Watch this bike messenger break pretty much every traffic law

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/09/watch-this-bike-messenger-break-pretty-much-every-traffic-law.html

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The guys a tool, eventually he will get injured, or worse, injure someone else.

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Having hung out and ridden with the fixed gear messenger crowd in London, I think you should reserve judgement. This style of riding is both illegal and dangerous, but the messengers who do it are experts in managing the risk that arises. Youtube and ultra wide angled POV camera lenses makes this look a lot worse than it is and when you’re out there on the roads, you’re processing information visually and aurally that you just don’t see in the film.
Messengers ride the way they do because if you want to make a living delivering packages, you need to be the fastest thing on the roads. Clients expect results and the competition for good jobs from your controller is fierce. Yes, there’s no sick pay, but nobody makes paper waiting at the lights.

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Having watched my wife and dog get absolutely slammed by an “I do this all the time and I’ve never once crashed before” bike courier doing this, while she was doing nothing more unpredictable than using a pedestrian crossing correctly, I’m struggling to summon up much enthusiasm.

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I don’t want to be some old coot yelling on a porch, but c’mon.

Sure, it’s a cool demonstration of someone’s skill, and if it were a video game that’s great. But it’s not, and the rider is not the only real person in this video. He can have as much control of his bike as he wants; he has no control over other people’s reactions, or surprise events outside his self-absorbed storyline. He’s just forcing thousands of other people to work harder to stay safe in spite of him.

It’s truly sociopathic to view this in the same light as, like, a wingsuit video or a skate stunt that doesn’t involve human victims.

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Yeah, no. The cyclist’s an asshole and the kind of reckless sociopath who gives the rest of us two-wheelers a bad reputation. Basically Sgt. Fackler, except intentionally…

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There were so many times he just blasted straight through a red and came inches from getting plastered on the front of someone’s car it’s just infuriating. And it wasn’t because he is that good - several of those he only didn’t eat pavement because the driver slammed on their brakes - if all those drivers hadn’t seen this madman come flying out from between stationary cars it would have been a lot different.

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I mean, I’m a cyclist too; but I’ve got a huge bus of a thing which holds me, the kids and the dog, so I’m not exactly melting through traffic like quicksilver! I see the appeal but my bike is no track rig.

The bit that really bothered me was that this guy was teaching someone how to be a bike courier at the time! She was the one who hit our dog and looked thoroughly traumatised by the whole thing.

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No.

I bike commuted for several years. If it weren’t for the current unpleasantness, I’d be doing it now. I’m not going to say I obeyed every traffic law, because nobody does that, not even the cars. But I was never reckless.

This guy is a reckless, self-absorbed asshole. He’s relying on everyone else to watch out for him. On that first pedestrian crossing, he almost slams into someone in the crosswalk. The only reason he didn’t is because someone else grabbed the ped’s shoulder, because they were quite reasonably not looking for a bicycle in the crosswalk.

I couldn’t get more than halfway through the video.

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I’ve been clipped and almost been hit too many times by reckless cyclists like this to consider them cool. If they want to be daredevils and speed demons they can do it on a closed course instead of making it the basis of a business.

Yeah, you can stop right there.

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Honestly, this video just completely reminds me of this.

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How about the people crossing the road, or the drivers suddenly breaking? I’d be more interested to see someone following a minute behind him, rather than a few seconds behind him.

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I didn’t say he wasn’t an asshole. I just suggested reserving judgement because YouTube only shows a limited view of what was actually happening.

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I agree that’s relevant, as is the fact that it’s somewhat the norm for couriers, particularly in NYC. Doesn’t make it safe or cool, but it doesn’t make them all assholes either.

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You have the right to do stupid shit. You don’t have the right to hurt other people or involve them in the accidents you cause.

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My question is why didn’t the cops light him up for running the red light at 1:26?

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A police officer in a car will have about a 10% shot (at best) of apprehending a moderately-skilled cyclist in a congested area.

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I met Cooper back in 2007 or so? Back when I was doing dumb underground bike races in the city; he was a teenager who was hanging out with all the messengers and messenger-cosplayers and having a great time. Kind of wild that he’s in his late 20’s/early 30’s now and still doing it. There are still a few people from that scene who are still in it, but I’m sure enough new blood has circulated through again that it hasn’t died off despite most of my friends from it slowly transitioning to just bike commuting, legitimate bike racing, and/or non-competitive rec cycling.

It’s always funny how much outrage these videos spark. They’ve been popping up online since the early 00’s, and it is as reliable as clockwork that people will condem this stuff until the cows come home, and then get in their cars and check their email while driving. This one is from June and got reposted today because…? I’m truly sorry that the person upthread of this got hit by a cyclist, but it’s worth keeping in mind that cars kill 38,000 people a year in the US, and almost none of them EVER see charges unless they were on drugs or alcohol at the time.

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I have to imagine this behavior contributes to other cyclists getting maimed and killed by angry drivers.

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