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Dec 15, 2006 7:31am

bike messenger race

This old (new to me) video is out of control: Bike Messenger Race, New York City

What the hell is going on there? Seven minutes of P.O.V. stoplight-running and squeeezing between cabs and busses in the busy streets of Manhattan, that's what. Although I lack the cojones to do something like this myself (and suspect that the excitement is being pumped up a bit with a fisheye lens anyway), what a pleasure to watch. It's like the Star Wars trench run but more visceral, because you feel like one of these riders is going to eat it or get doored I.R.L. at any moment. They weave between pedestrians, shimmy out of the way of cross-traffic, and hold on to vehicles for an extra power-up.

The traffic moves are clearly deadly, but having just visited New York I can say that they're better drivers over there for being as aggressive as they are. Here in San Francisco, I get pissed off at drivers or pedestrians for being wishy-washy: go, no-go, hold on, on the phone, on the pot, etc. In New York everyone just goes, so you pretty much always know what to expect and how to behave. Then again, with asshole bikers like the guys in this video, you end up with something approaching this classic video of traffic in India.

Of course this is all academic for me at the moment, because I have a raging pinched nerve in my leg and it's making me an utter basket case. Can hardly sit or walk, and especially can't ride my bike.


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