Breaking Laws And Racing Against Cars

Background Reading


Nico Deportago-Cabrera is a bike courier in Chicago.

Nico Deportago-Cabrera is a bike courier in Chicago. © Red Bull Media

CHICAGO — A Chicago bike messenger recently lost a race with a taxi from Willis Tower to Wrigley Field — but the video of the contest is winning fans.

The cyclist, Logan Square’s Nico Deportago-Cabrera, can also be seen in a video weaving through traffic in Beirut, part of his relationship with Red Bull.

Deportago-Cabrera lost the cab race from Downtown to the home of the Cubs … but only by a minute. The cab got there in a little over 17 minutes.

“It was pretty close. I was obviously disappointed, but at the same time, when you look at it on paper, it’s a human-powered, two-wheel machine going up against this big, gas-guzzling mechanical beast,” he said. “I felt good about the end results.”

The video, hosted on the Red Bull site, shows Deportago-Cabrera squeezing between cars and buses, past a beer truck and a shuttle, using mostly arterial streets. The cab is seen on Lake Shore Drive. They end up near Murphy’s Bleachers.

Deportago, 30, has discovered one doesn’t need to be rich to travel the world — you just have to be a bike messenger. He won the 2009 North American Cycle Courier Championships in Boston. Two months later, he was en route to Tokyo for the Cycle Messenger World Championships.


Why is Reckless Speed Promoted in Nearly All Auto Ads?
Posted by Tom A.K. on March 14, 2015 at 11:50pm in General Discussion

Automobile advertisers and groups like Red Bull have a mission to sell ‘sexy‘. Bicyclists seem to feel as if when they participate in videos that demonstrate how fast they can ride, how close they can pass to vehicles and how many red lights they can run that there is nothing untoward about this. But there is.

Each time a cyclist glamorizes that kind of riding style it make it that much more difficult to sell the general public on the need for bicycle infrastructure.

If you try to make the case for the 3 Feet Rule and you deliberately hitch rides on vehicles it brings into question the value of that law. That same thing applies to being afraid that cars are moving too fast across town. You as a cyclist cannot make the case that you need red light cameras and speed cameras to feel safe if you can not only demonstrate the fallacy of the argument but then turn around and engage in the making of a video which is intended to sell a product that memorializes your efforts.

Urban Cyclists love to distinguish themselves from roadies. They eschew the garish clothing, the stylish looking bikes and favor instead a kind of Madd Maxx against the world look.

I have no problems with how you dress. But I do have a problem with inconsistencies in the message you project. If you claim that you need bike lanes to feel safe but make videos that demonstrate that you have no regard for bike lanes, or the Rules of the Rule then I am left as a member of society to believe that like a lot of politicians you say one thing and do another.

That is a non-starter when you come hat-in-hand to demand that everyone adjust their pocket books and lifestyles to meet your demands.