portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative united states


Crazy Urban Cyclist Race Videos

I always thought it would be great to mount a camera to my helmet and film my cycling adventures. Someone beat me to it (I'm too poor for a good camera now, but someone turned me on to an $80 camera which could easily mount to my helmet). The videos on this website are incredible. In the one where the race participants must drink a 40 at checkpoints. During this race, the videotaping cyclist clips a car mirror with his elbow. The driver then goes in mad pursuit of the cyclist. The video clip from the race in the Bronx shows one cyclist getting hit by a car. The files are large as each video runs about ten minutes. I recommend right clicking on the links to the video (link is on the thumbnails) and doing a "save target as" as you can keep track of downloading progress and rewatch videos at leisure. Links on the page show the videographer's camera get-up and has some suggestions for people who want to try videotaping while cycling. I think cameras and cycling go well together- imagine the legal leverage videotape gives to pinning asshole drivers. I'm sure the cops don't care, but if you could show it on cable access or something it may make people more aware of problems cyclists face on a day to day basis.
Please Note 05.Oct.2005 21:55

pez dispenser

The first video clip on the page doesn't work. The other ones do.

Alleycats 06.Oct.2005 08:17


Lucas Brunelle is a well respected category-2 road racer and renowned film-maker of alleycat videos. These videos are of bike messenger alleycats, not "crazed bikers." These are highly dangerous and very illegal. They are NOT for commuters, quirky bike culture people, or those looking to scout out "asshole drivers." I encourage you to watch these videos, and gain respect for the amazing racers and the incredible athleticism of mr. Brunelle himself, but DO NOT try to do this yourself. Yr commuter ass will get squished.

Sorry 06.Oct.2005 12:04


I meant by "crazy" fun or chaotic. I was in no way calling them lunatics.

Dissent 06.Oct.2005 16:15


I downloaded and watched two of these videos. I find them most disturbing.

Yes the athleticism and courage is impressive, but the lack of concern for the safety and well-being of others is something else.

It is one thing to take personal risks, and I say yes to that. Life is not a spectator sport -- gotta go live it. But the riders in these films are getting their kicks at the expense of others. There is scene after scene of bikes blowing through stop lights and through crowded crosswalks -- Scared pedestrians trying to get out of the way and cars forced to slam on brakes. Don't get it. That's nothing to be proud of.

There were many instances where if not for the reactions of drivers, there would have been a collision. So while there is skill involved in this game they play, there is also a large element of luck.

In one scene the bike is on the wrong side of the road passing stopped traffic. A woman is making a careful left turn from the right is almost hit by the bike. She screams as the speeding bike approaches. To me this is an act of violence. I bet this lady's legs were shaking all the way home. Again, the bike was on the wrong side of the road. I've loved bikes all my life and always thought they are a very non-violent form of transportation and fun. But this was over-the-line, figuratively and literaly.

What disturbs me is the attitude displayed by the riders. It is as if to say, "Fuck everyone, I'm out to have my fun." Dammit man, you *can* have fun without being a jerk, without putting me at risk. And giving cyclists a bad name.

And from the original posting, "I'm sure the cops don't care, but if you could show it on cable access or something it may make people more aware of problems cyclists face on a day to day basis." Sorry but putting this on cable access would be a really bad idea. These videos do not exactly put cyclists in a good light. They do not show the problems of cyclists. They show cyclists as jerks.

Anyway, hope Lars never sees these...

Change of subject. Couple weeks ago, I was driving my car on side streets and encountered a bike. He was moving at a good clip -- nearly 20 -- and I could easily pass him but would have to squeeze him a bit so I just backed off. He looked back, saw that I was not passing and just took the lane in front. We went on like this for several blocks -- he ran all the stopsigns -- safely, cautiously and appropriately and I was thinking this is kind of neat. Because he really did not slow me down at all. Bikes and cars and pedestrians and squirrels and doves can all coexist, but it requires some give and take.

just thought to end the rant with a nice story

The reason why I posted the link to the videos 06.Oct.2005 18:39

pez dispenser

I wasn't even thinking of encouraging anyone to do what they are doing in the videos- hell no! What these cyclists do, could only be accomplished by someone with superior skill and really decent luck. I just liked the birds-eye view of an actual alleycat race. They break rules I would never break and every book I've read on cycling says not to go against oncoming traffic. Yet this is common for messengers to do in cities to overcome the one way street issue. On high speed roads it is even more insane. Only messengers who are out in the city every day for years could execute those tricks. It would take tremendous control of the bike to weave through crossing cars. I would NEVER even attempt this stunt no matter how slow the cars were going. Unfortunately, this race stuff is the only fare in biking video taken from a bike that I could find on the internet. For more innocent fun, the video of riding on the frozen river is amusing- gotta love those studded tires.

amazing 07.Oct.2005 06:08

just another boring bike commuter

Okay, yeah, all lawbreaking and rudeness aside... that was amazing. I always thought watching skate and surf videos was so boring... but now I see the attraction. I don't know anything about skating or surfing, so there's not much for me to care about. I know about bike commuting, so I "get it".

That's crazy fun. Thanks for posting that.

bike babble 07.Oct.2005 11:00


i dare anyone to watch these videos and not have their city biking, er, "accelerated." i remember seeing these videos about a year ago and thinking they were the most inspiring shit ever. but then im a bike geek with a disconnect between my pain center and my pedal center. be safe.