I fell down a rabbit hole the other night watching cyclists on fixed gear bikes ride like maniacs thru busy urban streets. It all started when I ran across this viral video promoting designer Aimé Leon Dore by putting their Knit Cycling Jersey on the back of a rider navigating the busy streets of Manhattan.

12-minutes from Times Square to the Brooklyn Bridge, no stops, one take.

I later learned that the rider in that video was Toni Rodriguez (@shogun.toro) and that he rides in these events called alleycat races, the biggest being the MonsterTrack which is a race around NYC that he won last year.

MonsterTrack 2023 is a 34-mile race around Manhattan.

I also learned that the camera work for Toni’s Brooklyn Bridge ride was done by this guy Terry Barentsen, a Brooklyn-based videographer who is takes these amazingly stable videos with a GoPro rig on his head.

THEN I found that TerryB filmed the last MonsterTrack race in a heart-thumping, can’t turn my eyes away, hour-and-a-half long video. The mic is on so you can hear the screams of people yelling at them from all the near misses and the breathless dialog as the riders try and work out the quickest way to get from point A to point B.

I will say that I in no way condone this behavior. Racing recklessly through a busy, urban environment on a bike with no brakes is a danger not only to the rider but to everyone on the road. There are several near misses and even a full on collision (scrub forward to about 12:30 in the video) with a cab. A couple of years back, someone died during a race in Chicago.

Don’t try this at home.