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Monster Track-Profile #3-Bike Albany

Here is our first outta towner. Andrew, creator of www.bikealbany.com That’s right, Albany has a bike scene. They come from all over to Monster Track, yes even from as far away as Albany NY.
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Andrew organizes races, works with Troy Bike Rescue , mutates bicycles and runs a local bike blog.

Meet Andrew.
How old are you? 20
Where do you reside? Albany NY
What bikes do you have? IRO Angus, BMW Gangsta, Planet X Sram Rival Cross Bike, Land Shark Sram Rival Road Bike, 1986 Faggin Campy Road Bike, and my infamous Pink Tallbike.
What got you into track bikes? Needed something for around the city, surfed around on BikeForums (sigh) and read a lot of Sheldon Brown and I eventually just bought one on a random trip to NYC.
Have you ever been a messenger? No.
How do people hear about events? NYC Fixed Boards for NYC stuff and people up here send me stuff to post on my site.
Why did you start Bike Albany? To give cyclists a means of coming together and organizing things. I got the idea from the NYC boards.
What alleycats have you raced in? Ever traveled for one? I’ve done the last two ‘seasons’ of alleycats up here in Albany. I am apparently getting better as I got 3rd in the Albany Cranksgiving race. I haven’t traveled for one, but that changed come MT.
What alleycats have you organized in Albany? I did one called Albany Dead (I don’t know why this ended up being the name) which was on a Sunday afternoon, not too many people showed up but they still had a good time, and my most sucessful one was the Albany Halloween Race which was free and had about 20 people showup (this is decent for Albany) at 9pm on Halloween.
What are some of the biggest challenges in organizing alleycats? Picking a date that will allow the most amount of people to come. I usually pick a date months in advance and plan it the night before (I do this with my school work also).
What do you think about the liability issues of alleycats? as an organizer? Nope. Most people know what they’re getting themselves into. Having people sign waivers doesn’t matter as a good laywer can sue you for whatever.
What do you like about them? How competitive do you get? It’s fun and it allows me to race against my friends who don’t race cross or road. I enjoy the informality of it all and being able to blast Municipal Waste out of my iPod speaker while riding helps me have fun and keep motivated.
What kind of people race alleycats where you are? College kids, college dropouts, roadies, old people on waterfords with panniers, bike jocks, everyone.
Who should race alleycats? Messengers only? No. You can be a brand new messenger and have no idea what you’re doing. One guy up here is a semi-pro level mountain biker who does 24hour mtb races and has amazing handling and riding skills.
Have you ever been to Monster Track or raced in NYC? I went last year and didn’t race becuase I didn’t have any rain gear. I was already soaking wet and preferred just staying dry. Lame excuse but whatever.
What is the history of riding brakeless? On the track? It’s safer as no one can abruptly stop. For me? I bought my IRO with no brakes and only put one on it recently since I had an early class and I wasn’t as alert as I should have been some days.
What challenges do you face being an outatowner? Below 14th st on the west side gets crazy, and so does below houston on the east side. Other than that the navigation is pretty straightforward.
Have you been training for Monster Track? I’ve been training for the road season, so I guess that counts.
What does it mean to you that this is the 10th year of MT? That racing is just as fun as it ever was and that people still like bikes.
What do you think of the whole trend of track bikes? The fashion? Don’t really pay attention to it. I laugh at the ugly bikes people make but I don’t really care as I’m sure someone somewhere things my bike is the ugliest one ever.
What is the future of alleycat racing? Will we see it in the X Games in 2020? How about track bike tricks? Alleycats cant really get much bigger and still be as real. You can make a simulated course I guess but that just sound lame. As far as tricks go who knows. It’s cool to see what’s going on as far as that stuff goes but I still don’t really “get it”.
What are your future competitive cycling goals? Get faster.

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