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Interview with Alex of Boogie Nights

Late at night in Brooklyn’s Prospect park you might have spied a group of spandex clad bikers discussing tactics for such events as a team time trial or match sprints. These events normally occur on a velodrome like the famous one in Kissena Queens, where competitors battle it out on brakeless track bikes in a closed environment of a banked track. Well, last month, the track was the 3.3 mile loop in Prospect park in a night time race series called, “boogie nights.” this is the second year in a row this four week race series happened and brought together both novice street bikers and seasoned track racers to compete in the unpredictability of this large green space in the heart of Brooklyn. I had a brief conversation with the one of the series organizers, Alexander Barouh, and wanted to find out the challenges of hosting an event like this in the park. Even though the series has passed, I wanted to learn how it went down and who came out. Here is my interview with Alex-

Name, Age, where you live (ride)

My name is Alexander Barouh. I live in Crown Heights and I can be found riding my bike in Prospect Park, Kissena Velodrome, as well as throughout Manhattan.

Bikes you own?

Right now I own a Caad 9 road bike, a Cannondale Capo track bike, a Reynolds 653 steel track bike, and a Cannondale touring frame that I’ve turned into a cyclocross bike.

Your next bike purchase?

I don’t have any plans on purchasing anything soon.

How long have you been riding fixed?

I started riding a fixed gear a little more than 2 years ago.

What lead you to throw a track bike series in Prospect Park?

Two years ago I had heard that fixed gear races were being held in the park every summer and I had been looking forward to participating and also meeting other riders. I found out that the previous organizer was not planning on continuing the series and I didn’t want this tradition to die. It was kind of an impulsive decision to start Boogie Nights. My friend Andras and I discussed it over lunch and decided that the two of us could organize and run the series.

This is the second time? How have things progressed?

Yes, this is the second year. Things have progressed in a few ways. This year we had at least two fields per nights. An A and B field and sometimes a women’s field when we had enough women racers. I wanted to make the competition more enjoyable for novice racers while also creating a competitive environment for seasoned racers. The B field comprised city riders and a few Cat 5s, while the A field had everyone from Cat 4s down to Cat 1s. We even had a pro come out.

What kind of turnout did you have?

The turnout of both racers as well as spectators was fantastic this year. I showed up on the first Friday and there must have been at least 75 racers and spectators waiting at Grand Army Plaza. I was shocked. This year the B field averaged 20 to 25 racers per night, while the A field usually had 10-15 racers per night.

People with track (velodrome
experience) rookies? people new to the scene?

Yes, we had a full spectrum of racers. It ranged from people who had never raced a bike to people who are big names at the track and in the road racing community.

How did people adapt to Track events in a park? Such as a team time
trial and match sprints?

Gearing was a big concern for a lot of racers, although people adapted pretty well.

What was the biggest challenge in throwing this event?

Things ran rather smoothly this year, although my biggest challenge this year was the weather. It either rained or was forecast to rain every Friday evening. I had to be patient and make sure to keep everyone in the loop regarding possible cancellations due to weather. I only had to cancel one night, although we ran match sprints in cold rain and still had a great turn out.

what would you do differently next time? will there be a next time?
any hassles?

Prospect Park fixed gear racing will happen next year, although I’m unsure if I will be the organizer. I’m still interested in continuing to organize and promote races, I just might move onto something else. Regarding hassles, there were absolutely no hassles. I did have to speak with the police, but they were quite cooperative. There are little things I would tweak for next time such as trying to get a larger women’s field out and racing.

How did you get your sponsors?

Mostly through word of mouth. The sponsors were fantastic this year! Prizes included a frame, two sets of wheels, custom gold jewelery, tires, sex toys (Babeland was a sponsor) and t-shirts.

who won?

Alesandro Giancarlo Bianchi won the A field. Pavel won the B field and Inge Hoonte won the women’s field.

What surprised you most about the series? about the turnout?

The dedication of the racers and fans. People really cared about this series. Although it was very friendly the competition was fantastic to watch.

Future event organizing goals?

I’d like to continue organizing events. lately I’ve been thinking about creating event which is as exciting for the racers as it is for the spectators. I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop once I sort it all out.

Your future cycling goals?

My main goal is to continue riding and racing. My more specific goals include winning a road race or two. I’d also like to try out mountain biking. It looks like a lot of fun.

First Friday ride tonight-NYC

Remember remember the 6th of November. The pedalution begins tonight.

First Friday RideDay!

7pm Union Square North

Bike together! We are traffic!

Definitely featuring: FREE FUN, SAFETY, COMMUNITY

Potentially featuring: SOUND BIKE, RAD MARCHING BAND VISIT, FIRE SPINNING, DANCING IN STREETS

See you there, ride safe.

November 15th, Hills Hurt

If you want to race an Alleycat with hills, you’ve gotta go to Jersey.
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Hills HURT!
nov. 15th sunday 2pm reg. 3pm start (time might change)
$15 starts in jersey on river road up to alpine approach rd back on to river road. 2 laps with checkpoints.

$$$primes, prizes for: 1st OVERALL, 1st track, 1st women + MORE.$$$

Race course posted here.

Friday the 13th, 3.

Local NYC alleycat, next Friday.
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Tompkins Square Park,
Registration is at: 6ish
Race at: 7:12pm
$5.00

Lance’s art bikes fetched a good price.

its-about-the-bike-livestrong-auction-ending-prices
Last Sunday, Sotheby’s auction house sold off the Lance Armstrong collection of bikes designed by such celebrity artists as Shepard Fairey, Kaws and Damien Hurst.
its-about-the-bike-livestrong-auction-ending-prices-1(This Damien Hurst went for $500,000)

For a full review and the price these bikes went for to support Lance’s Livestrong foundation check out report from bikereviews.com

Vote today

Today was the vote in NYC for Mayor and other positions such as controller and public advocate (whatever that is)
I proudly cast my vote today, because I believe in term limits.
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A couple of other things I noticed about bikes. This is a good way to get the vote out.
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and I noticed Green Party candidate for city council district 37 (Brooklyn) David Pechefsky was offering free pedicab rides for Park Slope residents to be taken to vote. Ride on.

Halloween critical mass

If you have Halloween critical mass photos or video from NYC or around the globe…send them my way, or links.

Famous NYC halloween alleycat-tonight

Time: October 31, 2009 from 3pm to 7pm
Location: NYC
Organized By: Victor

Event Description:
Annual NYC Halloween bike messenger style race, aka alleycat.We will meet at Tompkins SQ park at 3 pm for registration and race about an hour after that.$5 entry fee goes to Grandma whom as you may know was involved in a car accident a couple of weeks ago. Bands are lined up and DJ’s are lined up for the after party and expect the usual(or unusual)shenanigans .dress up in your favorite hero or super villain .there will be a best dressed prize.
Registration at 3 PM
Start at 4 PM
Party at the Wreck Room 10 PM

Caption the photo.

In honor of Halloween, caption the photo:

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Bikers make cross country trip to raise money for MS

Jefferson Siegel sent me this article from the NY Daily News.
*Oct 24 - 00:05*(photo by Jefferson Siegel)
Photo caption:
Anthony Carey and Katrina Allison will begin a year-long cycling odyssey of 14,000 miles through 33 states to raise money for multiple sclerosis.
article:
British bikers to make cross-country trek in United States for charity

BY Christina Boyle
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Sunday, October 25th 2009, 4:00 AM

It’ll be the ride of their lives.

A British couple are embarking on an epic two-wheeled adventure Sunday, leaving New York to cycle the perimeter of the United States during the next 12 months.
London residents Anthony Carey and Katrina Allison plan to ride through 33 states and cover 14,000 miles while raising money for multiple sclerosis.
“I sort of reached that junction in life where I wanted to do something special,” said Carey, 38, a financial consultant.
“Because it’s such a daunting task, I’m pretty sure that every day is going to be something special.”
The lovebirds, who met in New York in 2006, will take a train to Newark this morning before hopping on their touring bikes for the first of many legs.
They plan to cycle an average of 50 miles a day from now to next Sept. 30, when they are scheduled to arrive in Manhattan toned and exhausted – and a lifetime of stories to tell.

“It’s almost as if you’re traveling through loads of different countries and seeing different terrain, different climates,” said Allison, 39, a lawyer.

Read more: here.