He parlayed a hardscrabble upbringing on the mean streets of Cape Cod into a career as an IT specialist who spends his weekends documenting his unnecessary risk-taking:
He's skitched and skidded his way through Africa:
A bruised and battered Beacon Hill bicyclist lambasted as “a joke” the $1,000 bail a downtown judge set today for a taxi driver he and other witnesses claim savagely beat him before trying to run him over as Lucas J. Brunelle was calling 911 on behalf of a woman he’d just struck with his bike on Tremont Street Friday night.
Wait a minute. Brunelle thinks the bail is a "joke?" But I thought this sort of thing is exactly what makes urban cycling so much fun! At least that's what he told "Bicycling" magazine in that interview:
Fuck bike advocacy. It's the cars that make shit fun. Without cars, we couldn't do skitches off SUVs. We couldn't get bruised and cut up; we couldn't commiserate. I love traffic. It's an evil river, sure, but I love the city streets.
Sounds like that cab driver did exactly what Brunelle wanted him to do. If anything, Brunelle should pay him $1,000. Guess that "evil river" isn't so cool when he's the one getting wet.
So what happened?
Brunelle, a cinematographer and bike racer, called the chaotic scene, “a group ride gone bad.”
"Group ride gone bad," eh? I guess we know what the title of his next video is going to be. Anyway, who would have thought a "group ride" running red lights during rush hour in Boston could possibly go bad?
A woman walking in a crosswalk on Tremont Street with her sister Friday shortly after 6 p.m. was hit by Brunelle on his bike when he ran a red light, according to police reports released today. The woman was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with head injuries after, Brunelle claims, he flagged Chandler down to help him help her.
“I was trying to get a taxi for (her) and this guy comes out and hits me and then he tries to run me over with his car,” Brunelle said. “I said, ‘We were on a group ride. Someone got an injury, they’ve got to go to the hospital.’ He started getting in my face and ‘(expletive) you’ and so I shot back and I said, ‘(Expletive) you.’ He gets out and he attacks me. He tried to run me over.”
Okay. So Brunelle hits this poor woman and then tries to send her off in a taxi? Why, so he could continue his "group ride?" Yeah, I'm sure it's a real treat to get hit by Lucas Brunelle:
"Hi, I'm daredevil cinematographer Lucas Brunelle. Every seat I have is as sharp as a razor, so I always play to roll. Here's $5 for cab fare, a travel packet of Kleenex for the bleeding, and a waiver for you to sign so I can put you in my next video. Sorry for the inconvenience and have a nice day." [Remounts and rides off into sunset.]
Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.
By the way, none of this is to excuse the taxi driver's behavior in any way, but I don't suppose there's any chance Brunelle or some other member of his "group" may have gotten him riled up earlier in the ride, is there?
No, of course not.
Wow, Brunelle's cinematographic oeuvre is really going to bite him on the ass on this one. Unless the taxi driver's lawyer is completely incompetent he should get off faster than a premature ejaculator in Amsterdam's red light district.
What's most amazing to me as a New Yorker though is that neither the police nor the media seem to be blaming the cyclist in any way:
I was especially amazed that it's only a $20 ticket for running a red light on a Bicycle in Boston--a ticket which Brunelle didn't even get. Meanwhile, in New York City, if a taxi driver runs into a woman on the sidewalk and severs her leg all he has to do is blame a bike messenger and he won't be charged:
I guess that's why Brunelle only visits New York City to make videos and then leaves the local cyclists to deal with the ill will these sorts of exploits generate.
Still, if nothing else, I really hope Brunelle's cameras were rolling during this episode, because the resulting footage is probably almost as good as this. I'd also like to make a personal entreaty to Brunelle, as one aging Fred to another:
You're getting too old for this shit. Come on. Ripping around town with a bunch of people 20 years younger than you? Your reflexes aren't what they once were. Fortunately the pedestrian wasn't killed, and fortunately despite being assaulted you're up and riding. This is a great opportunity to take back some of the silly stuff you said about "bike advocacy" and admit you're a little too old to be shooting the rapids on the "evil river." Instead, do your part to help tame it a bit. Come on, you're a cyclist! You're one of us! We break your balls a little bit but we still love you. Embrace your advancing age and acknowledge that pedestrians should be able to cross the street with the light and not worry about getting clobbered by some old dude making promotional videos for Cinelli.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
Speaking of the "evil river," remember Dulcie Canton?
Well, I recently received the following email from her informing me that the NYPD has closed her case, and they're blaming the media while they're at it:
I just wanted to thank you for reminded your readers that NYPD still lax when it come to prosecuting reckless drivers who kill maim or injure cyclists and pedestrians! My lawyer and I found out a few weeks ago at the 83rd precinct monthly community meeting that they CLOSED my case! The head detective attributed this closure to the fact that we went to the press and when the owner of vehicle heard, he "lawyered up". Detectives never questioned him! We only went to the press four weeks after crash when it became apparent that NYPD was not cooperating! Richard Rivera Jr. only lives a stones throw away from precinct and where the crash happened!
I have joined the TA Group, "Families for Safe Streets" and the 83rd precinct is on our "shame list". We want to see NYPD and DA start enforcing "Vision Zero".
On top of all of this, I'm having surgery on shoulder Friday. The bike shop I work for Adeline Adeline closing and not re-opening! I'm recovering from injuries, holidays coming, I now have to look for a new gig.
So basically the message from the NYPD is "You shoulda kept your mouth shut like a good little cyclist."
Her relief fund is still open, by the way:
Between "Line of Sight" and "Vision Zero" there sure are a lot of blind spots.