Brian 'Safa' Wagner takes filmmaker Lucas Brunelle on an adrenaline-filled ride down one of Mexico City's public highways

When you think of legendary descents, your mind may immediately picture Tour de France riders tackling the infamous winding roads of the Galibier, but daredevil filmmaker Lucas Brunelle takes us to Mexico City for something a little different.

Brunelle, known for his street racing antics and high-octane cycling videos, follows bike messenger and professional nutter Brian ‘Safa’ Wagner down the traffic-packed Avenida Constituyentes with self-preservation seemingly the last thing on their minds.

Remember Fabian Cancellara’s amazing descent in the Tour de France a few years ago, weaving in and out of the team cars? Well, with Safa’s exploits replace ‘team cars’ with ‘rush-hour traffic’ and while Cancellara tapped the brakes a few times, Safa doesn’t bother with any of that.

>>> Five of the best road cycling descent videos

It is 13 minutes of mesmerising footage, showing Safa weaving in and out of traffic on the long main road descent, with Brunelle following his every move. Remarkably his first really hairy moment only comes just before the seven-minute mark when a silver saloon nearly runs him into the central reservation.

Take some time to watch this adrenaline-packed video and then come to the conclusion that you’re not all that willing to try it yourself.

  • RobTM

    @baclyt: Someone standing in the road, with slow moving traffic, is EXACTLY the kind of time doors pop open and cars veer suddenly across the road. You’re claiming physics means no danger, but ignoring where it’s plain risk taking. Claims like it “is like an open road” are just plain foolish. Some ppl will take more risk than others. I DON’T believe there’s always an exit strategy in this video, it’s just basically saying 99/100 times I’ll get through without an accident.

  • Dean

    If he keeps doing these kind of rides sooner or later he’s seriously injured or dead. It was only pure luck one of those cars or trucks on either side of those tight gaps didn’t veer left or right and kill him. Those of you who think he is anticipating every move those drivers are making are just ridiculous. Cyclists are killed by riding as safe as they possibly can only for a driver to suddenly cut them off, suddenly turn right, suddenly turn left or some other impossible to anticipate move. Only pure luck one of those didn’t occur in this video.

  • Jon

    If people want to dice with death up a mountain that’s their business, but the public highway simply isn’t the place for it. I commuted flat out through traffic for several years and used to take similar kinds of risks so I get the appeal and I’m not interested in how skillful anyone is or what team they rode for, and I’m well aware of the kind of hazards you simply can’t anticipate. We’ve seen some real progress recently in terms of making the roads safer for cyclists (and other users) and this ‘sport’ really undermines those efforts.

  • backlyt

    I was the guy shooting the Uzi in Line of Sight :-p Lucas is a great guy and yeah, this is an extreme sport like any other.

  • backlyt

    Well cars don’t often throw their doors open while driving down the road so I don’t see why you made the welded doors comment.

    Also, Lucas knew it was his fault for almost getting smoked by that van. You never pass on the right and that’s why he wasn’t upset.

    “I see MANY occasions, where cars are liable to cut corner, could have switched lanes suddenly, or squeezed him into vehicle alongside.”

    Yup and that’s where you have to take a risk and be prepared to move and anticipate their moves. You always leave yourself an exit strategy.

    “the Pro Peleton do indeed slam into each other and crash.”
    I could ride circles around those guys in the city. They have a far different skill set and the peleton is a different sort of beast. The sports I was referring to would be team sports, like hockey, basketball or soccer.

    Yes things COULD happen, but it’s a calculated risk, just like any extreme sport. If you live your life fearing all the things that COULD happen and fearing that you just need to be caught by surprise ONCE then you’d never leave your house.

  • Butch Spanglewangler

    So what you’re both saying is a few idiots might get themselves killed and maybe take out a bystander or two after watching this, except one of you sees that as a bad thing and the other as a benefit to the gene pool.

  • RobTM

    Look, defensive riding is about looking ahead, and being aware of the motorist possibly about to move without giving way, being aware of the possibilities. I understand completely about maintaining a space, allowing manuever away from cars changing line.
    A fact is that any car with a few feet in front of it, can decide it wants to change lanes and prepare to PUSH IN to other lane, without leaving room. So I disagree, that the cars COULD not impede the riders progress due to physics.
    Now as someone who´s not only ridden in bunch races, driven lead car for a race, and watched Pro races live, and I assure you the Pro Peleton do indeed slam into each other and crash.

    Relying on close timing, skill, is going to go well, until the day it doesn´t, that´s the reason why insurance companies are not keen on skilled dare devils full of hubris, and Safa only has to be caught by surprise ONCE.

  • backlyt

    No but you do have the laws of physics on your side. There are simply things that cars cannot do, like drive sideways or drive through other cars. You find the spaces that cars cannot be and then ride there.
    Yes, drivers make impulsive decisions, but they make those decisions based on available opportunities. As a cyclist, if you are looking several car lengths ahead then you can predict the actions of a driver based on those potentially available opportunities for the driver to take action. It only seems unpredictable but in fact it is VERY predictable.
    Professional team sports athletes don’t often slam into each other because they’ve also trained in themselves a hyper-awareness that takes into account all the players on the field. It’s the same way for a professional messenger.
    Just because your friend was a pro messenger doesn’t mean he was any good, sorry to say. I’ve actually raced with Safa and finished in the top 10 with him in a 200 person race.

    I understand how this may seem crazy and reckless, but when you’re at that level of training, it’s just a walk in the park.

  • RobTM

    Rubbish! You don´t have sudden and unpredictable drivers impulsive instant decisions in your control, one of them will take out the passing rider.
    BTW I ride with an ex Pro Messenger, who´s grown up

  • backlyt

    Yeah, well we are all masters of our own fates. If watching some daredevil stunts makes you go out and do something that you’re not skilled enough to perform then I’m glad that you’re taking yourself out of the gene pool.

  • backlyt

    We know the timing

  • Daredevi? let him try do the same descent but in reforma, where the lanes are realy thight…

  • RobTM

    Really? A few times in that video he’s caught out by vehicles changing lanes, slightly different timing and he’s left with no gap or room to establish a turn

  • Sam

    I don’t think cycling weekly are actively pushing people to do this, its a great video what are they meant to do! What would be your take on Danny Macaskill jumping off buildings?

  • Pete

    I’m not really a fan of Brunelle for the reasons given in many of the comments on this article, but I’ve got to say that this is the most boring film of his I’ve ever seen!

  • Alberto Ortega

    This video is ridiculous. Driving in that avenue is the really “adrenaline-filled ride” because of the terrible state of the pavement and the bad designed curves in the first part of the road shown here. And that is not rush-hour traffic. Rush-hour traffic makes cars move at 5 km/hr.

    On the other side, I don´t like people doing this kind of things. In Mexico, justice system is awful. If one of the cyclists would have been injured or killed, the guilty one would very probably be the car driver. Sadly, as the same video declares, this cyclist thinks “ten minutes of mine are worth a lifetime of theirs (in jail)”.

  • Jon

    Unfortunately, not all CW’s readers are professional messengers, and riding like this on a road endangers all road users. It only takes one unseen hazard or a gap that closes too quickly for it all to go horribly wrong. For them to post it here with terms like daredevil and legendary might have an adverse affect on the life expectancy of some readers.

  • backlyt

    It only seems dangerous to the unskilled. To professional messengers, he might as well be on an open road.

  • TG

    So, would it be ok to do the same thing on a motorbike? Or would that be classed as idiotic? No wonder cyclists get bad press!

  • Jon

    You are badly in need of a reality check – I do think the skill is impressive but I don’t think Britain’s leading cycling rag should be encouraging this kind of risk taking in traffic. Stop telling people what to stop being and grow the f*** up.

  • iamgummo

    Love this.

  • Jorja Creighton

    Nice one.

  • Jorja Creighton

    How boring must you be, stop being a worried mother and enjoy the skill. If it was a base jumper or crazy terrain skier you would be impressed, and not ever think I am going to go and try that.

  • Maarten Bressinck

    Indeed it is

  • Jon

    Is it responsible to publish this here? You seem to be endorsing riding like this in traffic. Speaking as someone who’s done a cartwheel over the top of a van racing
    in traffic, this is basically how to get yourself killed.