I've just recently seen the new Tomb Raider movie and during the start of it, Lara is working as a cycle courier. Some members of it want to run a game called fox hunt, where you can win money if you manage to outrun the hounds.

The objective of the game, the fox is given a fake fox tail that is attached to their bike and a paint can which is punctured to leave a trail for the hounds to follow. The fox is given a head start and the hounds need to try and capture the fox by taking the tail off the fox's bike. If the fox manages to outrun the hounds and the paint can runs dry, the fox wins. They do this game in central London and isn't shown to be a fully legal game. The entire sport is done whilst riding their bikes.

Question is, has this game ever been done in a legal/professional context? If so, what examples of this competition are there? Are there also official rules for the game?

  • 2
    It seems unlikely that a sport that involves vandalizing the road by pouring paint on it would be legal, let alone professional. Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 10:08
  • However a centre where it could be organised and done correctly would be interesting, e.g. a paintball field. It also doesn't have to be done with paint in an official context, just some kind of marking factor. I was curious if there are any official version of the competition. Closest I can find is the Red Bull fox hunt, but that's a lot more different than the version shown in Tomb Raider
    – Draken
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 11:08
  • 2
    Sounds like the event was inspired by real (and mostly illegal) alleycat races and changed for more drama and to avoid any creative rights lawsuits. I've never heard about anyone organizing anything like that in real life.
    – ojs
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 11:28
  • 3
    I've heard of a few. This was an early Google result. lcef.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/fox-hunt-alleycat-wows-crowds
    – alex
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 11:34
  • These days you could leave an electronic trail quite easily, but a slurry of chalk in water would be a suitable short-term paint
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 11:43

2 Answers 2


I've never heard of a fox hunt race in particular, but there is an extensive racing culture among bicycle couriers. These races are usually alleycat races, and generally involve riding to several checkpoints in sequence, sometimes performing tasks at those checkpoints.

Searching YouTube for bicycle messenger races, alleycat racing, and similar terms, will bring up many videos.

See also In Race of Bike Messengers, Potholes and Bad Manners Can Be Costly, a New York Times feature about the North American Cycle Courier Championship, a rare sanctioned race for which the city closed streets.


Well this specific one is no real event but as said before I think it is inspired by alleycat races. In the mountainbike world there is actually a Fox Hunt Event organised by Red Bull: https://www.redbull.com/ie-en/events/red-bull-foxhunt

Although here the "Hounds" get a head start and the pro rider tries to get in front of the pack.

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