Saturday, March 01, 2008

Monster Track 9--the Race that isn't.

The organizers of this years Monster Track have pulled the plug. There will be no main race on Saturday March 8th. Here is what Squid, had to say about the decision:

"The organizers of Monster Track 2008 have decided, after careful consideration, to cancel this year’s main race.

This decision did not come easy and was debated at length. Our reasons are many but the overall factor was that the race has become unmanageable due to the large participation and our concern for the participant’s safety.

As many of you know, Monster Track started as a race held for a small, close group of NYC bike messengers. It has now become an overwhelmingly all-inclusive event. This, on its face, may seem like a positive direction for a race but in the context of a solely track bike alleycat it brings many problems. First and foremost, the safety of the racers is compromised. We believe that this is not a tenable position for race organizers.

Although the main race is canceled, please join us for Gold Sprints on Friday evening, Fixed Gear Competition (track stands, skids, footdown, freestyle, sprints, etc.) on Saturday and the Velo City Tour, at Kissena Velodrome on Sunday.

Schedule of Events:

Friday March 7, 8PM
Goldsprints at Third Ward
195 Morgan Ave. Brooklyn

Saturday March 8, 1PM
Fixed Gear Comp and injured messenger fundraiser at Rocky’s
South 5th St. at Kent Ave. Brooklyn

Sunday March 9, 12PM
Velo City Track Competition at Kissena Velodrome
Booth Memorial Ave near Kissena Blvd. Queens

Well that sucks. I respect the organizers for their decision and realize it must have been a hard one to make. But it does leave me feeling a little empty. I mean what kind of outlaw bike community are we? I guess we're all grown up now. At least we can go back to doing what we do best at the other events, Drinking, fighting with each other and vandalizing property. All kidding aside...I do think that Monster Track did a lot for the bicycle community. Not everyone has to go out there and skitch cars, hit pedestrains and be unsafe. I know a lot of people who just participated in the main race just to check it out, rode slow and embraced what a good time this is on bikes. Its sad to see that because of someones death (in Chicago) that we are going to stop this. For good? For just one year? Are other alleycats going to change. I know working messengers out there feel like there culture is being stolen and don't want to be responsible for tragedy.

ABC news did a story on alleycats after the recent death at the Tour De Chicago:


Funny how the "I team" did a big investigation on "Alleycats" after someone dies. Maybe they should put that same effort into news when cyclists die from cars when they are following the rules of the road. HMMM. I know I live in a fantasy world.

Look for our Monster Track video which will be coming out at this years event. I may be the last documentation of this famous NYC alleycat.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, that race was so safe, you didn't even need a safety bike to do it.
The truth is- I did fear that event more than any other ride I had ever done in my life. It was no joke!
It is dangerous to have a horde of hundreds of riders tearing it up, even more so if they are new to fix gear riding and biking in general (not that there is anything wrong with being a new rider).
But, everyone faces real danger everytime they ride a bike here, and it is up to us to accept our own levels of additional danger. Being the organizer of such mass acceptance of danger is perhaps more involvement then fits into an underground event.

To popular for its own good? I guess things could be worse...

11:50 PM  
Blogger Michael Green said...

Thanks for your response Fergie. I find myself very torn about the whole thing. But I didn't race so it comes from an observers opinion.

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good. I'm glad you idiots are waking up to what a menace you are to the roads. Keep it legal and organized. Alleycats are for morons and put people at risk.

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, alleycats are dangerous. There should be laws against this type of behavior...then maybe people wouldn't die.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Michael Green said...

Oh great, it looks like bike forums has invaded my blog. Here comes the angry spandex clad weekend warriors who bitch about us skitching and worship all those on steroids.

3:52 AM  
Anonymous Ed G said...

Alleycat racing is dangerous? Funny, condisdering that up until this year, I have yet to hear of someone being killed or even seriously injured in an allaycat.

On the other, a friend of mine promotes "legal and organized" races in NYC, and he ends up calling the ambulance to most of his races to scrape racers up off the pavement taken out only by other racers.

Some of my conclusions regarding this debate: 1)The "spandex clad" BikerForums crowd need medical attention every time they scrape a knee. 2) The "spandex clad" BikeForums crowd is much better at talking bikes than they are riding bikes. 3) Alleycat races are really not that dangerous 4) Alleycat racers are able to escape injury in dangerous race conditions because because they have honed great skill in riding in and navigating the city's traffic.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Rob from Boston said...

I feel like this was inevitable, and is in the end a good thing.

First off, I've heard that MT is still happening. It's just happening in a smaller, undisclosed city with participants who were told by word of mouth.

MT isn't gone, just returning to its roots.

I'm not a messenger and haven't done an alleycat (yet), so I can't say a ton. But I feel that MT is a special case that can be easily abused. Riding brakeless is cooler than riding regular fixed, and so the hipster crowd is doubly attracted to MT.

Thing is, they don't ride in traffic 40-50 hours per week like the actual messengers do.

So I don't blame the organizers at all. People who aren't trained for this kind of racing are going to be drawn to it, and are going to be more likely to hurt themselves and give the race a bad name.

I feel like once the fixed gear thing dies down, alleycats will return to their rightful place in bike culture. They just need to stop making websites and advertising the hell out of them. Then people who really want to do it (more than to feel cool/edgy) will be able to seek it out.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Some guy with a bike said...

They need to keep out the noobs, who are a danger to themselves as well as everybody else. You should either have to be a working messenger or get a wildcard from the organisers. That'd sort it out.

5:24 PM  

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