In 2011, a little over a year after I found my passion for cycling through riding fixed gear bikes through the concrete jungle of New York City, I found myself, camera in hand, at Monster Track. The event is one of cycling’s most famous, most dangerous, and most significant alleycats in the world. Fast forward to 2022, and here I am again, camera in hand, at the 23rd edition of the annual brakeless urban street race.
In this episode of The Pro’s Closet Bicycle Kingdom, we explore the intricacies of Monster Track. Monster track mirrors the chaos of the city it takes place in, New York City. It is the pinnacle of Alleycat racing. It’s part party, part race, but in the end, it’s all about community.
Disclaimer: Riding bikes is inherently dangerous. That said, while we are not encouraging people to ride fixed-gear bikes in a crowded city, we do see value in sharing this story of a longstanding subculture in NYC and cities around the globe. Be careful. Ride respectfully. Spread bike love.
Terry’s ability to capture dense urban riding on track bikes is unmatched these days and in his latest cut, he takes to the streets of New York City for Monster Track XIX. If you wanna see more, he’s got a rough cut posted as well.
Monster Track is arguably the most intense and highly regarded annual street race in the world. Throughout its history, racers have been inspired to travel from all over the globe to compete for the title. In it’s 16 year history, no out of town racer has come out with a first place finish.
It can be difficult for someone to appreciate Monster Track and understand what makes it such a special race for its participants without actually being there. This year, Monster Track is told through the experience of its past champions, native citizens of a city that allows for a race of this caliber, and its visitors.
The classic NYC alleycat is back and events start tonight. Head over to the Facebook page to find out more!
One of the world’s most infamous alleycats gets some love from some of Mexico City’s bike messengers in this trailer for a forthcoming full-length feature.
Monster Track. The world’s most infamous, dangerous and in my opinion, most significant alleycat. In the 15 years it’s been thrown in New York City, it never ceases to surprise its contenders. There are only a few rules, the most important being two words: NO BRAKES.
Typically, there’s a weeding down process, at the hands of multiple manifests. Everyone starts with one, but only a select few make it to true completion by filling up to three. This year, mother nature smiled on the event, delivering somewhat favorable conditions (when compared to previous years being riddled with rain and snow). At the end of the event, the winners of Monster Track XV were Cooper Ray and Hannah Todd.
On the scene at the event and working the Williamsburg Bridge checkpoint was Chris Lee, who provided a few photos from the event. Check them out in the Gallery!
Monster Track is this weekend in NYC and that means there will be a prize bag up for grabs. Not just any prize bag either. Philly’s REload Bags have been sponsoring the event for ten years and each year, their designs just keep getting better and better.
Rather than a messenger bag, Roland went with a Flight Pack. My personal favorite bag in REload’s line.
Now the question: who’s gonna win this?
Two classics in the bike messenger racing world are coming in hot, head to head, this weekend in New York City.
Great artwork, Greg!
March 13th – 16th brings Monster Track to NYC for the 15th year. See all the information at the event’s Facebook page. Greg Ulgalde killed it again!
Ugalde’s artwork is always so insane!
Monster Track is almost here! Get ready NYC. I wish I could make it out but I can’t be two places at once. Yet…
Check out the Monster Track shirt by State Bicycle Co below.
One of the first alleycats I raced in was Monster Track. At the time, it was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have had. It’s crazy to think that this race is in its 14th year and has influenced alleycats the world over. Check out the details for Monster Track 14 at the Facebook page and pick up one of these Cinelli shirts exclusively at the race.
Photos by Kevin Dillard
There’s more coming in from NYC and Monster Track. Long-time alleycat and bicycle messenger photographer, Kevin Dillard of Demoncats has just uploaded two galleries from Monster Track XIII. These are the best photos I’ve seen from the event and I’m sure that’ll remain the case, so don’t miss them! Head over to Demoncats’ Gallery now.
This just in from Chas:
1st – JT
2nd – Alfred
3rd – Chas (1st OOT)
4th – Crihs
5th – Eric
1st Female – Heather
Killer! Congrats to JT for pulling in 1st and to Chas for 1st out of town. So good!