Biking with lunatics in Sao Paolo

Treehugger has an interesting piece on speeds of various means of transportation in Sao Paolo (via The Infrastructurist).  It had the merit of testing various types of bicyclist (including an untrained cyclist who stayed on side streets) against buses, cars, helicopters, etc.  Most contests stack the deck by not including regular folks on regular bikes (a fast cyclist did in 26 minutes what a regular guy did in 66 minutes, so you can see what effect that has).  A delivery trained cyclist and a trained cyclist on a fixed-gear bike beat even the helicopter six plus miles across town.  Pretty much everyone with control over their speed beat the car (82 minutes).  Even a bus beat the car, so Sao Paolo must be both a commuting nightmare, and have some separated bus lanes.

I ride a fixie about six miles to work every day, so I appreciate that.  But bicyclists are annoying and smug, and everyone hates them, and I understand that.  I bike every day, all year, in Boston weather and traffic, and find it normal, and don't get why other people would like sitting in cars, but I know I am in a minority.

But even I found the bicyclist in the video scary.  He's riding through tunnels, on busy highways, at night, with no taillight or reflective gear.  Sao Paolo looks like a great place to get killed.  It's new.  Boston is old, so the deranged street patterns actually make bicycling easier.  Cars are clearly the intruders here.  But only a madman would put his butt out on a bike in Sao Paolo.  My personal opinion, anyway.

Plus, the guy in the helicopter wasn't really trying.