Monster Track Profile #5-Mario “Alex” Ferrari

Alex has been tearing it up in the streets and on the track.
a serious athletic competitor, who is now trying out for a reality show about athletes.
(Shown in white at the Top)
Also an amazing skid champ.

How old are you? Dirty Thirty
Where do you live? Dirty Brooklyn
What bikes do you own? Three track bikes: a Guerciotti I got in a divorce (Sunday Ride), a Bianchi Pista Concept I got in another, different kind of divorce (the Beater), and a prototype Affinity Kissena (that’s the Racing Whip). I also have a third-hand BMC Streetfire road bike.
What got you into track bikes? I saw a guy do a little skid while I was hanging out in front of 924 Gillman St. in Berkeley, CA. I could tell that something was wrong with his bike, that he couldn’t coast, so I ran up to him and asked all those annoying questions. With that information I hit the web. This was back in ’99 and only Sheldon Brown’s website had any information about riding track bikes on the street. It been a long downhill skid from there.
How long have you been messengering? 6 long years, if you call what I do messengering,
What got you into alleycats? They are the shit.
What do you like about them? They smell like it.
What was your first Monster Track? ’04 about a year after I moved here.
How many Monster Tracks have you raced? How have you done? Only ’04 and ’06. I was in a dumb drunken bridge racing wreck two days before ’05. Thank god I was wearing a helmet. I shot video in ’07 instead of racing and ’08 was *cancelled* so I didn’t care to fuck with it. I got 6th place in ’06 and that was good enough for me to stop really going for it.
What is unique about Monster Track? It’s the only race that really draws the best competition out of the woodwork.
What does it mean to you that this race is 10 years old? That for the last nine years total insanity has gotten progressively cooler.
Who should race alleycats? Messengers Only? I honestly think that everyone rides in the city should race alleycats. They teach valuable lessons in bike handling, traffic negotiation and the limits of your body in a way that no other ride does. Commuting, messengering, road racing, cross or mountain races don’t compare to an alleycat in the amount and intensity of amazing experiences that one person can have riding their bike,
What do you think about the liability issues? If you think some marginally employed bike messenger is gonna do anything for you monetarily if you get hurt or, even visit you in a hospital, you are a fool. You take your life into your own hands and put it on the line for nothing when you race alleycats. That’s the stupidity/beauty of it. It is dangerous, it could very easily kill you. You have to take that into account when you race any race, not just alleycats. That being said, they are relatively safe because you are totally on your toes in a life is on the line kind of way the whole time. I think that race organizers should route the racers away from areas like Times Sq. that are heavily trafficked by pedestrians. They have no clue and don’t deserve to get hurt in the name of someone else’s fun.
What is the future or alleycat racing? will we see it in the X games 2020? I sure hope not. Even when freestyle BMX makes it into the Oly’s and there will be a niche open for the edgiest biking out there, I pray urban freeride downhill off the sides of skyscrapers is what the X Games bastardizes. It would be funny to see an Urban-athalon on TV though.
What do you think of the rise of popularity of track bikes and all these people coming out to race? Track bikes are simple, cheap, functional and beautiful machines. It’s a perfectly natural to desire to ride them fast and compete against other people riding the same bikes with the same limitations. It’s cool that a $100 hoopty beater can compete against a $4000 carbon racing machine. It’s a very proletarian form of racing. The dissemination of racing videos like yours and Lucas Brunelle’s have show the world that bikes can win over cars, that they can defeat traffic. That there is nothing to be afraid of when riding in the city, only things to be aware of.
What are your future cycling goals? A National Championship in the Match Sprint, compete in the Pan American Games and International Keirin. I might be too old.

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