The NYPD may be cracking down on cyclists for bells, whistles, lights and other rules they make up on the spot, but they can't seem to scare off participants in the anarchic and largely unadvertised MonsterTrack Alleycat Race, where among other parts (variable gears, derailleurs, etc.), brakes are highly discouraged.
Billed as the second largest informal bike messenger race in the nation, Montertrack comes to New York on Saturday, March 12. There is no set course and this is no traditional cycling race. More like participants in a scavenger hunt, messengers use the reflexes and instincts they develop on the job to find their own way around a set of checkpoints.
Experienced riders or spectators are always welcome, though in recent years they have canceled races because of accidents and overcrowding. The organizers wrote in a 2008 press release
As many of you know, MonsterTrack 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.