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I was cutting thru prospect park -
every other Monday this group of kids from Mexico and Guatemala do a 5 loop bike race.
when i was a bike messenger i always liked the style of the central
American riders -
they usually had nice bikes - modern but not the latest and fanciest -
i know the short Mexican riders were the ones that would always outrace
me uphill on the bridge.
so i was happy to see a group of them at the park -
they had stop watches and a couple of camcorders.
they looked like an old school race.
I felt inspired and in awe.
they had many specialized allez and some trek - $1k road bikes - a few
with older frames.
after one loop i could not believe how fast they were racing -
to see these short guys pushing so hard reminded me of marco pantani on
the mont ventoux.
never seen at the park other riders sprinting like this for entire loops
one guy had to give up -
he had been doing music this year and he could not train 3 / 4 times a
week like the others -
he looked tired.
another one stopped and said one of them crashed on the other side of
i raced -
and it was the kid i took photos of at the beginning -
his face and arm were bloody - he was in shock but he was awake and aware -
the ambulances took a while.
i took some snaps wondering if it was the right thing to do -
some girl at the scene came to me and said it was disrespectful - but
his friends did not seem to care.
i felt if he had a helmet probably he would have had less injuries -
if you dont see sometimes you dont really worry.
from what i understood he used teh front brake when ended up on the drain cover - the bike skidded and he flipped over.
he had injuries on his arm that hopefully absorbed the impact on his head.
his bike looked just like had scratches on the handlebar tape -
i think probably they might have been going between 25 to 30 MPH in thet flat / slightly downhill spot.
when i crashed in 2005 i was in semi shock for 30 or 60 minutes - my
face was covered in blood and i felt my eyebrow was gone -
i would have not minded someone taking a photo of me
actually after a while i took some to see the damage - before i could
stand up on my own and walk home.
i helped the friends of the injured rider by giving directions to the
the paramedics spoke no Spanish and the riders spoke little English.
they kept asking his name in a loud voice - as raising the tone would break the language barriers.
the injured rider could move his arms and legs and nod.
I remember when lance Armstrong's teammate and friend Casartelli died at
the Tour de France in the 90s
back then looked like no one was wearing helmets at the Tour -
Laurent Fignon with the ponytail in the wind.
after that it all changed.