Alleycat Racing Pushes Limits of Safety and the Law

Alleycat Racing Pushes Limits of Safety and the Law

You've never seen a bike race like this.

Hundreds of cyclists hit the streets peddling as fast as they can, swerving around cars, shooting through red lights, and dodging trucks. They're tearing through the busy streets of New York City topping speeds as high as 60 miles per hour, breaking most traffic laws. Who are these the daredevil competitors?

They're bike messengers.

The "sport"—if it can be called that—is known as "alleycat racing."  It's illegal, and it's easy to see why.  

The sport is featured in a new documentary, Line of Sight. Cinematographer Lucas Brunelle told INSIDE EDITION, "it's an instant adreline rush."

Brunelle captures the death-defying feats wearing a sophisticated helmet that has two cameras; one camera points forward, the other backward.   

"You put yourself in situations that scare you and make you ride faster than you ever would," said Brunell.  
Brunelle said, "A car is at a light, you grab onto it, you can fast forward your ride. You feel like Superman."

But, as you can imagine, alley cat racing can be dangerous. Pedestrians, trying to do the simple task of crossing the street, have to dodge these knuckleheads. Racing is also dangerous for the bicyclists themselves. Video captured one guy taking a nasty tumble, and another cyclist nearly got run over by a car. 

In 2008 a Chicago alleycat racer was killed. He sped through a red light and was struck down by an SUV.  

But Brunelle says—and this may be hard to believe judging from the video—alley cat racers put safety first.  

"I haven't had anything serious happen by doing this," said Brunelle.

Illegal alleycat racing has been around for more than two decades. Underground competitions are held in 30 cities around the world. Each race is 20 miles long, a fact that should concern motorists and pedestrians alike who could accidently cross their path.