No Brakes, No Fear: Monster Track 14
Stand at any random street corner in Manhattan between 9AM and 5PM, and it’s guaranteed that you will see a messenger maintaining the perfect cadence while reading the ebb and flow of urban traffic. It’s an inherent skill that an urban cyclist picks up after years of death defying cycling. To the common person, we’d want brakes on our bicycles but most of the cyclists we encountered during Monster Track 14 NYC were not only brakeless but also had just one gear.
Fixed gear riding has become a bit of a trend but these racers aren’t trying to just look pretty, they are trying to win while having some of the best times of their lives. Monster Track was started by bike messengers so you can image what kind of condition is involved in such an event.
Although Monster Track 14 NYC was an informal bike race, the focus was on the weekend-long participation rather than mere competition. This alleycat race did not have any police escorts, closed streets or pretty tables where cups of Gatorade are lined up for the riders. What it did have was camaraderie and the drive to hit every checkpoint on the given manifest.
Track frames, sticky compound tires, cold temperatures, soggy shoes and snow were all ingredients to this year’s Monster Track 14 NYC. Any city sanctioned bike race would have easily canceled it but for this group of racers, it was just different variables to overcome.
Congratulations to Austin Horse for being the first to finish, followed by Alfred Bobé Jr., and Crihs. The first female to finish was Roz Patterson.
While covering the event, we also got a chance to meet cinematographer/racer, Lucas Brunelle. The documentary, Line of Sight was the end product of filming underground bicycle races from around the world. The viewer is given an intimate view of racing through his helmet cameras while he keeps pace with some of the quickest alleycat racers.
Overall, the race was spectacular as always and we were blessed to have seen a glimpse into the passion that drives these racers from checkpoint to checkpoint within this great city.