Rebel Rebel

Over the years I’ve occasionally written about the exploits of Lucas Brunelle. In case you don’t know, Brunelle is an IT company owner who came up on the mean streets of Cape Cod and achieved fame for filming alleycats while riding around with a pair of cameras strapped to his helmet, often whilst “skitching” off of motor vehicles, like so:

[Dramatization, photo has been doctored]

While my coverage of Brunelle has been largely critical, I admit that time has tempered my derision somewhat. See, while our riding styles are quite different–Brunelle likes to hold onto cars, I prefer to write about how evil they are while occasionally using them to go mountain biking–I’ve come to realize we’re very similar in one crucial way:

Both of us are aging dudes vainly struggling to remain relevant.

Whereas once I was a vital blogger who produced cutting-edge commentary on the fixie culture, I am now just some old guy who writes columns in a mainstream magazine about how he’s baffled by gravel. Likewise, Brunelle, once a messenger hero, has now retired to Florida, where he continues to make videos which he forwards to washed-up bike bloggers:

This latest turn in Brunelle’s career is especially amusing to me because many of his antics appear to take place on Key Biscayne, an upscale community over the causeway from Miami where my grandmother maintained a winter residence for many years. Therefore, inasmuch as this is a place I associate with playing Scrabble by the pool before heading off to Sushi Siam for dinner at 5pm, Brunelle now comes off less like an outlaw and more like Ty Webb at Bushwood. (Or maybe more like Spaulding at Bushwood.)

Not that I can’t relate, mind you. I also had some sick Key Biscayne skate sessions on my Vision Psycho Stick in the parking lot of the Sir Pizza, and had smartphones existed at the time I’d doubtless have shared video of my repeated attempts to grind a parking block on social media. Still, my knowledge of the area imbues Brunelle’s latest work with an irony for which he may or may not be accounting.

So what is this latest video about? Well, Brunelle and his Danny Noonan don orange prison jumpsuits (an idea they either wittingly or unwittingly appropriated from Stevil & Co.) and head out on the local Fred ride:

The first sign that Brunelle is aging is that, whereas once he had this to say about bike advocacy:

Do you own a car?
I still have the police car. Haven’t driven it in years. But I love cars. 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.

He now admonishes bus drivers for getting too close to the bike lane:

Not only that, but he uses his index finger to shame the driver, like he’s scolding the cashier at the Winn-Dixie:

But the scolding incident is apparently just a flashback, and on this particular ride Brunelle and Noonan skitch off the bus in an act of retaliation. They also skitch off other vehicles, including a pickup truck, as Brunelle’s smartphone struggles against the bonds of his flimsy stem mount:

I’m actually surprised he managed to find an internal combustion vehicle to skitch, since most people around there get around in golf carts.

Anyway, as is the case in most wealthy areas, the police around these parts are decidedly proactive when it comes to enforcing traffic laws, so it’s no surprise when Brunelle and Noonan finally get stopped:

Like a pair of schoolboys caught goofing off in the restroom, they alternately lie to the police and wise off to them:

And the self-conscious irreverence culminates with Brunelle proffering a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card with a shaky hand like he’s presenting a coupon to the cashier at the Winn-Dixie:

Not only do the police take this in stride, but we soon see they’ve even taken pains not to block the bike lane:

Whereas once Brunelle’s videos were about defying death, they now seem to be about flexing his privilege.

I look forward to the next phase in our careers, a few decades hence, when I check my email and find a video from Brunelle in which he’s skitching off the food trolley in a wheelchair at his upscale assisted living community and belittling the security guards.

Maybe we’ll even be in neighboring rooms.

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