Can a Bike Messenger Beat a Taxi?

Bike messenger Nico Deportago-Cabrera races a cab through Chicago. Can he get downtown first?
© Red Bull
By Scott Hart

"The city kind of becomes this living, breathing organism," said professional bicycle messenger Nico Deportago-Cabrera. "All these streets are like veins and arteries. You start to notice the rhythm and the timing of the city – the order in which the lights change and how long you can ride a set of greens before before you're going to hit a red light."

Taxi drivers and messengers both need to know how to navigate city streets in and out. But who is fastest?

"I've always been curious – how my knowledge fares up against a pro cab" Cabrera said.

Can I get downtown faster than a cab?

With a couple clicks of a taxi-summoning phone app, the competition was set. "It's the middle of the afternoon, pre-rush hour traffic," Cabrera said, "Can I get downtown faster than a cab?"

The race: Across Chicago proper – start at Willis Tower, finish at Wrigley Field.

Watch the video above to see the contest, as recorded by Sony Action Cams mounted to the cab and bike.

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