The New York Monstertrack could be considered the ultimate alleycat event. Created by the messenger “Snake” in 2000, the event has grown steadily as fixed-gear bikes have become more and more popular.
Basically, it’s all about going through the different checkpoints and getting to the finish line first. There is only one rule, the bike must be in a fixed gear without brakes. There are male and female categories, and the winners win a cash prize. And as you can imagine, it is a dangerous race, very dangerous. So dangerous that the only year it wasn’t held was 2008, due to the recent death of Matt Manger-Lynch at a similar event in Chicago when he ran a red light and crashed into a car.
Anything goes to get there first. Go in the wrong direction, run through traffic lights, pass within inches of passers-by and prams, the risk is high. The risk is high, but is the reward of winning an edition of Monstertrack worth it? Some decide to attack the 7 checkpoints alone, others in a group, others as best they can, and others don’t manage to complete them at all, as it is elimination based on the number of participants at each checkpoint. In the end, everything is discussed and celebrated at the legendary afterparty.
Take a seat, grab a lime tea and enjoy over an hour and a half of pure, dangerous alleycat riding through the streets of New York City from your couch.
Oh, and if you ever go to New York with your bike and you want to follow the route of this year’s winner, here you have the track on Strava.
Pictures by Sammy Escalante.