When I first discovered Lucas Brunelle’s videos I was fresh off a stint as a bike messenger in Toronto and was pumped to see someone capturing messenger culture in a wholly unsanitized way. Now, some 30-odd years on, I’m not as impressed—with Brunelle’s videos or the antics they celebrate. I’d like to think of it as growth. I’m a much more conscientious rider now and I’m frankly kind of horrified when I see messengers riding recklessly, especially when they disrupt pedestrians. Brunelle, on the other hand, is still at it. You might criticize him for glorifying irresponsible riding but you have to give him credit for consistency.
Line of Sight is probably the best known of his many productions. You can find the entire film on YouTube but, in typical Brunelle fashion, the soundtrack is ripped off and a copyright complaint has blocked the audio. (That might be just as well, unless you’re a fan of ear-splitting heavy rock). Instead, this two minute trailer for the film is a good introduction to Brunelle and his outlaw approach.
I still get an adrenaline rush surfing urban traffic but I’m not going to ride on the sidewalk or the wrong way on Adelaide Street the way I used to. I’m also not going to post a lot more Lucas Brunelle films on VeloVID but if you’d like to learn more about what makes him tick, you can check out his installation of The Way I Roll Series or, to get a feel for the antics of a younger Lucas Brunelle, there’s always this archival video of he and some buddies riding a couch through the streets of Boston.