Broadway got Bombed: Final thoughts and interviews[wptouch target=”mobile”][/wptouch]
The 2012 Broadway Bomb may have been the largest and most infamous push race in the world. But then it wasn’t. It was canceled. …Or so they said. The New York Police Department found out about the massive numbers registered to compete in the outlaw race.
A judge mandated that the internationally known Broadway Bomb 8-mile push race down the busiest road in the country’s largest city be made illegal. To boot, they sent around 100 police officers to stop us. But low and behold, they didn’t do a good enough job, or simply just didn’t care.
The race still happened, as one might have expected – it is, after all, the Broadway Bomb. The slogan isn’t “You Could Die” for nothing! To the fearless skaters that are used to bobbing in and out of NYC traffic and fighting for intersections, risking being run over by buses, cabbies, and and cranky New Yorkers, a threat of police is negligible.
Ian Nichols, the organizer of the race, was given a summons by New York and was forced to officially step down as the organizer this year. Not only did he have to put in the details of the event on Facebook that it was canceled, he also had to send out a mass email to all the participants.
Email sent to all by Ian Nichols:
PLEASE BE ADVISED:
1.) Pursuant to Court order, the Broadway Bomb race and flash mob will not occur on October 20, 2012.
2.) Participants in any such event will be subject to arrest.
From the Facebook Group: Attention all Skaters! Ian has received a summons from the City of New York. In order to avoid being prosecuted, Ian Nichols must officially cancel the Broadway Bomb and relinquish all responsibility. However, We are going to flash mob 116th Street and Broadway at 11:50AM and Start the Race at 12:00PM exactly. Get the exact time from your cellphone. Please don’t show up until 11:50AM because there may be a police presence. Please share this post with everyone in order to keep us all safe. See you there.
The night before the race, an elite party was held at Uncle Funky’s Skate Shop with Pork Slap beer provided pro bono, thanks to Shralper’s Union founder Noel Korman. At said party, Ian made an announcement in the overheated and overcrowded shop about the situation with the race. At this party, Michael Brooke, editor of Concrete Wave Magazine, Ken Knauf, owner of Skanunu, and myself predicted what the outcome of the race would be, and just what kind of police presence would be there. Race day: No longer a race, but rather a flash mob, hundreds of skaters gathered a few blocks away from the 116th original meeting spot at various different locations. They decided to race anyway, regardless of police presence. And oh boy, was it ever present. Police came ready with an anti-riot sound cannon, road signs stating that the event was canceled and that we all faced arrest, an armada of police motor-scooters, and plenty of paddy wagons to throw us into should we become burdensome to the well being of the people of NYC.
Though the police presence failed to scare away all racers, the nearly 2,000 registrants was cut down to roughly 1,000 because of fear of arrest. These 1,000 some skaters were scattered all across the city during the race, and with road blocks and police intervention throughout the normal route, we were forced to trail blaze.
Strangely enough, the police ended up escorting the skaters, rather than trying to beat us all to a collective pulp. The police vans and cars lined up into parade-like formation and joined us on Broadway as we skated down to the Wall Street Bull. The police even knew where the finish line was, so they gathered at the bull and instructed us to not stop and keep going. This made the race extend to roughly 10 miles of non-stop pushing, rather than 8 miles. So theoretically, the race ended at the after party BBQ sponsored by Sector 9, which for the first time, we had a permit for. More competitions occurred at the BBQ, such as a hippie jump competition, as well as the award ceremony which Ian Nichols took control over. For seemingly the first time, the mass-media paid attention to the 10th anniversary of the Broadway Bomb. Channel 2 news showed up to do some interviews at the BBQ, and there were news reports on the radio, from The Huffington Post, Reuters, and The New York Times. I had the chance to do a quick Q and A with Cami Best, one of the fastest female push racers on the East Coast, to see what she thought about this years Broadway Bomb.
How many years have you done the Broadway Bomb?
I have done the Broadway Bomb three times, but I have been attending the day’s events for five years.
What is the allure of the Broadway Bomb for you?
It’s the gathering of all skaters from all over the boroughs and the neighboring states and from skate communities all over the world that gets me! We bomb Broadway with traffic in unison and in competition, stoking people out the whole way.
Would you like to see it sanctioned in the future?
I would never like to see Broadway Bomb as a sanctioned race. The essence and history of it would be destroyed.
What was going through your head when the bomb started/was about to start?
Where is everybody?!
What were you thinking when you reached The Bull?
That was bullshit.
Do you think the unprecedented mass-media coverage is a benefit or detrimental to this specific race?
It was definitely detrimental to the Broadway Bomb. Of course all of the coverage just made people overly concerned with the event and then the city of course has to respond with counteractive enforcement.
Why do you think the numbers for this race have been consecutively growing exponentially?
I know that skaters want to experience the New York City style skating and what better way to do that than with a thousand other people that share that same stoke. The numbers will grow exponentially!
Your reaction to the little girl that competed in the Blue Sky Mile Challenge nearly brought a tear to my eye, do you do anything to promote longboarding for women?
Aww thanks Jared!! I encourage skating ladies of all ages to skate anything anytime they want and anyway they want!
Want to hear more interviews? Check out this video:[sam id=”9″ codes=”true”]