You Could Die
|Event type||Longboarding street race|
The Broadway Bomb is an annual longboarding race that takes place the 3rd Sat. in October that runs the better part of the entire length of Manhattan. The event first ran in October 2002 and was founded by Ian Nichols & Fred Mahe then in 2004 Jimmy Soladay began helping with the organization of the event and awards ceremony. with an initial set of sixteen competitors. After growing in size every year, by 2012 more than 1,900 riders were registered to compete.
The event is unsanctioned by the City of New York, meaning that the race takes place in ordinary city traffic with no organized protection for riders, vehicles or pedestrians.
When participation reached thousands of riders in 2012, the New York Supreme Court granted an injunction declaring the race unlawful.   Since that time the New York City Police Department has deployed in force to prevent or disrupt the event. 
The element of danger involved with unsanctioned street racing is reflected in the race's slogan, You Could Die.
The race was founded in 2002 by two local longboarding enthusiasts - Ian Nichols and Fred Mahe - as a more challenging alternative to another longboarding event, the Central Park Race. 
The inaugural Bomb took place with sixteen riders. By 2010, the event had grown to include over one thousand competitors on the streets of Manhattan.
The race's growing popularity drew concern from city law enforcement. In 2012, organizer Ian Nichols cancelled and disassociated himself from the race, facing a formal injunction from Justice George Miller of the New York Supreme Court.   
The website for the race is unchanged since 2012, and as of October 2013 reads, 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.
In spite of official cancellation since 2012 and active NYPD opposition, the race has gone ahead in every year since then.
After the peak years of 2012-2013, attendance has waned and the NYPD presence has lessened accordingly.
Always held on the 3rd Saturday in October, the race begins at noon, beginning at the intersection of 116th St and Riverside Drive in Upper Manhattan. The route closely follows Broadway and concludes eight miles later at the Charging Bull sculpture in Lower Manhattan.
The rules as defined on the official website are:
- Wear a helmet
- No skitching
- No knocking other riders off their boards
- No knocking down pedestrians
- Stay on Broadway as much as possible
The rule forbidding skitching - the use of motor vehicles to gain extra speed - led to disqualification of the apparent winner Adam Crigler in 2009.
Participants and winners
Official participation numbers are not recorded and vary according to sources. An indication of popularity can be gauged by the number of registrants on the unofficial contest calendar maintained by the Northern California Downhill Skateboarding Association.
October 19th, 2002
Participation: 38 registered.
Men's winner: Mark Schaperow. Disqualified: Adam Crigler (skitching).
Women's winner: Sara Paulshock.
Participation: 423 registered.
Men's winner: Mark Schaperow.
Women's winner: Sara Paulshock.
Participation: 1,256 registered.
Men's winner: Kiefer Dixon.
Police action and arrests
Since 2012, the race has been formally outlawed and actively obstructed by the NYPD.
In the year the race was declared unlawful, a major police presence prevented the competitors from massing at the start line. Orange crowd control nets were deployed at intersections along Broadway to trap and divert riders from the main route. Police vehicles and scooters were used as barriers.  
Despite the significant deployment by the NYPD, no arrests were reported.
Police officers near the starting line distributed leaflets to riders, describing the legal consequences of participation.
News outlets reported that up to 38 arrests and summonses were issued to individuals,     with some of those detained as young as thirteen. Arrests along the route were concentrated at the starting line, around 105th St and at Columbus Circle.
In 2016 there was no significant police presence.
In the 2010 Broadway Bomb, Robin McGuirk recorded a first-person video of his seventh-place performance, making it available on the video sharing site Vimeo.
In 2011, Joe Goodman produced the documentary Push Culture - The Broadway Bomb, describing the history of the race and examining longboard culture in New York City. The film is available on Vimeo.
In 2013, 3rd-place winner Miles Evans recorded a first-person video of his ride, making it available on youtube.
- "2012 Broadway Bomb Registered Contestants". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Judge Halts Annual Race of Skateboarders". New York Times. 19 October 2012.
- "Judge Bans 8-mile NYC Skateboard Race". ABC News. 19 October 2012.
- "Thousands Of Skaters Face Off With NYPD Over "Broadway Bomb"". Gothamist. 20 October 2012.
- "About Broadway Bomb". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Broadway ‘Bomb’ Blows Up Skaters’ Cred in Court". New York Observer. 21 October 2012.
- "Broadway Bomb". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Broadway Bomb rules". Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "Congratulations to Bustin Riders Mark Schaperow and Sara Paulshock". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "2002 NCDSA Events board". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "2009 Broadway Bomb Registered Contestants". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "2010 Broadway Bomb Registered Contestants". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "2011 Broadway Bomb Registered Contestants". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Cops bust skateboarders' 'Broadway Bomb'". New York Post. 13 October 2013.
- "Skateboarders Defy Court to Race Down Broadway". New York Times. 20 October 2012.
- "Skateboarders defy court order". NY Daily News. 20 October 2012.
- "Cops Set Up Traps To Stop "Broadway Bomb" Skateboarders". Gothamist. 12 October 2013.
- "Skateboarders’ ‘Broadway Bomb’ Is a Bust in NYC". Epoch Times. 13 October 2013.
- "'Broadway Bomb' Skateboarders Busted by Police". WOR Radio 710. 14 October 2013.
- "Broadway Bomb Skateboarders Face Off With Police". DNAInfo New York. 13 October 2013.
- "Broadway Bomb Skateboarders Face Off With NYPD". Huffington Post. 14 October 2013.
- "Skateboarder Claims Cops Assaulted Him During "Broadway Bomb"". Gothamist. 13 October 2013.