As the Red Hook Crit bicycle race commenced in Brooklyn over the weekend, the familiar strains of "Gonna Fly Now" — the iconic theme song from the original "Rocky" movie — blasted over the speakers as the crowd cheered.
The tune's theme turned out to be a painful portent.
A pace motorcycle had stalled just ahead of the pack — and right in the middle of a narrow passage. Video captured scads of bicyclists furiously fighting for position and narrowly missing the motorcycle.
But as more and more of the speeding racers took up space on the road, the inevitable happened.
One rider clipped the motorcycle, and that began a chain reaction with numerous bicyclists swerving and crashing into each other — with several going airborne and end over end — and the pileup was huge.
Here's a look. (Content warning: Rough language):
And a view of the pileup from an opposite angle. (Content warning: Rough language):
Cycling reporter Daniel McMahon tweeted that seven bicyclists sustained injuries, none of them life-threatening.
Here's a first-person video of the pileup:
Following the crash Saturday night, the race was restarted.