Josh Hartman: The Scar

Josh Hartman: The Scar

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In 2013, Joshua Hartman suffered a near-fatal crash at a bike race in New York City.

The impact of the crash caused severe trauma to Hartman’s nose, cheekbone, and jaw.
 Because of swelling around his brain, doctors put him in a medically induced coma.

Hartman's crash was also deeply traumatic for the New York area cycling community — in particular, the members of the predominately African American club with whom Hartman raced: the Major Taylor Development Team.

From his first race as a 13-year-old at the Kissena Velodrome in Queens, Hartman's talent and passion for cycling had endeared him to the diverse New York City racing scene. He openly aspired to compete at the sport’s highest level, and he'd become known as Josh "Pro" Hartman. In the wake of his crash, the NYC cycling community coalesced around Hartman.

An online fund for Hartman raised more than $40,000.

As Hartman slowly healed, he was left with a physical scar: a crescent moon-shaped band of tissue that runs from the bridge of his nose to his upper lip. As he has returned to racing and succeeded — he won the 2017 national track championship in the team sprint — he has embraced the scar as a physical symbol of all that he's overcome, and a source of motivation.

In this film, titled The Scar, we spend time with Hartman at his childhood home in East New York, we ride with the Major Taylor team in Prospect Park, and we explore how the trauma Hartman and the NYC community experienced also contributed to his comeback.

With the Major Taylor team and the New York cycling community behind him, Hartman is now on a quest to reach the 2020 Olympics.

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