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The Messenger’s Guide To New York City 02

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The Messenger’s Guide To New York City 02

The Messenger’s Guide To New York City: The West Village and Midtown
Standby with Hiromi/Ghost stories and local comfort with Stoned Tone
Words and photos by Chris Lee

In the second installment of The Messenger’s Guide To New York City, I got a chance to have the man behind Boda Boda, Hiromi Bruni show me around. Hiromi was born and raised in the West Village and knows the neighborhood like the back of his hand. We payed respects to the remains of Gray’s Papaya, a hot dog joint that was a fixture in the neighborhood and got some desert at Rocco’s. We went by Dave’s Work Wear, the local’s only one stop shop for work wear. And finally chilled at his favorite midtown standby spots.

Ride Along: Brean Shea – Chris Lee

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Ride Along: Brean Shea – Chris Lee

What I’ve realized over time is that I end up with a lot of bike portraits of riders in my film rolls. This sparked an idea: a “ride along” interview series. We’ll start this off with Chris Lee, in NYC, where he interviews Brean Shea, a bike messenger and track cyclist.

Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit – Chris Lee

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Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit – Chris Lee

In order for the Red Hook Crit to maintain its unofficial title of the gnarliest track bike criterium, it sometimes must rely on mother nature. This year’s race was a total wash. Literally. Rain poured all day and well into the women’s and men’s circuit, shortening both and creating a less-than-desirable mental mind fuck for the racers.

Even the photographers and crowds suffered.

Chris Lee has contributed multiple times to the Radavist and I couldn’t think of a better person to capture and document the eerie environment of the 2014 Red Hook Crit…

Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit – Dan Chabanov

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Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit – Dan Chabanov

Dan Chabanov is one of the first people I knew who transitioned from a cocky bike messenger to a less cocky, more mature professional bike racer. His perspective is unique, especially at the Red Hook Crit, because, you know, he won it a few times.

I reached out to Dan to lead into the Tales from the 2014 Red Hook Crit series here on the Radavist. Below you’ll find his report.

Red Hook Crit Observations from the Ground
Words and photos by Dan Chabanov

It’s amazing how much access you can get to an event when you know pretty much everyone putting it on and you’ve won it three times. Dave Trimble runs a really tight ship so I consider it a special privilege that he lets me get away with running around with my little point and shoot in places where I clearly shouldn’t be.

I have a love/hate relationship with the RHC. I love going and supporting all my friends who are racing. I love taking weird photos of them. I don’t really like having random strangers bugging me in the bathroom about why I’m not racing though. Honestly that question is getting pretty old. I imagine it’s like being a marathon runner who constantly gets questions about why he isn’t running the 1000m or something like that. Maybe that analogy makes no sense but I don’t really have a good answer to that question anyway. Bike racing is supposed to be fun and I’ve had more fun watching the last two years. So let’s just leave it at that.

In that time, this race has gotten pretty crazy, but this year with the downpour it was particularly intense. After a bad crash interrupted the women’s race there was a sense of dread ahead of the mens race. Dave and Al were crazy stressed out and worried. They couldn’t realistically cancel the race but at the same time I know they at least considered it. In the end the race was shortened to 15 laps and a couple hundred people stood out in the rain and cheered.

The RHC has changed a lot in the last four years. In 2010 I got made fun of for bringing a trainer to warm up on. Last Saturday three hundred people showed up with rollers. The field has also grown decisively more international. Thibaud Lhenry’s win on Saturday is the first in Brooklyn by a foreign rider. The field gets deeper every year and at this point I think it’s no longer possible to be successful at the RHC without being full on. For better or for worse this is no longer a race that can be won with a cavalier approach, some track bike experience, and a bunch of fitness.

Follow Dan on Instagram, Twitter and at his blog, Bonedeth.

Trackosaurus Rex: Kinfolk Road with Sugino 75

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Trackosaurus Rex: Kinfolk Road with Sugino 75

Photo by Chris Lee

To commemorate the opening of Kinfolk’s new store at 94 Wythe in Brooklyn, Sean from King Kog commissioned Kinfolk‘s Kusaka-San to build a vintage-inspired road bike to compliment the rare Sugino 75 road group he acquired. Down to the disc wheel! This bike is insane and Kyle at Trackosaurus Rex has a great story on Kinfolk that you should really check out, along with more photos of this machine.

The 2013 Bike Cult Show by Nathan Peck

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The 2013 Bike Cult Show by Nathan Peck

The 2013 Bike Cult show was just one of many events I wanted to attend but couldn’t this year. Set in Brooklyn, New York, this showcase brought in some of the most talented frame builders from the Northeast. The frame building community has really grown over the years and as an outsider, I think this was one of the best representations of that. You’ve got total rockstars like Peter Weigle hanging out with his neon pink randonneur bike and long-time builders like Brian Chapman winning best in show.

Check out more photos from the 2013 Bike Cult Show shot by Nathan Peck in the Gallery!

Brooklyn’s Rosko Cycles

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Brooklyn’s Rosko Cycles

A visit to New York wouldn’t be complete without me bugging Seth Rosko for at least an afternoon. In the past, I’ve tried to document his workspace but have never been 100% satisfied with the outcome, until this visit. The thing about Seth’s workshop is that it’s most likely smaller than your bedroom…

His shop measures roughly a four meter cube, barely big enough for two grown men to move about, much less a Bridgeport, jigs, tubes, component boxes and bikes. Every time I come back to see Seth, the shop is more dialed in and this time, I am confident with the documentation.

Seth’s been working a lot of keeping up with his grassroots racing support. A lot of up and coming racers in NYC are riding his steel bikes and that’s something he’s very passionate about. Cross, MTB, road, it doesn’t matter. If you pedal it fast in circles, he can build it.

Check out a few photos from my Shop Visit to Rosko Cycles in the Gallery!

There’s a New Bike Park to Ride in Brooklyn

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There’s a New Bike Park to Ride in Brooklyn

While local developer group, Two Trees Management begins to plan construction on the lot across from the now defunct Domino Sugar factory on Kent avenue in Williamsburg, Ride Brooklyn snatched it up for a year-long lease. After working on the site for weeks, the Ride Brooklyn staff, along with volunteers have finally opened the gates to the first ever Brooklyn Bike Park.

This football field sized pump track offers various lines to rip on, depending on the rider’s skill level. When I was in New York a few weeks back, I stopped by to check it out and shoot some photos of this dirt oasis.

Check out more narrated photos in the Gallery!

Seth Rosko’s 650b Single Speed MTB

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Seth Rosko’s 650b Single Speed MTB

The problem with going to New York City is that I spend more time photographing bikes, then I do actually riding them. Which, in this most recent trip, wasn’t as much as I’d like. Being behind a lens, staring down a unique beaut like this does have its merits. Especially when you’re so familiar with its builder and owner.

Seth Rosko was one of the first builders in Brooklyn that I spent a good amount of time profiling years back. We first met at Brooklyn Machine Works, where he was a designer and fabricator. He and Joe worked extensively on the Gangsta track back in the day, before setting out on his own.

Rosko builds unique, yet utilitarian, yet lightweight bicycles made for racing. Each year, more and more fledgling racers find themselves on a Rosko and that means that Seth has less and less time to work on his own bikes. Case in point: this 650B single speed MTB. It took Seth years to finish this bike but he managed to complete it in time for this year’s season.

Using the ultralight True Temper Supertherm tubing, Black Cat dropouts and Stan’s tubeless wheels, this thing is light. It comes in at 20 lbs with XT pedals.