It's Crit week in Brooklyn! To celebrate RHC's 10th year, here is a
look at some of our favorite Chalet coverage from over the years.
Ten years ago, David Trimble decided to throw a race for his birthday. He was determined to make it diabolical: a criterium on brakeless track bikes. When the group of would-be racers arrived in Red Hook, they didn’t know what they were in for. The course wound through a maze of hard corners and dark cobblestone streets in live traffic. Riders dodged irate MTA bus drivers and confused pedestrians. The physical demands of road cycling met the world of the illegal alleycat and a myth was born.
Several years later, in 2012, the race had exploded from a handful of participants and a few curious onlookers, to a field of over 200 racers. Several thousand spectators, lured by the growing folklore surrounding the race, flocked to Red Hook to watch. Trimble had quit his job, found sponsors, secured permits and moved the event into the (semi) controlled environment of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. It was beginning to look like a pro bike race, but that didn’t stop a New York messenger winning for the third year in a row.
In subsequent years, the race continued to prove unpredictable: Weather, crashes, underdog winners on bamboo bikes. Trimble is always visible in the background, clutching a megaphone, knee deep in preventing some looming disaster. All the while, he continues to push things forward, tinkering with the format.
Every time we think we have it figured out we are thrown into suspense. This is what gives “the crit” its magic. After ten years, the Red Hook Crit continues to prove itself a race that cannot be tamed.
"You have to fully commit. It’s like taking a line through traffic. If you’re running that red, you have to pick your line and go for it. By the time you think it’s the right time, it’s too late."
- DAN CHABANOV