and kills one of these fucks?

    1. Or worse, hits and kills someone else after swerving to avoid one of them.  Arrogant selfish cocks.  

  3. OH SHIT SOMEONE ON A BIKE (like 2 lanes over)…no ABS and sliding through the intersection….

    1.  Soooooooo… Is it the driver’s fault for having a slightly older Golf and reacting to a perceived danger on the road?

      1. No it’s the drivers fault for over reacting and then proceeding to push his break pedal into the floor hard enough that it probably broke….

        Perhaps I’m just old but in the pre-abs days you pumped those brakes for this exact reason.  Four wheel lock ups aren’t doing him or anyone else any good considering he no long has any real control over the car.

        1.  I know, the first thing I think of when something startles me while driving is usually “PUMP those pre-ABS brakes!”

      2. It must be the driver’s fault for not instantly knowing the skill level of the cyclists.   

        He should have known, at a glance, that they were experts in complete control, and not about to slam into his vehicle.

  4. Here’s a trailer for “Line of Sight,” a documentary on underground bike-messenger racing how to violate as many traffic laws, as quickly as possible.

    Fixed that for ya.

    1. Indeed and one could continue:

      … that uses helmetcams to capture some pretty insane (and often terrifying) examples of cycling skill fairly mundane examples of people cycling a bit quickly; falling off their bikes; occasionally navigating moderately narrow gaps and, less frequently, doing so without hitting a wing mirror.

      1. Let me try:

        … through the most hectic city streets, on expressways in Mexico City, over the frozen Charles River, under the Mediterranean Sea, across the Great Wall of China, and deep into the jungles of Guatemala smacking into concrete walls, flipping over handlebars, plastering into parked cars, and requiring subsequent skin grafts.

        But hey, if they’re using helmetcams, then at least they’re wearing helmets, right?  That counts for something.

        1. I don’t think that’s actually a helmet, just a wide brimmed hat. If you submit to their safety rules, then the motorists win…

  5. Why this being presented by Boing Boing as “cool” is beyond me. As a pedestrian who is regularly buzzed by inconsiderate cyclists on the streets of San Francisco, as they brazenly ignore pedestrian crosswalk traffic, this kind of glorification of arrogant bike culture run amok is distressing.

    1. As a considerate cyclist on the streets of SF, I don’t understand what you’re raging against here. Pretty much any cyclist will quickly say this kind of behavior is dangerous, reckless, and selfish. I’ve encountered maybe two cyclists of this ilk ever. I deal with unaware, inconsiderate motorists on a daily basis, yet I don’t assume that car culture has run amok.

      1.  Safe cyclist here too, and I am always dealing with “pedestrian culture run amok”, as I’m regularly trying not to buzz inconsiderate jaywalking/oblivious pedestrians who are crossing/standing illegally in the street/bike lanes.

        1. I bike 20 km 5-7 days a week, and if I had a dime for every pedestrian that stepped out in front of me AND THEN turned their stupid head to see if the roadway was clear, AND THEN gave me a scared/dirty look for swerving or skidding to an abrupt stop, I’d have a coupla rolls of dimes.

          Pedestrians hate cyclists and drivers. Drivers hate pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists hate drivers and pedestrians. Skateboarders hate everyone.

          1. The angry (at cyclists)  pedestrian is the worst though.  At least most cyclists are interested in making cities both bike and pedestrian friendly, and realize our common problem is an urban environment that caters to cars and is hostile to everyone else.  We are pedestrians often times too obviously.

            We’re finally starting to get bus stops that show arrival times for our buses here, slowly but surely.  Maybe that will cut down on the amount of people jumping out into the street/bike lane to see if the bus is coming….

          2. @Navin_Johnson:disqus

            hah, know exactly what you mean. I tense up at transit stops – around here it’s streetcars, which are great for cyclists (unlike buses, streetcars never ever veer into your lane!), but it means pedestrians milling about in the right hand lane to board the train in the left lane, which forces me to “take the lane” on the right which can lead to honks, engine revs, and drive-by screamings.

          3. I bike year round, on roads, paths, and trails.  I don’t hate drivers, pedestrians, skateboarders, or other cyclists, in general.  Just the idiot who overdrive their braking distance.  I don’t overdrive mine.  Do you?
            Oh, that’s right, you already said you have to swerve and skid to a stop. So I guess your answer would be “Yes.”

          4. @Diogenes:disqus 

            (I just hate) the idiot(s) who overdrive their braking distance. I don’t overdrive mine.  Do you?

            Are you actually asking me if I am an idiot who drives recklessly?

            That’s the second stupidest post in this thread.

          5. @Diogenes:disqus You’ll have to excuse joepost’s lack of peripheral vision – it can’t be easy cycling with an eyepatch on the side of the road where the pedestrians jump out! It’s probably just pedestrians walking parallel to the bike lane and seeing it as an extension to the pavement. If cars had the same problem of pedestrians jumping out at them all the time, they’d either have to skid and swerve or they would hardly be moving. In China we get the same problem, but the cars drive on the pavement/bike lane (there’s not a whole lot of difference). Often the whole pavement is completely snarled up with parked cars or cars trying to save a few seconds. If you go on the road, there are traffic wardens who flag you onto the pavement. It’s weird that in the country of bikes, the car is definitely king.

          6. Diogenes: You can magically see pedestrians who are about to step blithely out from behind a parked car two feet in front of you?

            If you’re moving (in any vehicle) faster than 3 MPH, then you’re “overdriving your braking distance” in that situation.

          7. When I lived in SF, I drove down the middle of the road whenever possible in order to avoid the inevitable people suddenly appearing from between two vans.

      2.  Mostly agree with what you’re saying, but only two? I’ve lived in towns that are much less cycling-intensive than SF and have seen many more inconsiderate cyclists than that, mostly amateur road racers who think that red lights are for other people.

      3. Just like you don’t notice the hundreds of drivers you see every day that do follow the rules, nobody notices the cyclists that do the same thing.

        But that asshat driver that cut you off?  Him, you remember.  Same thing with the idiot cyclists.  People notice and remember those.

    2.  Totally agree. This kind of deliberately dangerous and reckless behaviour needs to be vilified not glamorized. Seems like those involved are providing police with a way to easily identify those who need to be prosecuted.

    3. If it’s any consolation the guy that made the.. whatever it is, documentary is a stretch as most have content, is widely derided by 99.99999% of cyclists and particularly cycle advocates.

    4. I agree but it wouldn’t be Boing Boing if something disagreeable to some didn’t get on too. 

      I’m betting Cory just never noticed this sort of thing before and as the saying goes “I’s new to me!”. 

      Don’t read the Bicycling interview Cory, it might make you feel like you were hoaxed when you posted this. 

      But hey, I’ve been reading awhile and didn’t know you like bikes. I must have been asleep, plus I miss a lot of posts.

      1. Lots of ‘Items’ on BoingBoing are agreeable.

        FunkDaddy you seem to be over compensating for something….(comment removed)

  6. I still don’t get the parts with the guns. Why?

    I like the thrill of the story as a video game or as a fictional movie, but I have to agree with the other commenters about the real danger into which  these people are putting themselves and all the other people on the roads.

    1. Really, how far of a leap is it from being an a-moral asshole who nearly kills people by plowing through pedestrian crosswalks or causing car accidents by running red lights to being an amoral asshole who shoots at their fellow amoral asshole friends?

  7. I used to have a problem with underground bike-messengers, then I put out some traps and poured boiling water down into all their burrows. They haven’t been back since then.

  8. These guys are dicks. It’s one thing to ride aggressively in traffic and put yourself in danger, it’s a whole other selfish thing to purposely generate dangerous configurations and potentially destroy some poor ped or ruin someone’s life who will run you down because you decided to blow a red light through a major intersection. Even the guns parts which initially I thought were cool suck since they only do them in the favelas like complete adventure tourist twats.

    1. I love alley cat videos so I saved this to the end of my working day to really savour it. But now all I can think is; what a bunch of dicks!
      The cement mixer thing kind of made me giggle.  But shooting with guns in front of little kids? There is no telling what traumas these favela kids have suffered and how something like this would affect them. Sick, sick, sick
      Also, filming down a fellow cyclist’s cleavage shows us the mental age of this Lucas Brunelle chap.

        1. I don’t think there is a cut-off age, I hope not, but appreciation is to be refined over time to show proper respect to your obsession, and even if only inadvertently, those bearing the brunt of the obsession.

          Example: 2 year olds and younger are allowed to ask, look, feel, tweak, etc. People older than that, less so.

    1. It’s like watching what you think is a fictional comedy/parody that turns out to “real”. 

      Painful, funny (ish) but painful and it makes you feel really bad for the people in it. I turned it off after 20 minute or so. 

      No, didn’t pay for it. Piracy protected me as it often does. Let it protect you too.

      1. How have you seen it?
        It’s for pre-order on his site and is not on any public torrent trackers nor on the private film trackers I have access to.

        1. It’s compilation, the only things in it that you can’t see elsewhere is the recent stuff, the Great Wall, Mexico, and most of the rest has been floating around for years.

          The only saving grace is it was initially less shaky and bobbing than most all other non-professional bicycle footage available. 

          But now with GoPro and similar tech it’s totally dated, way better footage is out there now compared to that stuff.

          1. It’s hardly piracy when you’re watching video that he’s been serving from his own site for years. And it’s hardly fair to judge a film based on a portion of the raw footage that you assume the film contains based on 3 minute trailer.

          2.  Well, solitaire, the whole purpose of a trailer is to give you something to judge the whole film by, so if it’s misleading then he has no one to blame but himself.

          3. Jeez, just trying to politely say that I can suggest it but I can’t do it for you. That’s just how it is ya know.

            Try adding the guy’s name to the film name or something, or go watch some of the pieces it’s made of, or wait a month for  someone silly enough to buy to seed it to something public for you.

  9. (In response to a criticism of all you “moralfags” for criticizing, until the comment was deleted or removed by poster)

    It’s good of you to relate these antics to that of a child, but do you see children doing this stuff in heavy traffic? I don’t. Except these children.

    Your estimation that they are primarily endangering themselves is easily fractured by the video itself which has many examples of hard braking by motorists avoiding becoming the danger these children primarily expose themselves to.

    I’ve ridden a bike, and been in these types of races. They really aren’t all that exciting compared to MTBing, surfing or just about any motor sport. Most of the challenges involved are contrived, like using track bikes on the street, or running lights instead of the more challenging possibility of using timing + navigation to defeat a traffic system from within.

    I saw this on Bicycling Magazine, you can too, and I’d give dollars to donuts that afterwards you can’t criticize anyone here calling this guy/s an asshole, because he demonstrates it ably himself in the interview.

    It’s an illegitimate thrill, but TBH it’s also a third rate category thrill best left to the few that apparently can’t find another.


    Some of the comments are spot on the money, and an special treat is the interviewee commits online crime by actually commenting there in defense, and on BSNY actually went apeshit and made big talk. It was hilarious.

    1. Still trying to compensate for that lacking ingredient called ‘consideration’?

    1. I’ve known a number of bike messengers over the years who haven’t done this kind of stuff.  Perhaps you could not wish that every working city cyclist gets violently killed by a car? Too much to ask Joe?

    2. I know some, most are not scenesters like these. As in most groups the “cool kids” number in the 5-10% range. Most messengers don’t look or act like that it’s just that the few that do are highly visible.

      1. And being cool is the name of the game. Cause with out cool, what are you? So endanger to impress a 5% of cycling messengers and FUCK THE REST. So bravo and impressive. [/sarcasm]

  10. What the hell s this doing on boingboing? Cory, could you just confirm that you’re posting this in disgust, because it almost looks like you support it and I’m pretty sure you’re not that stupid..

      1. buuut then again it is a pretty stupid video. Probably robbersdog ride bikes, most people like that can’t stand the guy that made the doucheumentary in question.

      2. I created the account a while ago, I just don’t often feel moved to comment.

        Not really sure why it’s wrong to create an account to express my feelings about something I feel strongly about though? You think I should just comment on things that mean nothing to me? I’m wondering how that would work.

        I’ve been following boingboing for many years, I’ve just been quiet about it :o)

        1.  I just always find it curious that when somebody goes off on the supposed declining standards of BoingBoing that it is so often somebody who’s just created a new account…

          My fault.

    1. Some people don’t comment until they’ve had enough.
      I see…..

      There’s a “parkour” video they’re going to post soon that’s going to make a slew of “long time users” go all “falling down”…….

      1. When, like Michael Douglas, their unicorn snowglobes are broken against the wall by neo-nazi skinheads, then yes! Out of the woodwork they shall come!

  11. And on top of these clowns are their idolizers, the teen fixie freaks that are slowly infesting the streets with their sub-par skills, entitled douchebag dispositions and trendy non-conformist conformist attitudes

        1. I’d argue that facetime is rather inevitable these days. It certainly is galvanizing and interesting/apalling to watch, so it’ll be shown on those merits.

          Hopefully the actual film also shows the consequences of being an idiot. If not, I’d rather it be exhibited and discussed — and appropriately lambasted — than otherwise. Why not here?

          1. I have no problem with discussing it here. I’m just sorry that the filmmaker chose to feed their egos. I suspect it encourages their idiotic behavior.

  12. I agree with most of the comments here and on Vimeo – this footage is exciting…..but *not cool*. Endangering your own life is one thing; endangering those of others is unacceptable, selfish behavior.

    And although most cyclists would agree that this film glorifies stupid, selfish behavior, there are many non-cyclists who will see this and form the wrong impression of cyclists as a group. We (cyclists) don’t need this. We get enough grief from motorists and pedestrians.

    Everyone on the road needs to share the road with safety and respect for all.

      1. At least post the whole quote. That’s a good interview.

        I personally just cannot believe that this guy doesn’t listen to BB posters and slow down and obey traffic laws and maybe trade his racing bike for a nice step-through commuter bike with baskets. It’s like he don’t give two fucks for us!

        Do you own a car?

        I still have the police car. Haven’t driven it in years. But I love cars. Fuck bike advocacy. It’s the cars that make shit fun. Without cars, we couldn’t do skitches off SUVs. We couldn’t get bruised and cut up; we couldn’t commiserate. I love traffic. It’s an evil river, sure, but I love the city streets.

        He’s got a point.

        1. He only has a point if these things exist in exclusion t0 one another, which they don’t. 

          Plus that ain’t my quote, although I quoted it elsewhere I hope I at least did the “… Fuck bike advocacy. …” thing, but may not have. 

          The original quoter notes that it wasn’t germane too. 

          1. Your ardenaline is kicking up like your racing up a one way street the wrong way… Or so your comments seem to imply.  

            “dont hate the pro’s for being pro’s, its their gift and their buddies need the delusion it provides, due to lack of serotonin pheromones production, which is a cause due too other reasons.

        2. I don’t think that’s much of a point. I suppose if this guy lived in India (e.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjrEQaG5jPM ) he’d decry more orderly traffic as not-fun and boring.

          We can make bicycling safer and easier for the majority. We should. Assholes will still be able to skitch, and get bruised, and cut up, and hit people. So, fuck his sentiments, not bike advocacy.

  13. In San Francisco we just arrested a cyclist for manslaughter. He was riding like these bikers, blowing stop signs and flaunting basic traffic laws, until he smashed into an older man and killed him. This, sadly, is not an isolated event here in the Bay Area.

    I suppose some would call these people daring and exciting, but so is smoking crack.

    1.  A sure sign of bike culture run amok.  Let’s compare that with both pedestrians and cyclists who are killed every single day by hostile car culture.

      1. How dare you gloss over the dozen or so people killed by speeding bicycles in the last couple years.

          1. AFAIK, in Toronto, there’s been two pedestrian fatalities due to cyclists in the last several years. One in Chinatown at a crowded intersection, cyclist apparently blew the light. One up in the suburbs, cyclist hit an old man on the sidewalk. Both cyclists remained at the scene, and both ended up paying small fines, which seems too light to me. Like, at least give them some community service.

            Both accidents had far more news coverage than any pedestrian or cyclist deaths caused by motor vehicles. Eleven pedestrians have been killed by drivers here in 2012, and they usually get a couple of paragraphs in the news that insinuate they were jaywalking, unless they were on the sidewalk, in which case the vehicle was “out of control.” And they always mention how terribly sad and remorseful the drivers who ran the people down are. If those drivers had been biking, they would be vilified for recklessness, any appeals for sympathy would fall on deaf ears, and we’d have interviews with their grieving families demanding that Someone Take Action to prevent similar accidents in the future. Irate Conservative-leaning politicians would tap into the fervour and argue for big-government regulations for cyclists, with laughably unfeasible insurance and licensing schemes.

            More and more cyclists have been hitting the roads here in recent years, so I’m a bit surprised cyclist/pedestrian collisions haven’t significantly increased. But I think having more bikes on the street makes cyclists more careful – I certainly bike much faster in winter, when it’s just me and the cars.

          2. 2o10 Toronto; A 60 yr old cyclist stuck an 80 yr old cyclist that was going up hill as the 60 yr old cyclist was going down the hill. The train bridge over the Don river, SW of the Pottery Mill. 

            Both had helmets, but still the elder of the two did not survive. Most likely the life of the 60 yr old was shattered. 

            But in that case, it is due to misadventure. It would be difficult too suggest either were being aggressive on the river path. 

            We all are what we think is careful and take a chance every day to live to the next. These older cyclists no doubt so wished. 

            Point is, death happens and the truama is transfered (unless pychopath’s) to the surviver. 

            Reckless use of a non-motorized vehicle should be stepped on firmly and finally. Call them gangs not the wonderful “UnderGround”.

      2. This article and my comment didn’t  focus on cars. Stay on topic, and don’t try to distract from the fact: a speeding bike not obeying the rules of the road can and has killed.

        1. The point is that vastly larger numbers of incidents occur involving cars and pedestrians.  In these incidents, many more people are killed, sometimes in the dozens.  Your fixation on a many times smaller number of people killed by bicyclists appears to be related to your prejudice against messengers. 

          Further, no one has documented a single incident of a messenger killing a pedestrian in this thread. The above linked documentary is about messenger races.

          1.  > Your fixation on a many, many orders smaller number of people killed by bicyclists is related to your prejudice against messengers.

            Either that or it’s related to the topic of this thread.

          2. Your fixation on a many times smaller number of people killed by bicyclists appears to be related to your prejudice against messengers.

            Or, you know, it could have something to do with the fact that this post is about bike messengers driving dangerously. Just a thought.

        2. That’s only on topic in this sub-thread, which from now on must also be about chuckling along with Navin.

          When I lived in Vancouver there were lots of reports of collisions but I don’t recall any deaths and I was a “cyclist” there too. I think it’s pretty rare ya’know

        1. I missed the guys in the video killing a pedestrian?  Maybe you can point it out?  Really now……

  14. All I see are a bunch of “look at me, I’m cool and edgy!” jerks who are endangering pedestrians and others. Not to mention it’s d0uch3s like these who give normal cyclists a bad rap, and cause many drivers to have an underlying hostility to traffic law abiding people who ride bikes.

    1. Believe me, drivers would have hostility towards us even if we were all angels. Even when I drive, I get annoyed by cyclists. It’s the vehicle, man. Cars are big, heavy, fast, and need lots of space to move and stop – having to share the road with cyclists makes quick driving slightly riskier, even if they are obeying more traffic laws than the average driver who doesn’t really stop at stop signs.

      1.  I think there’s always going to be hostile drivers no matter what. But even I, as a casual biker myself, get annoyed by cyclists who run stop signs/lights, won’t stay IN the bike lane(s), etc… but give a dirty look the second there’s a perceived slight. I’m just saying guys like the ones in the clip, are making the hostility worse.

        1. Translation: I have anger issues, therefore everyone has anger issues.

          I didn’t say I had anger issues. A smelly, basement-dwelling, half-witted armchair psychologist said that.

      2. Way to generalize. I’m not a special snowflake or anything, but when I drive, I feel respectful of cyclists, not annoyed. Well, okay, sometimes I’m annoyed when I don’t feel like I can safely pass them, but I’m annoyed at the city who doesn’t put in enough bike lanes, not the cyclist.

  15. A lot of hate going on here.. defensive postures everyone! There are people out there doing their thing, and the nastiest moments made it on camera! Curse them for their sensationalism! Curses and death!

    As an urban cyclist of a lesser more mundane nature, I see the connection between this kind of thing and standard somewhat aggressive riding on non-biking streets. Give us our own way, a tiny strip of road, and I will curse along with you. Otherwise, this kind of riding is far less harmful than a large minority of drivers.

    It is a tiny percentage of riders, a tinier percentage of their rides.

    Look around you and fine more legitimate things to curse and wish death upon.

    1. -One- driver doing similar would elicit as much and more response, and do, when they post it on Youtube or make a doucheumentary to profit by glorifying their ridiculous exploits.

      The thing about the “Fast and Furious”, is that it is fake, IRL those people get just what you see here, except from people who wish to be contrary while agreeing, or those few who condone street racing.

      Ask any municipal policy maker or those who lobby them, your own strip of road is delayed by such exploits as they affect public perception. You want a tiny strip of road, but, to quote teh filmmaker, “Fuck Bike Advocacy”

      You misuse the words more and legitimate. Also, check your format. You might be on the internet.

    1. I was thinking the same thing.  When that movie comes out this behavior will spike.  Hopefully it’s a brief spike though.

    1. I had no recollection of Don McKellar being on Kids In The Hall. He never even got credited for it on IMDb.

      1. Just that one, wonderful sketch. I wonder if he was a buddy of Bruce. “Hey! I’m vulnerable here!” is the perfect thing to scream at cars.

  16. “…and deep into the jungles of Guatemala.”

    Any guesses what bike couriers are delivering in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle?</rhetorical>

  17. All of the riding that I saw in the linked trailer looked professional and controlled.  When the car slammed on its brakes, the rider had already positioned to move behind its path.  The pedestrian was hit while crossing a closed course

    As a former Chicago Bike Messenger, ’97 to ’99, I can tell you that almost all job related deaths that occur are incidents of violence against couriers by drivers. 

    I can’t be sure, but my instincts tell me that the people who committed those crimes were feeling the same kind of self-righteous anger expressed by many in this thread.

    1. Have you only just seen this stuff? Check out his other videos for more “professional” riding. 

      BTW there were several instances of unprofessional riding, not just the scene with the VW. 

      I don’t think you can tell people that, even as a former bike messenger. Not even most. -Most- are accidents although preventable. It’s important to remember that the death rate is low, the accident rate is high, only one is romaticized. Statistically speaking it’s a safe job death-wise, dangerous injury-wise, with many injuries related to a complete lack of on the job training that could prevent many injuries.

      That job is looked at frequently and often with disappointment by anyone of many who study facets of job safety. There are few published studies/papers but plenty of information is available. 

      1. Messengers killed on the job:
        Ryan Boudreau, Emily Vasquez, Thomas McBride, Caz, Joe Cooper, Calvin Simpson, Paul Ellis, Edward Newstead, Mark Francis, Reidar “Danny” Farr, Sebastian Lukomski, Henry Warwick, Kirk Janes, Darren Lewis, Jess Baggerly, Roland Brann, Katherine Childs, Ed Curry, David “Drew” Ditzen, James Donaldson, William Fox, Andrea Franke, Mary Gaffney, Carlos “Paisa” Gonzalez, Darren Lewis, Jonathon McDonald, Luc Mathey-Doret, Keefe McLaverty, Brad Minch, “Bronx” Jon Neese, Kristine Okins, Yianni Philippides, Pie, George Pinto, Randall Postell, David Reuter, Abelardo “Peru” Rodriguez, Calvin Simpson, Robert Thompson, Khake Toure, Robert Townsend, Terrance Tuck, Dominic Vackione.

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        –Ryan Boudreau, Emily Vasquez, Thomas McBride,  Caz, Joe Cooper, Calvin Simpson, Paul
        Ellis, Edward Newstead, Mark Francis, Reidar “Danny” Farr, Sebastian Lukomski,
        Henry Warwick, Kirk Janes, Darren Lewis, Jess Baggerly, Roland Brann,  Katherine Childs, Ed Curry, David
        “Drew” Ditzen, James Donaldson, William Fox, Andrea Franke, Mary Gaffney,
        Carlos “Paisa” Gonzalez, Darren Lewis, Jonathon McDonald, Luc
        Mathey-Doret,  Keefe McLaverty,
        Brad Minch, “Bronx” Jon Neese, Kristine Okins, Yianni Philippides, Pie, George
        Pinto, Randall Postell, David Reuter, Abelardo “Peru” Rodriguez, Calvin
        Simpson,  Robert Thompson,  Khake Toure, Robert Townsend, Terrance
        Tuck, Dominic Vackione.

        1. It was a stairwell.

          Sorry Mitchell, not attacking, but acts of violence in self-righteous anger = crime, not accident, and you know very well that list below, which I’ll not respond to out of respect, are not murder or manslaughter victims. Only a very few. If you didn’t know I hope you’ll find out by visiting the messenger memorial, a site I referenced but did not cite when I looked at the situation years ago.

          Accidents are not always accidents and are almost always preventable but you do a disservice to frame all deaths as crime

          1. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that all those listed died as the result of criminal acts.

            Good catch on the stairwell. You’ve yet to name an incident of a messenger killing a pedestrian in traffic.  

          2. I don’t know why I would name such an incident, given that it would be entirely off topic if I did. See past BoingBoing posts on logic fails in point/counterpoint discussions. 

            It would serve my point that the activity in the video is a failing not one bit to try and argue that messengers kill people and I’ve not implied same.

            I thought the video(s) were rather marginal when I saw some many years ago by this guy, but that interview in Bicycling Magazine set my opinion hard based on both the maker’s statements of incredible silliness and his want to glorify something that was entirely different before all the hype by what amount to scenesters. 

            I can pinpoint the quote that did it. Lemme go copy/paste:

            Asked: Do you ride like that even when you’re picking up groceries? 
            Answered (ahem): Yes. Every seat I have is as sharp as a razor, so you always play to roll.

            I nearly choked on my coffee with a half snort laugh retch when I read that. I think most cyclists that saw it did too. He caricatured himself, even better than BSNY did soon after the interview. You wanna laugh for 10 minutes, go read the BSNY blogpost on the interview and the next few day’s too, don’t forget the comments where the guy shows up and makes big talk. It’s a BSNY classic.

            I know enough about the express delivery transport industry subset this service is included in to know that these guys are a slim minority and don’t “represent” bike messengers except in a ludicrous fantastical sense that parodies the actual. What you see is hundreds among thousands, these guys preen more than they deliver. It’s true & I’m happy for them.

    2. “All of the riding that I saw in the linked trailer looked professional and controlled”

      What was that?!
      Mitchell’s credibility hitting the floor.

    3. “professional and controlled”

      Word. The dude at 00:22 looks like he could fall on his ass at international level.

  18. as a guy who spends hundreds of hours cycling on city streets (and chair of the board of a cycling advisory committee), my main biking philosophy is to try and be as predictable as possible. the best way to remove much of the animosity between drivers and cyclists is to allow motorists to feel safe and comfortable around bikes — and to not go out of my/your way to piss people off. this means following road rules and riding safely and with regards to others.

    these jerks make my world even more dangerous. hell, they make the entire world more dangerous.

    1.  For the most part, this ^.

      I do around 4k miles a year on bikes, commute through a busy city every day, and I hear ya.

  19. Couriers use ‘Fixed gear’ for the allusion it;

    1. Reduced thief of parts from their ride
    2. Looks so cool to ride a bike designed for a velodrome.
    3. Is about being cool and having other cool people acknowledging the coolness. 
    4. It demonstrates how crass and careless one is, hence ‘outside the box’.

    And impressing other cool people with the same brand of coolness, why, your in your own ‘elite’ herd.

    In the end, the ‘HardCore morphs’ are generally alcohol/narcotic/ adrenaline dependent.

      1. Take it easy. What if BombBlast isn’t a native speaker and is just doing his/her best? Of all the things to critique, you’re going to jump on grammar? Cheap shot.

        1. Yeah, let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the person who posted an unfounded generalization that negatively portrays an entire class of cyclist that span the entire span of age & income!  That Sheldon Brown guy for example, he just wanted to be cool.  Same for my 55 year old neighbor who commutes with a fixed gear bike. Argh, hipster grandpas, always bombing down hills with their tight pants and pedals spinning furiously.

    1. I ride a fixed on my commutes bc it is simple: less parts to break at 3am in the rain, no derailleurs to goop up in snowy slush, light weight to carry in to work once I arrive, only one brake to adjust, etc.  It has nothing to do with any of your four criteria.  Now, I am not a trendy /faux/ messenger in tight pants, smoking, and being “cool,” so my N of 1 does not totally undermine your message. 

      Today someone on a bike tried to pass me on the right as I was riding on a one lane road with a car next to me. They almost hit a parked car.  wtf?

      Many bikers are jerks, and one jerk makes hundreds of proper cyclists look bad.  These videos show (some) highly skilled riding, but mostly just scum.  The battle for safety and respect gets harder and harder the more folk ride like these video kids.  Now get off my lawn.


      The FiatRN
      Denver, CO

  20. Rare to see such a consensus of opinion on BB.  99 comments largely in agreement, may be an internet first?  

    I’ll add my thought that when the guy who lost his mirror decides it’s time to eke a little revenge on the next cyclist he sees it will probably be some innocent commuter rather than one of these asshats.

      1. Lippman probably would not apply that to this kind of consensus, read about the Almond-Lippman Consensus if you want to see why. 

        Also as he was a notable & respected journalist if he had quoted you he likely would have also had the decency to attribute.

      2. So the fact that statistically 100% of the population find Sandusky’s actions reprehensible means that we’re all not giving the issue due thought?

        Bloody stupid quote IMHO.

  21. I don’t know what it is but riding a bike at speed in urban traffic either makes you an asshole, or only assholes do it. I know, I was doing that for a while to get to school. Maybe it’s not a causal thing, maybe it’s just that we’re all asshole, but only those capable of suicidally behaving like one keep doing it, I don’t know. I stopped riding a bike in urban traffic, also, I believe I’m less of an asshole now.

    1. When you get honked at, swerved at, spit at, have things thrown at you, yelled at, tailgated, passed and slammed, passed too close, and the host of other dangerous and hostile acts that one experiences daily riding a bike in the city, one tends to become an asshole in self-defense.  I surmise it’s because the naked aggression from some drivers, and the blatant disregard from almost everyone else, provokes the fight or flight response.  Testosterone (in the case of males) dumped into your blood turns you into an asshole.

      For me it’s just instinctive now – when I get on the bike, I get into full on defensive mode, expecting to go into battle.  Sure, 97% of the drivers are fine, but (being kind) 2% are simply not paying attention, and 1% are actively hostile.  Since I encounter about 100 cars a day, this means that almost every day there’s going to be an incident (I’ve got the vids to prove it).  Whether it’s the inattentive or the hostile, I’m just as dead or maimed.  And yeah, I’ve been hit more than once.

      I’ve done a fair number of sketchy things – including difficult first ascents of unclimbed peaks in remote places with no possibility of rescue.  Cycling on city streets in the US is by far the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done.

      1. Yeah I understand the mechanism how you get aggressive as a defenseless adrenaline soaked cyclist in urban traffic.

        But, why would you do it? After a while you’ve figured out that urban traffic is 1) annoying 2) passive aggressive 3) dangerous 4) unhealthy

        So instead of switching to some slightly less unhealthy, dangerous and aggressive way to get your adrenaline fix (like say basejumping, waterfall kajaking, bungee jumping, bmx racing etc.) or just kicking the habit you keep cycling in the city.

        Why? Fuck knows why.

        1. Good question, why?  Lots of my friends who get hit have given up.  They just mountain bike now.  The occasional bear is much less dangerous.  Four cyclists at my workplace got hit inside a week recently, two fatal, and one a concussion that kept him out of work for two months.

          Rationalizations?  I’ve got to commute anyway, and the bike is just as fast as the car.  Exercise.  Biking combines the commute time with the exercise.  Green.  Sometimes the car doesn’t move for a week at a time.  

          And stubbornness.  I don’t want to let the bastards drive me off the road.

          Intellectually it’s not worth the risk.  I want to die on a big mountain, not on an city street.  It turns me into an asshole 40 minutes/day.  Yet I’ll probably get back in the saddle Monday.

        2. Because unfortunately our modern world expects many people to go from point A to point B in a short amount of time.

          Sure, a biker could get in a car instead, and become the cause of the problem — thousands of fatalities per year, increased CO2 in the atmosphere, rising diabetes — and then they would be relaxed and not have any adrenaline, because all the damage they are doing to the world has been externalized, and, hey, the radio’s on.

  22. As a bike courier in the late 80’s of Toronto, I had a spill at the centre intersection of Victoria St and Queen St E. trying to cut south onto Vic from the east end Queen St. Was slick rain, caught in a rut and the maze of tram trackes in centre and between two cars diverging in opposite directions i put out my hand and both car and not riding a fixie, let the bike go and landed on my unhelmeted head. 

    Looking up from street level to the halo of heads circling. Half the crowd was trying to get me stand up like a new born calf. The other half of the crowd was pushing me down saying “NO, dont move him”. In the delirium, one of the hero’s looked like Tony Randal. I protested my condition and loudly exclaimed, “No. I am  not well! That guy looks like Tony Randal!” To which the crowd burst into laughter and “Tony” looked about pleased if not amused. I was still dazed. Tony patted my shoulder and reassured the crowd, I was going to be just fine. 

    Finer days never existed.

  23.  As a bicycle infrastructure advocate who is forced to convince the city that bicycle & ped infrastructure is good for commerce, environment, health, etc, and forced to convince neighbors that a) OMFG your commute is not going to get backed up by losing a mostly unused car lane, and b) parking is not going to be a hellish nightmare if you lose a few spots, and c) your gas taxes aren’t going towards these types of safety improvement that benefits _all_ road users, they’re mostly from federal grants earmarked for this kind of thing.. These riders anger me quite a bit.  The videotaped and glorified footage is even worse.  It makes it that much harder to convince people that most cyclists are not assholes.

  24. I wish Americans got this upset in the lead-up to the Iraq war or our lack of a single payer system for healthcare that kills so many every day..  but, yeah… grrrr… reckless, dickhead bicyclists… now it’s time to rage….

  25. Everyday bike commuter for the majority of the last 20 years here. I know I’m late to the party, but given the following, I find the outrage in this thread to be silly:

    >The Cannonball Run was a box-office hit and a cultural touchstone. It was based on an actual race. There was ZERO public outcry about how dangerous a movie glorifying cars racing on public roads was. They made a sequel. plus Fast and the Furious ad infinitum. People thought they were dumb, but did they bother to get angry at them? Xenophobia much?

    >I am a licensed driver, and as someone who–aside from everyday driving and road trips–delivered pizzas for five years, 10am-8pm five days a week, it is likely that I have logged more hours behind the wheel than the average driver. I understand you.

    >With a couple of exceptions, most of the people in this thread have never ridden a bike in traffic. ever. Y’all don’t understand anything about cycling.

    >you are always on the phone or the GPS, radio blaring. All million pounds of you.

    >you were licensed to drive heavy equipment with the speed and mass that can kill at age 16 by circling around the block of your DMV. You are dangerous. Not me. You.

    >The tactics that the cyclists are employing in their races are ones that they learned by dodging you. Their mentality was developed the same way. It’s difficult to respect a group of people who are thoughtlessly threatening your life every day.

    >your entitlement to your right to speed, your right to take up 500x your body’s area on public property (and then park it,) your right to pollute, and your willingness to pretend that the gasoline you buy does not get funneled into terrorism (or worse, Halliburton) is more disgusting than any bike race.

    >Other cars threaten you in far greater numbers than bikes ever have. every drunk eighteen-year-old on prom night is a far greater menace than the cyclists in this video combined. Death by automobile is one of the top ten killers in the US. I hear public service announcements every day trying to get dudes comfortable with a doctor putting a finger in their anus, but where are the PSAs telling you that your car is dangerous, and that you need to quit driving?

    >Our economy is rigged on oil; heaven forbid a video glorifies something sustainable, free, and that thumbs its nose at oil consumers. Plus, weren’t y’all BBers frothing at the mouth over the auto industry bailouts a while back? What do you think is going to change things, really? GM is still in business. Luckily, the number of cyclists is on the rise. Maybe this movie will make a bunch of teenage hipsters grab up fixies and ensnarl you in traffic. Beats the status quo, by a longshot.

    >In summation, I find this outrage to be false. 156 comments? Y’all came out of the woodwork to criticize this film. This is a huge thread by BB standards. It’s like you finally felt this was a valid way to release all that road rage without seeming anti-bike/ecological/progressive. How long have y’all been waiting, really?

    See you tomorrow. I’m the Jesus-looking dude with the blue bike. Go ahead and nail me, I can tell you’re just aching to.

    1. You are a target rich environment, it is unfair but here are your points:

      >The Cannonball Run was a fictional account of an actual race that was widely panned as idiotic, unlawful and unwelcome. They didn’t have the benefit of internet forums but I read the papers. This is not fiction, it’s actual idiocy, unwanted and unwelcome in the same manner. You argue that the fact of the dramatization’s existence justifies the subject matter, but there are many movies about serial killers, no?

      >You understand the sentiment but deride it’s expression. So you only mean to be contrarian, good for you.

      >You make a biased assumption. I did not read all of this but saw many people were cyclist too. It is not assumption to conclude you have no means of knowing of what you speak.

      >Another biased assumption and what might be a fat joke. Why did you try to make it seem you had a separate point?

      >Cars are dangerous all here agree that traffic should be orderly and predictable which requires all users to try and be safe in that way. You make their point that the bikers in video are no good.

      >The tactics employed are specifically intended to cause disruption, unlike most cyclist who may run stop sign but never run light. Attention seeking scofflaw is not an attempt to be safe.

      >No one has argued they have right to break speed law, and if my car were 500x my area it would be as big as my house. As for your oil & terrorist talk, you also drive you admit. You may be crazy, so maybe you are in video?

      >Another all or nothing rationale. it is another fail and a self-contradictory statement.

      >Another like the last, no points awarded, deductions made for assumptions, again.

      >In summation, you agree that people do not want bad behaviour in traffic and it is a widely held concensus. It is not anti-bike to rail against this stuff just like it is not anti-car to be critical of any aspect of cars. All bike and car threads grow this way, it is not special, only to you. 

      I will not see yo tomorrow and do not want to have sex with you at all.

      1. He’s on target about the disproportionate rage.  When most people watch the above video they see a homogenized group whose behavior offends them.  Generalizing the class then insulting its constituents appears to be the prevailing pattern.  I find this worrisome, because it dehumanizes and departicularizes messengers and other fast urban cyclists to their peril.  I also think it amounts to crowd behavior of a kind that would be familiar to Lippmann.

        1. It is not the viewer that says who they are and what they claim to represent. They say that and that they represent the group they claim.

          That is undeniable and deflates your assumptions of what viewers see. They generalize themselves, it is not the viewer. Many here even say “they are not representative, not all of those are criminals and proud of it” 

          As for the rest, who only accept what the ones in the video claim, why should they do otherwise?

      2. and if my car were 500x my area it would be as big as my house.

        Human footprint (both feet together): ~0.5 sq feet

        Car footprint (typical): ~95 sq feet.

        So your car is about 190x your area. He’s not that far off.

        You must have a very small house.

        1. Nonsense I have a very large feet and am what you may call portly. My house is a good comfortable size. 

          but a good observation nonetheless, although I would use shoulder width for at least one dimension.

      3. dog, are you serious?  You CREATED YOUR ACCOUNT just to negatively respond to this thread.  pic related.  this is exactly the thing I’m talking about.  I’m trying to re-frame the debate in some ways that nobody has brought up,  and you have to add your voice to everyone else defending your right to a motorized wheelchair that weighs a ton.  look man, I’ll admit I was being hyperbolic at times to illustrate where I’m coming from–I wasn’t even trying to hide it.  (A million pounds was in reference to the car you pilot, btw, so I’m not the only one being overly sensitive?)

        I’m trying to go to work, the store, and back home.  I get threats on my life regularly.  cars perceive things I do to either just ride, or to stay alive–even fully legal ones–as “being a jerk.”  My point is that until you’ve been in that situation, you’re not qualified to differentiate.  But y’all see this video and you act so ˆthreatenedˆ, and it’s totally backwards.  Y’all threaten ME, not the reverse.  The rage in this thread is ridiculous, but luckily you were here to point out my logical fallacies.

        1. hahah i am glad you continue to make assumptions and re-frame the discussion by making poor comparisons and repeating what others before you said.

          yes i created my account by pushing one button “Google” when my friens said “read this” You think that worrying about that is called being unable to do otherwise? You are right, you have to go there, you can’t contradict me, so you worry about my provenance. You are a fail at discussion.

          I live in the nation’s capitol and ride everywhere, pizza boys like you are a threat, you have no strength do live the way you want but are happy to make assumptions about others, weakness, and then you get behind the wheel.

          The video is full of fail, just because you admire yourself in the same mirror does not change the image of who is next to you, you think this real-life Cannonball run is meaning to you, it is the same as going on your knees in front of Burt Reynolds.

          Don’t like it? Next time stick to topic, don’t worry about who it is speaking. I will take no time to edit this, if you can’t understand it I only laugh more. I am on holiday in cotage country, thank you for making it fun AND funny.

          Now go get me a pizza.

          1. they must make the wine extra strong in der Ferienhaus Landschaft.

            keep practicing your English, Kirk.  you’ll get better one day.   until then, stick to posting on the internet, where nobody cares.

  26. I am happy to see so many people want to do good on the roads. So many people argue agaisnt cycling because many dont obey the rules of the raod, i think the outcry here is greater and more legitimate because they actually sought to promote bad behaviour and it strikes a different nerve when people do stupid things and promote them

  27. As a longtime avid cyclist this clip pisses me off.  Recklessly endangering other is not cool and only serves to damage the relationship between cyclists and others using the roads. 

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