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Monster Track 8 review

Messnyc has posted the video I edited about Monster Track last year.

I have been hanging with Shino and Hal from Tokoyo who have come to NYC for the week to hang out and race Monster Track.

Shino, otherwise know as Hirouki Shinozuka, is the fixie king at the 14th annual messenger world championships in Sydney. Shino won the overall race for best time on a track bike and he came in second in the skids.

The fixed gear, messenger trend is blowing up in Tokoyo…check out Vise magazines fashion guide…with the trends in Japan include hoodies, messenger bags and track bikes…

Hal, whos hanging with us works in at carnival bike shop in Tokoyo and worked on this hot video of track bike skills, coming out soon on DVD.

So here is a quick review of what is going on this weekend around NYC’s most revered fixed gear only alleycat.

Friday the 16th, 6pm-9pm Book release party for Amy Bolger’s new photo book on eight years of Alleycats, Illustrations by Greg Ugalde. Party is at Grand Central Bar, 659 Grand St. between Lenord and Manhattan in Williamsburg Brooklyn.
then
Gold Sprints, part of an ongoing series at Lulu’s Bar in Greenpoint (Now called Lost and Found Bar) 113 Greenpoint Ave, corner of Franklin. This is also the sight of pre-registration, where more checkpoints will be announced. 9-till late…

Alex and Bill Dozers band Atakke, is also playing at 10:00pm around the corner from the goldsprints… Tommy’s Tavern 1041 Manhattan Ave. @ Freeman

Saturday 17th, Registration starts for Monster Track at the big narrow park on Houston and Chrystie street in Manhattan-Sara Roosevelt Park. 2:00pm…race starts around 3:00pm

Sunday 18th, track bike tricks, skids and bike polo hosted by King Kog bike shop and 4916. Noon at Lost and Found Bar (Same place as Goldsprints and pre-registration)

Missouri students start messenger company

Joe Hendry of Mess media sent out this article about 3 Missouri students who started their own courier company…doing what they love…Biking.

Business competition inspires students to launch local bike courier
service

By Crystal Neo

Columbia Tribune, February 14, 2007

Training for a cycling team can be cause for teeth-gritting. You have
to do it whether you feel like it or not. And even if it starts
raining, you have to keep going.

For three budding entrepreneurs, their time training on the University
of Missouri-Columbia cycling team shares traits with what they face in
their new business venture, Columbia Couriers.

“Training is just like what we’re experiencing now,” said Brady
Beckham, one of the business’s founders. “You just have to be
persistent; you’ve got to be headstrong and do what you intended to do,
regardless of what gets in your way.”

Beckham, along with Stephen Tinsley and Jason Key, launched the courier
service this month. It provides pickup and delivery services within
city limits for items such as small packages or documents. They also
run personal and office errands. Rates start at $5.

For the three men – all in their early 20s – the service is a perfect
combination of getting paid and doing what they love.

Beckham, who came up with the idea for Columbia Couriers, submitted his
business proposal for the annual MU New Venture Idea Competition, which
took place last month. In the contest, organized by the Flegel-Source
Interlink Academy for Aspiring Entrepreneurs under MU’s College of
Business, Beckham took first place in two categories: undergraduate
for-profit and undergraduate not-for-profit.

Mary Wilkerson, vice president of marketing for Boone County National
Bank, was one of the judges at the competition. She said she was
impressed by Beckham’s leadership qualities, which came across during
his presentation.

“The most important thing was that he had identified a specific need,”
she said. “The need was there, and the business proposal was there to
meet the need.”

Wilkerson liked the idea so much, she said she would consider becoming
a customer.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to use their service,” she said. “It is a lot
cheaper than sending a staff out to run an errand.”

Business is off to a slow start for Columbia Couriers. Instead of calls
from customers during the first week, it got calls from potential
employees. But the founders remain positive about the future.

“I think we picked the worst week ever to start a bicycle messenger
service because of the weather,” Beckham said.

“But if we can make it through this week, then we can messenger through
any other week throughout the year.”

Alan Skouby, an adjunct assistant business professor at MU, said he was
impressed with the courier idea. He was part of the organizing
committee for the competition.

“We all thought it was a great idea, and we encouraged him to pursue
it,” he said.

The day after the competition, Beckham called Tinsley and asked him to
join the company. He agreed, and a week later, the two called Key.
Since then, the three have been making business decisions together.

Beckham said his business partners were carefully chosen to complement
each other.

He had admired Tinsley’s strong leadership and level-headedness during
the three years they raced together on the team. Key brought a
different approach, which Beckham and Tinsley thought ended up
validating their decision-making process.

The team thought three was the right size. Four would be too many cooks
in the kitchen, Beckham said.

Because the trio already had their own bikes, they’ve managed to keep
their overhead to just $500, part of it covered by Beckham’s prize
money. For submitting the winning business proposal, Beckham got $400,
half of which he invested in the business.

The partners also did market research before launching the business.

They spoke to local business licensing officers to find out the number
of businesses in the Columbia area; this helped them map out their
service area. Calls also were made to courier services in other cities
to find out more about their services.

None of the founders is a business major: Beckham is an industrial and
manufacturing services engineering major, Tinsley is an English
graduate, and Key is majoring in economics. But they each assumed
different roles in the company within three weeks. Key became the
company’s accountant, Tinsley the graphics and Web designer and Beckham
the spokesman.

Tinsley said the pathways in downtown Columbia make it one of the most
bicycle-friendly cities in Missouri.

Beckham, who biked with friends in downtown Chicago two and a half
months ago, said buses and cabbies there were trying to run them off
the road throughout their ride.

“The cabbies would mess around with us. They would slow down and get
closer to us, pull up in front of us, stop, and then they’ll take off,”
Beckham said.

“People in Columbia, whether they agree with us being on the road or
not, at least respect us and don’t try to run us off the road, which is
much appreciated.”

With at least four types of bicycles each in their stable, the group
seems prepared to combat the challenges the race for business might
bring.

“Racing is just like the dessert. You do all the training just for the
race,” Beckham said. “So if at the end of the year, we can take all our
employees out to dinner one night, that’s the race.”

Pedicabs in Kenya and NYC

My wife has been in Africa for work and sent these pictures of their version of the pedi-cab called boda-bodas from Kitale Kenya. I wonder if their city will try and ban them like ours for clogging traffic?


Meanwhile there was a rally at the steps of city hall on Tuesday in response to a bill the city council is voting on in to regulate pedicabs.
Time’s Up, helped bring the pedicabs to New York in order to find a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way to get people around, long before global warming concerns were sheik. The number of pedicabs has risen to 500. So the City Council in their infinte wisdom seem to have nothing better to do then focus on a few complaints by business owners and target the pedicabs, in a time when cities across the planet are finding ways to make their homes healthier and reduce greenhouse gasses. Ahh the priorities of a car addicted society who caters to big business and real estate development. “WOW, we have real environmetal concerns here in NYC, lets limit pedicabs.”

I guess with all the raises the city council members got for their part time jobs, they can focus on big priorites like regulating pedicabs and trying to put a cap on only 300 of them. Why don’t they put a cap on all the illegal contracts on waste management, or air polluters or limit the number of yellow cabs that are choking our city to death or those hot 97 logo covered Hummers?

Time’s Up released this press release on the issue:

The City Council Consumer Affairs Committee is set to vote on regulations that would put a very low cap on the total number of pedicabs in the City and ban certain types of pedicabs from City streets. Time’s Up! joins the Pedicab Owner’s Association against these unreasonable regulations to say:

NO CAPS – NO BANS – SAVE THE PEDICABS!

“Time’s Up! and its volunteers helped start the Pedicab business in New York City; over the last decade it has successfully grown to over 500 cabs. This non-polluting transportation needs to be respected and encouraged by the City and not discouraged with laws that would hinder its growth.” said Time’s Up! Director, Bill DiPaola

Time’s Up! volunteers will rally among diverse Pedicab supporters which include elected officials, alternative transportation advocates, environmental activists and consumers of this popular new form of NYC transportation. For more information, visit the Pedicab Owners Association and pedicabnews.


Read about it in AM NY

Here are some pictures from Tuesday’s Rally:







Promo for Monster Track

Here is a little commercial I made for Monster Track…

Also following the race is a day of track bike events–skids, footdown…Sunday, the 18th.

Check out Squids new video

Monster Track 8 is coming.

Hey, don’t forget to sign my buddymap…let me know where you are at.
————————————————————
Its a little over a week until Monster Track 8, a famous NYC alleycat race of all fixed gears. Monster Track even has a wikipedia page that I think is fairly new.

This race brings people from all over the world and is a pilar in alleycat racing history. This years race is on Saturday the 17th of February.
It starts at E Houston St /Christie St,
SARA D ROOSEVELT PARK (but things can change)

More info will be available at Monster track’s site as the race gets closer. But really all you need to know is where it starts, about what time and how ready am I to rock my track bike in traffic at top speed.

Go to Fixed gr for on-going discussions about Monster Track and alleycat and messenger race culture. This is a really great discussion forum of NYC riders and a great place where people can post, opinions, photos, video clips and artwork…like 8 years of Monster Track artwork…Thank you Squid.

Monster Track 1 flyer…race won by YAK–2000

Monster Track 2 flyer…race won by Jared in 2001

Monster Track 3 flyer…race won by Jamie, 2002

Monster Track 4 flyer…race won by Squid 2003

Monster Track 5, Felipe, 2004

Monster Track 6, Alfred, 2005


Monster Track 7, Alfred 2006

Many of these flyers were designed by artist and messenger: Greg Uglade–I’m sure you can tell which ones

Some alternate flyers:

There was an article this week by National Public Radio about fixed gears. This article is found by mess media a website dedicated to fairness and accuracy in articles written about messengers.

audio for this story can be found at NPR
Cyclists Switch to Single-Speed Bikes

by Dan Charles

NPR, February 6, 2007

It’s the latest, coolest thing in pedal-powered transportation: Bikes
with no gears and no brakes. You’ll find them on city streets from New
York to San Francisco, mostly in the company of young, rugged-looking
bicyclists.

Take a close look at Vincent Betette’s bicycle, for instance. Betette
is a bike messenger in Washington, D.C. He rides a sleek machine that
is stripped down to the bare essentials: Two wheels on a light steel
frame with curving handlebars of bare metal. There are no cables, and
no gears — and there’s no coasting, either. This is a “fixed-gear”
bike; if the wheels are turning, the pedals have to turn too, the way
bicycles worked 100 years ago.

The pedals don’t just make the bike go. They’re also what Betette uses
to stop, because this bike has no brakes. If Betette needs to slow
down, he pushes back against the pedals, forcing his legs to go slower.
And if a car cuts in front of him, “I just lock my legs up and kind of
slide out of the way.”

Such bikes are also commonly called “track bikes.” They are what
Olympic racers ride on indoor banked tracks called velodromes.

Now they’re taking over the streets. Bike messengers discovered them
first. These street matadors liked the ruggedness of track bikes.
Courier Andy Zalen says they also liked the way the bikes feel —
there’s something addictive about riding a bike in which your feet are
tied to the wheels, he says — and the way they look. “There’s something
beautiful in the simplicity of a track bike.”

It’s that “look,” says Vincent Betette, that seems to have caught on
with the young and hip crowd. “We have a name for them,” he says.
“FAMS: Fake-a** messengers. That’s what we call them. They got our
bags, they got our bikes. It’s a fashion accessory now.”

Betette isn’t sure some of these people belong on bikes with no brakes.
A lot of people who’ve picked up fixed-gear bikes lately “just can’t
stop them,” he says. “They go headlong into the backs of cars. A lot of
them are going to learn the hard way, and a lot of them are going to
catch on and they’re going to love it.”

Track bikes have even spread to the suit and tie crowd. Michael Simpson
gets to his office in downtown Washington by by riding 17 miles on a
old red bicycle that he converted to a fixed-gear. “It feels like being
a kid again. You don’t have to worry about what gear you’re in, or what
components you have. You just get on the bike and go where you want to
go,” he says.

But when he was a kid, didn’t he want gears? “Oh, I definitely wanted
gears when I was kid,” he says, laughing.

Now that he’s a grownup, Simpson is also a little more cautious. His
bike — like Andy Zalen’s — does have a hand brake. It spoils that pure,
minimalist look a bit, but a brake makes it less likely that you’ll
crash into a bus.
————————————————
To give you an idea of the popularity and significance of this race, people are coming from as far away as Tokoyo Japan, including Hirouki Shinozuko, known as Shino, who won this years Messenger world championship in Sydney, as fastest on a track bike, and second in longest skid.

Flyod Landis speaks and roller racing this week


Here is a new trend for me in 2007…actually posting an event before it actually happens. Novel concept I know. Wednesday the Brooklyn Brewery is hosting an event with Tour De France Champion Floyd Landis. Its a fund raised for the floyd fairness fund so Landis can try and shed light on what happened and raise money to get a fair hearing.

The event is at the Brooklyn Brewery, 70 North 11th St. Brookyln, NY (right near the L train Stop) 7-10pm

I heard about this through this great website nyvelocity Check them out for future events…they are also hosting indoor rollers tomorrow.

Love Crank at the 169 bar 169 East Broadway. Lower East Side

I think you have to be pre-registered to race. This is on rollers…old school…you balance the bike on standing rollers and try not to fall off…good luck.

A little message from the event coordinators

“Love Crank Tomorrow!

The big day is tomorrow, and since we’re planning on being drunk, we thought it would be a good idea to acknowledge all the people that helped us out.

As always, we couldn’t do this without Dave Perry, Taliah Lempert, and Arone Hotness Dyer. Alan Atwood, who rocks, will be there. Greg Weinberg of St. Pauli Girl is in again with beer. Mmm beer. Charlie Issendorf and Champion Systems indulged us with winners’ jerseys for a second time. Ric Hjertberg of FSA and Ed and Robin Uribe of Spiuk chipped in with prizes. Anthony Accardi helped us out with decorations. Daniel de la Nuez will help out with the kegs.

Speaking of kegs, we’re offering free admission for two keg pumping volunteers. Get in touch if you’re unusually adept at making a reciprocating motion with your right arm.

Our prize list this time:

Men’s Winner: FSA Clip on aerobars and base bar, case of beer, lovely sleeveless jersey. “

Great things happening in LA


Its Bike Winter. In the spirit of Bike Summer, an event held each year, hosted by a new city, Los Angeles isn’t waiting for summer. Although normally, its summer there all the time…but now with man-made climate change…who knows.

Anyway…check out the events at:

Bike LA

I know, a little late notice.

Global Warming Conference…

So rest assure, we can finally expect some real change in our attitudes towards climate change, now that scientists admit that Global Warming is man made…DUH!!! Yeah, right, I’m sure that is a big priority on the Bush administrations agenda…NOT!

In May, Mayor’s from around the world, who really have absolutely nothing to do with Global Warming policy, will gather in NYC at the climate summit.

At least Mayor Bloomberg is bring positive dialogue to the city instead of a private party for Republicans. At the climate change conference, maybe he can mention how he has spent his term making a hostile environment for people to ride their bikes…a great way to decrease global warming.

But May is Bike month so ride on!

Any one go to Freezing…Midnight Ridazz?

August 20th, 2005, Time’s Up brought you this first Midnight Ridazz, a bike ride modeled after an on-going successful event in LA. Its a more loose, often costumed theme, critical mass type event that has gotten hugely popular on the West Coast, bringing out lots of people who may shy away from the what appears to be a more politically charged mass ride.

Last night the LA website advertised a NY ride…anyone go on this thing?

Perhaps there will be more when the weather is better. Perhaps it will be more fun then…criminal mass.