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A race of freeways versus city streets

What's faster across the city of Chicago, a top bike messenger or a taxi? In this video, we find out.

Nico Deportago-Cabrera is one of the world's fastest bike messengers, according to Red Bull, who made this clip. Does he know the streets of Chicago better than a cabbie? And if he does can he get from downtown to the northern centre faster?

They set out at the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower and the tallest building in the world from its completion in 1973 until the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia claimed the title in 1998.

Their destination is Wrigleyville, location of the Chicago Cubs ground at Wrigley Field, which you may remember from the movie The Blues Brothers.

It's 5.6 miles by bike, 7.2 miles by car, but the cab can take the fast freeways while Nico has to battle surface streets with their traffic, lights and slow-moving buses.

Who's fastest? Whose machine reigns supreme? Watch and find out.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

25 comments

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nowasps [519 posts] 2 years ago
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asedrt89

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I love my bike [211 posts] 2 years ago
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jasecd [498 posts] 2 years ago
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Not sure why we're supposed to be impressed at this guy?

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darrenleroy [253 posts] 2 years ago
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He probably had to stop to urinate all that Redbull crap out his system.

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Jonny_Trousers [278 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh dear.

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Mrmiik [162 posts] 2 years ago
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It's like 2006 all again!  35

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Joeinpoole [445 posts] 2 years ago
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Why does he keep wiping his hands down the sides of buses, even when there is plenty of room?

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Mrmiik [162 posts] 2 years ago
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Joeinpoole wrote:

Why does he keep wiping his hands down the sides of buses, even when there is plenty of room?

It's something the fixerarti do. Looks kinda cool I suppose.

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hitchings [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Perhaps if he used a decent bike he would have beaten the taxi. Or cut his hair. Not very aero

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crikey [1251 posts] 2 years ago
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My pizza is cold and all the topping is a mess.

Honda C90 every time!

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marche [95 posts] 2 years ago
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Redbull again…

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briano 55 [18 posts] 2 years ago
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What an arse.

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sean evans [39 posts] 2 years ago
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This is a walk in the park compared with the nutters on the Line Of Sight film  3

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dodgy [234 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh just f**k off.

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Scoob_84 [435 posts] 2 years ago
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What is cool about riding like an arse and forcing cars to break and pedestrians to stop to avoid getting hit by him as he goes through red lights.

What a prat and quite irresponsible of red bull

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chokofingrz [407 posts] 2 years ago
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Red Bull - live till 35, die under the wheels of a bus.

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PaulBox [679 posts] 2 years ago
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Absolute prick.

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ct [198 posts] 2 years ago
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Did James May come last again?

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Colin Peyresourde [1820 posts] 2 years ago
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Why all the negative comments?

Because he's cock cheese.

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parksey [342 posts] 2 years ago
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How to make everyone hate cyclists in 4 minutes...

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parksey [342 posts] 2 years ago
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How to make everyone hate cyclists in 4 minutes...

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brokenorange [36 posts] 2 years ago
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Ha ha ha! For once I agree with all the abuse levelled at this guy. Good job guys  24

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Fifth Gear [119 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd far rather my parcel was delivered by a cyclist than a motorist. It is amazing the visceral hatred of cyclists that you find even on a cycling site.

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Fifth Gear [119 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd far rather my parcel was delivered by a cyclist than a motorist. It is amazing the visceral hatred of cyclists that you find even on a cycling site.

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simonsays [25 posts] 2 years ago
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He is enjoying riding his bike and sharing that with us. Whats not to enjoy. You all work for Health and Safety? Nothing here looks very dangerous, and nothing as threatening to safety as the av. poor driving we take for granted every day. Wake up people!