I just got done watching “Line of Sight” – an alley cat racing film by Lucas Brunelle. Right off the bat I feel a bit conflicted writing about this movie. It is about alley cat races – which means a bunch of guys riding like jack asses; completely ignoring all traffic laws in a dense urban area. It is exactly what we DON’T want to encourage our children to do, and personifies each and every negative stereotype that uneducated motorists will hurl at us as we pedal on the run.
It is also one hell of a lot of fun to watch.
Predominately filmed by Lucas Brunelle using a custom helmet cam rig of his own creation, the film covers alley cat races across the globe. In addition to actual race footage the film features a dramatic representation of a “shoot out” between messengers in the streets of Guatemala, a ride on the Great Wall of China, and scened from the Bicycle Film Festival in San Francisco. Aside from the Guatemalan shootout fun, this is all real footage of actual events – unlike the Hollywood representation in Premium Rush (Spoiler Alert: Premium Rush kinda sucks).
Hard core bicycle advocates will probably want to avoid this one. But those of us that can set aside the obviously wanton lawlessness that is alley cat racing will likely find themselves with a bit of an adrenalin rush watching traffic and pedestrian dodging. Yea, sometimes people pick the wrong lines and the relative positions of the wheels and saddle get inverted. That just adds to the fun. Oh, the classic heavy metal soundtrack doesn’t hurt either.
The soundtrack itself actually indicates a key point that a lot of people miss with these types of urban cyclists. The stereotype is a young, early-twenties, PBR swilling male hipster grabbing cars and riding the wrong ways in traffic. In truth, most of these folks are much older – later 30s – and have been riding in traffic for 10-15 years or more. And yes – there are women in these races too. This experience has taught them how to do what they do – to predict the ebb and flows of traffic, to read to signs. While many would call what they do reckless – and it is – there is a certain knowledge that has been gained by years of earning a living carting parcels from one side of a city to another. What you see in this film is a minority of urban cyclists, and even a minority of bike messengers. These are folks that know and intimately understand the risks of what they do. In other words, don’t try this at home. There is nothing cool about being dead.
Enjoy the movie, but leave the wrong way riding, intersection blowing and pedestrian annoying to others. And if nothing else, the scenes of Lucas doing trials riding, underwater in scuba gear is worth the 60 minute run time of this picture.
Line if Sight is available on DVD from select retailers, on online for $20 from the online store at https://www.lucasbrunelle.com/shop/