The Hip and the Dead

Just 2 years ago, fixies and messengers were hip and now sadly described as a dying breed; well, I don’t trust media predications anymore than anyone else and messengers will always have a place in Portland and in bad-ass races like this one in NYC.


As noted in the comments below, after posting this entry, I was tipped to the Tour of Chicago death and read the news about it.

What was intended as a snappy post title now means more and our regrets and sympathies go out the Chicago cycling community. The video itself is legendary, anyone riding like that I think is “bad ass,” but I wish the timing had been different and feel very sad about what happened.


Bad-ass race?  How do you feel about people putting wings on Hondas and racing on open roads?  Seems like the same thing to me.

That’s what they do .  . . I’m not a messenger myself, but to ride like that in traffic is “bad ass.” Is it smart or safe? You be the judge.

Wow, that ‘bad-ass’ race looks kind of dangerous. Someone could get themselves killed doing that…

Yes, [racing in traffic is very dangerous]( . . . [also see]( for a recent tragedy reportedly during a race.

I should clarify I posted the movie as an example of messenger subculture in light of their predicted demise in the [Seattle PI]( Bike Hugger has no judgement on that race, the Tour of Chicago or [Dead Babies]( It is what it is. And feel free to debate it. And we’re very saddened to read about any cycling deaths.

Further note, the title is a play on the movie title, the [Quick and the Dead]( It’s a coincidence that I posted, added the movie, and just read the news about the [Tour of Chicago](,0,533633.story) death. I’m sure the local community is devastated. I’ll update the post with links.

Man oh man—The cycling death in a chicago Alleycat is bad news. It always is when a cyclist goes down.

The sad fact is that cyclists are at risk when we’re on the road. Racing at speed doesn’t reduce the risk.

Sadder still is a life shortened by a SUV, and a family left unfathered. Link to a blog from one of the cyclist friends: .

Sincere condolences to the family, and our support and best wishest to the Chicago community. I’m sure cyclists everywhere share the sentiments.

“Witnesses say the accident took place when a large group of riders competing in Chicago’s “Tour Da Chicago” street race attempted to ride through an intersection against a red light.”

There’s a reason I don’t do alleycats.  Honestly I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often.  I think grass-roots racing is great, but move the races out to locations where people can race in relative safety without being forced to play chicken with cars.

Opening up discussion is one thing but I think you’re in a unique position to promote responsible cycling and this entry does the opposite. Every day I see other cyclists make bonehead decisions that unnecessarily risks their lives and potentially impact others - that makes it hard to be one of the few cyclists doing the right thing because it promotes a divisive culture on our roads. Yes, some motorists are always going to hate bikes and be dicks about it, but that never justifies this kind of behaviour. The ‘messenger subculture’ only contributes to this problem - partly by acting as poor examples for less skilled cyclists. I think the demise of the messenger would be better for cycling and a postive force for change. Bikes aren’t toys and traffic isn’t a game. Bikes are transportation.

Good points Ben—after posting it and then reading about the death, that felt very bad, and I didn’t want to “pile” on and say, “see how dangerous that is!” I also opted not to pull the post in the hopes for a discussion.

Cyclists also die in organized USCF races—we had a serious head injury last year and the year before a heart attack during a crit. We def promote responsibly cycling and are with you, we’re also sensitive to not criticizing a community that just lost one of their own.

what is so cool about riding like a boston taxi driver?  we want the rights cars have?  if you drove like this in a car, you’d get arrested.  breaking laws and almost causing dozens of accidents - that does not set cycling back?  how the hell are we going to get rights and laws when people think it’s ok to ride like this?  then these nuts become the SUV drivers when they almost run down people in crosswalks.  to the people in this video, i say, way to make the streets revolve around yourselves, just like car drivers.
bad-ass as hell, but still stupid.
ben is right.  i love bikehugger, but this is an odd thing to post if you want to promote safe cycling and commuting and bike equality.
but you opened up a debate or sorts, which is good and healthy and what you said you wanted to do.  so i love bh even more now;)

Hey Ben and Ron -

I’m with you on this as I posted a while back and I think that the general rider attitude is improving.  I’m seeing a lot more people wait for red lights.  I’m always certain to yell “the light is red” when someone blows one in front of me, and the when they looks back at me - their faces are filled with are with expressions of of guilt these days than “f-off” like I used to get.

Thanks Ron! I hope some messengers pop in to discuss.

Badass?  Yeah, just about as cool as drunk driving.  Disregarding the law, putting yourself, drivers, and pedestrians in danger, all with a self-satisfied “outlaw” attitude.  Doesn’t sound badass to me.  Sounds pathetic.  And—btw, I’m a cyclist.  But I think that putting up with, indeed celebrating, this type of cycling just turns people against us.

These guys are dumb. Looks fun, but endangering others is retarded. I would like to shove a metal rod in someone’s spokes should I ever get buzzed on the street like that. In fact, I did this once when I was about 12 to a kid that was bothering me. Mashed his spokes really good, but luckily didn’t hurt him.

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