We don't condone anti-social cycling here at road.cc. But at the same time, we do admire some decent riding skills. And when the two combine, you get something like this video featuring a cycling gang called The Cycle Squad Maniaccs who are based in the New York City borough of Harlem.
The video was uploaded to YouTube by graffiti mag Mass Appeal as part of its new series, New York State of Mind (the title inspired, we assume, by this).
The crew is led by self-styled "extreme bike rider" Rrdblocks, whom we've featured before on road.cc, with this latest video giving an insight into the background of The Cycle Squad Maniaccs and why they do what they do.
Here's what Mass Appeal has to say about it:
You've probably seen them, either in the streets or online, weaving in and out of moving traffic, wheels in the air, pedals spinning wildly. It might even have made you flinch while sitting comfortably at home, how close they come to getting hit by oncoming cars. That risk is the point. Getting as near to the edge as possible.
Calling Harlem's Polo Grounds projects home, RRDBlocks picked up the Ruff Ryders name from the New York motorcyclists back in the day and applied it to bicycles. Along with his team of young riders, they're the bane of the NYPD, mobbing Uptown streets, doing wall rides on buses, and manual stalls on top of cabbies. RRDBlocks and The Cycle Squad Maniaccs are a team of kids that blend off-road racing culture with BMXing.
Mass Appeal took a trip Uptown for our new series "New York State of Mind" to rock with them as they do the thing, pointing their tires to 12 o'clock with one hand hanging lazily below, skidding sideways in front of oncoming cars, and ollying other bikes. The trip isn't without injuries though, and DBlocks himself even gets nicked by a car that he fails to weave away from in time. But he gets up with a smile and keeps it moving.
Needless to say, don't try this at home (or in the neighbouring streets).
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.